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The coming seasons bring with it the opportunity to go hunting with our horses and ponies for many keen horse riders. This age-old traditional discipline has changed since the alteration to legislation in 2005, but still brings with it a thrilling ride following a laid scent over a variety of terrain, jumping and the opportunity to enjoy the countryside!


The RS-tor (pictured above in the image sourced from Horse & Hound Magazine) is the perfect accompaniment to a trip out hunting.


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Are you thinking about returning to riding after a break, or a period of not owning a horse?


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Horse riding; an exhilarating, fun and fulfilling sport.  However though thoroughly enjoyable riding can be a risky sport so in our latest blog we take a look at RS-tor’s five key ways to avoid risk in the saddle!

 Wear a Riding Hat

In RS-tor’s view it makes no sense not to wear a correctly fitted and safe riding helmet. Riding hats are not onerous to wear and can often prevent or attenuate head injuries in falls. Remember a head injury is usually far worse than a broken bone and those who have them sometimes sadly do not completely recover.

Establish the Correct Matching of Horse & Rider Combinations

Correct matching of horse and rider is vital in preventing accidents. A highly spirited, athletic horse can scare the daylights out of a novice and a tired old plug can bore an experienced rider. Choose any horse your purchase or loan very wisely and seek expert advice if you are not sure and when riding in riding school ensure you totally trust the instructor to make a sensible choice for you and always speak up if you do not feel comfortable with the equine selected for you to ride.

Focus on Safe Mounting and Dismounting

Mounting and dismounting from the horse can potentially be a risky time. During this phase rider puts their weight on the left side of the horse which throws the equine off balance or cause the saddle to slip and can cause them to react. While the rider has one foot out of the stirrup they are vulnerable to any sudden movement of the horse and has poor control of the reins. It is also a time when a sudden forward movement of the horse can cause the rider’s left leg to be caught in the stirrup and then be dragged. A secure mounting block is a must for every yard and if there is any doubt it is advisable for someone to hold the horse while a rider mount. Taking hold of your RS-tor Riding Safety Aid can be useful at this point offering riders a ‘handle to hold onto’ should their horse spook or shoot forwards upon us first sitting in the saddle after mounting.

Check the Girth! 

Some horses seem to blow out when the girth is first tightened and riders should be certain they are tight before mounting. Do the girth up gradually- perhaps first attaching on a looser hole and then applying your horse’s boots and bridle and then retightening. Check your girth again after mounting and after five minutes or so of riding to ensure if has not become too loose which can result in pinching and slipping of the saddle.

Stay Together

Horse’s are herd animals and when hacking it is natural that they want to stay together. If you are riding out with friends or family ensure groups riding out together are matched well in terms of both experience and the size and the stride length of the horses and ponies. Holding horse’s back can cause them to feel frustrated whereas an equine left behind will certainly result in anxiety.


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The autumn time can be glorious for hacking with cooler temperatures, softer ground – not to the mention particularly beautiful countryside at this time of year, but it can be tough to enjoy when our nerves get in the way so if you get anxious when hacking out- this blog is for you!


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The autumn time can be glorious for hacking with cooler temperatures, softer ground – not to the mention particularly beautiful countryside at this time of year, but it can be tough to enjoy when our nerves get in the way so if you get anxious when hacking out- this blog is for you!


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his week we heard the fabulous news that RS-tor supporter and advocate rider Michaela Huntington had won the 1.20m Final in the main arena at Hickstead on Saturday. 


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Are you interested in the RS-tor but want to find out more about how this simple, yet effective riding safety tool works to keep you safe in the saddle?


The RS-tor Riding Safety Aid is ideal for many different horse riding scenarios such as hacking, schooling, jumping, polo, RDA riders and much, much more. Here the RS-tor video illustrates the benefits of the RS-tor for Cross Country Schooling.


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Are you interested in the RS-tor but want to find out more about how this simple, yet effective riding safety tool works to keep you safe in the saddle? This video shows the product in action as well as telling you how the device can benefit horse riders of all different riding capabilities.

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Are you interested in the RS-tor but want to find out more about how this simple, yet effective riding safety tool works to keep you safe in the saddle?


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Here at RS-tor we love to hear the stories of our happy customers and the riders’ the RS-tor Riding Safety Aid helps support. We recently heard from Wendy Taylor who had a nasty fall in the Spring of 2014 resulting in a loss of confidence in the saddle.


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The main cornerstone of behavioural training is ‘learning theory’; the premise that everything we do is shaped by consequences. We take a look in our latest blog...


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Michaela Huntington, RS-tor advocate, answer’s a customer’s question…





‘’I am a novice rider and recently purchased a young cob; she’s brilliant, except in the arena at times, when she can be quite cheeky. I’ve fallen off twice in one month, and though I put this down more to my balance as a rider, I was wondering if there were any devices out there that could help me to stay in the saddle? Short of putting super glue on the saddle, I am currently reliant on the neck strap and mane, which obviously isn’t helping! Any advice would be much appreciated.’




Congratulations on buying your new horse – what an exciting time! As you have realised, balance is a key challenge for novice riders, and it is commonplace for smart horses to take advantage of an imbalanced rider. This is when things like run-outs at fences, or little bucks as you go into canter start becoming undesirable equine behaviours! There are two simple things you can do to help your stability in the saddle, which will in turn help with both your confidence, and the calm authority you exert when training your cob.

The first one is to really focus on your own balance – even if this means lunge lessons on a more experienced horse. To ‘sit’ through ‘cheeky’ equine behaviours, you must have good core strength, and very reactive abdominal muscles. You don’t need a washboard stomach, but the abdominal muscles of well-balanced riders contract automatically to balance and maintain posture – this is the body’s quickest neuro-muscular response, and happens in a split second, for example as a horse shies at something, or bucks. You can work on this skill by having lessons on the lunge without your stirrups on a safe horse.

Secondly, you could use the RS-tor riding security aid whenever you ride – it is easily transferred from one saddle to another. The product was designed as a safety aid to help prevent falls, or allow the rider to fall in a more controlled manner. Being reliant on a neck strap or piece of mane is probably causing you to tip forward, which is detrimental to your balance. With the RS-tor, your seat and position is not affected. Many riders of young or spooky horses rely on neck straps, however, these can be dangerous. There is lots of anecdotal evidence concerning riders grabbing a neck strap, only for it to swing around the horse’s neck, causing a fall.

The RS-tor attaches simply to the saddle, allowing the rider to hold the strap handle comfortably, like a crop handle – the rein contact is not affected and there’s no ‘fixing’ of the hands. It also facilitates riding through spooks, shies and bucks, with less chance of the rider losing their reins and their balance. Once you begin riding with one, your confidence in your ‘saddle stickability’ will increase, as will your horse’s trust in your leadership.”


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For young showing enthusiasts, have you considered using an RS-tor riding safety aid?


It was designed as a safety aid to help prevent falls, or allow the rider to fall in a more controlled manner, but is invaluable for aiding confidence. It allows the rider to comfortably hold the end of the strap like a riding crop, while maintaining independent hands.


Showing enthusiasts should check with their organising society to see whether the RS-tor may be used in the showring, but broadly speaking, entrants in Tiny Tots and BSPS Heritage classes may use handle-type accessories. It is widely used for home-schooling and working-in at events, being ideal for riding and training spooky or green horses, or to aid stability when riding a ‘stumbly’ horse.


The RS-tor has a British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Safety and Security Innovation Award, and is ideal for younger riders developing their balance and confidence. The RS-tor is very unobtrusive!

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Some RS-tor fans may be aware of the organisation Riders 4 Helmets. Their ethos is simple 'Ride Smart, Always Wear a Helmet' and the goal of the campaign is to educate equestrians about the benefits of wearing a properly fitted, secured and certified riding hat. 

Supported by a number of high profile riders including most notably Dressage rider Courtney King-Dye who suffered life changing consequences after a fall from her horse whilst schooling, not wearing a helmet, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. 

In addition Riders 4 Helmets in responsible for the organisation of the world-wide event International Helmet Awareness Day which sees over 700 retailers in 8 different countries reduce the prices of their riding hats as a pledge of their support. 

The date of the event is not yet publicised but registration for retailers is open so it will be coming soon! Why not ask in your local saddlery if they are taking part or visit the website or Facebook page of Riders 4 Helmets to be 'in the know' when the important day is announced for 2015! Visit www.riders4helmets.com to find out more. 

Take a stand for safety and enjoy discounts on top quality, safe riding hats! 

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All sports involve a certain amount of risk and horse riding though rewarding, great exercise and fun for all can sometimes be dangerous. It is important to remember that our equines have minds of their own and sometimes despite training they can and will act of their own accord!

Horses for Courses!

It might sound simple but it is important to choose the right horse. Your pairing of personalities, size, and experience on both sides must be compatible for a good relationship with your equine.

Understand horse behaviour

Knowing how a horse thinks is vital when horse riding as this will allow you to adjust your own behaviour when training.

The equine is a flight animal so loud noises and sudden movements can easily scare a horse, especially if these movements and noises occur outside their field of vision.

When riding, always do your best to avoid entering a situation where there is a lot of commotion or the risk of unexpected movements and noise levels are high.

Watch out for the Warning Signs

If a horse or pony is scared or aggravated it may lash out. It is vital to recognise warning signs such as pinned back ears, head shaking, a swishing tail or rolling eyes could be signs that a horse could bite or kick. Likewise when you are riding if it important to identify things which may cause your horse to spook or even rear or actions which may provoke a buck!


Invest in the right equipment

Correctly fitting tack is a must for your horse’s welfare and both of your safety. Choosing the right horse riding equipment for yourself is a must as it will offer you protection if you are unlucky enough to ‘part company’. Every rider should invest in a top quality riding helmet which meets the required safety standards.

In addition to a riding hat or helmet you may also benefit from the following items:

  • A Body protector is a foam filled vest which is designed to give protection to the back and chest area of the rider should the rider fall or be kicked. Injuries cannot be entirely prevented by wearing a body protector but a body protector can reduce the severity of any impact on the body and prospective injury.
  • Some riders may also choose to wear an air jacket when riding. Air jackets are a relatively new addition to the market- proving very popular on the Eventing field and also for avid hacking riders. The air jacket attaches via a cord to your saddle and should you fall the air jacket is stimulated to inflate to minimise impact from the fall.
  • Riding gloves offering a solid grip of the reins and also to shield your hands from any damage.
  • Fluorescent clothes for hacking are important. Hi Vis clothing increases visibility and safety on the road particularly in difficult weather conditions.
  • An RS-tor. The RS-tor The RS-tor Riding Safety Aid provides riders a beneficial, safety tool. The RS-tor has a ‘bungee’ element that helps prevents rider falls by ‘absorbing’ the velocity of being unseated. The RS-tor’s is easy to hold, simply held in the hand like a riding crop but offering riders a square stopper to stop or slow a fall when the fall prevention aspect comes into effect if the horse spooks, bucks, rears, cat-leaps or stumbles.  In addition its confidence-boosting benefits are always experienced allowing riders to compete with confidence!

To find out more about the RS-tor Rider Safety Aid visit the website at www.rstor.co.uk 



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Here at RS-tor we are spreading the good work of Medi-K Training, a company which offers first aid training for equestrians.



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As recently reported by Horse & Hound Magazine horse rider Stacey Stephenson has set up a campaign to improve the safety of horses and riders on the road.


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Michaela Huntington is a show jumper, trainer and livery yard owner from Braintree in Essex. Michaela is an ambasssor rider for the RS-tor Rider Safety Aid so we were thrilled to hear the news that Michaela has been crowned the Winter Amateur Champion on her lovely chestnut mare Zena.


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Emma Douglas is one of RS-tor’s fabulous sponsored riders. Emma competes in para Dressage with her horses Apart; know as Solly, and Murphy, dubbed Cartoon Top Cat in the arena. In Para Dressage there are five grades or degrees of impairments allowing riders to compete fairly against each other. Grade 1A described those riders the most impaired whereas Grade 5 the most able. RS-tor rider Emma rides under Grade 2 as a result of L1 spinal injury resulting in incomplete paraplegia.


Emma is a big fan of the RS-tor Riding Safety Aid.


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Here at RS-tor we love to receive positive feedback and for our product to truly help riders. So we were thrilled to receive the below testimonial from Donna Sharman.


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