Seriously, this exists?
[top image: The Noun Project]
In my Internet wanderings this week, I came across a Facebook post that mentioned the EquiPona Pulliter system–a seatbelt that breaks away in the event of a fall. At first I was mildly curious to see what kind of invention someone had cooked up.
Then I was horrified.
It’s an odd pulley-and-lever system with buckles and straps that move along with the rider. Supposedly it comes undone if the rider is thrown…but the company chooses to highlight this feature in a Youtube video where the rider forcefully yanks the horse off balance to make it fall. Not good advertising!
I showed my fiance a picture to see if it passed what an old instructor of mine called the “mailman test.” (ex. Can the mailman–presumably a non-rider–see that you’re doing a leg yield?) His reaction?
“So…it keeps you on an out-of-control horse. Greeeeeat idea.”
Granted, over the years he has heard my horror stories of being stepped on, thrown off, and somersaulted over horses’ heads so he may not be completely objective. But he’s right–often abandoning ship in an emergency is a better option than being rolled on, or being clotheslined on a tree.
For therapeutic riding, it’s one thing, and actually pretty interesting that saddles have been adapted for special needs.
Obviously this is not intended to keep you strapped to a bucking bronc; it simply helps to keep a handicapped rider upright. In fact, it could be dangerous to use on anything other than a dead quiet horse. There is still the potential for danger though, as horses (even quiet therapy horses) can be unpredictable.
But there are plenty of other harebrained inventions to keep your butt in the saddle (whether that’s a good idea or not). Here are a few:
[Sure Grip Magic Seat]
What do you think, Horse Nation? Is there ever a good use for gadgets like this?