I love my saddle hoist. I have my freedom back!
Sometimes life throws a curve ball and the creation of my saddle hoist was a response to this curve.
In 2014 I was involved in a MVA and sustained injuries that were lasting and far reaching. I could no longer lift my arms above my waist and I had a severely twisted and rotated pelvis. Both of these issues caused me much agony regarding my love of riding. I sat crooked and was really off balance. I had no strength in my legs due to the pelvic rotation. All the pelvic misalignment also wreaked havoc with Gemini.
My arms of course could not hold reins in a proper manner, nor lift the saddle. The bar that was on the saddle for balance reasons and security reasons due to my PTSD/balance issues, now gave an added purpose and, allowed me to rest my arms/hands on the bar so I could hold the reins and not have to hold my arms up.
Giving up riding was not an option so I went about figuring out how to move forward with these problems rather than waiting for them to disappear. With the help of Andy Reimer of Reimer Ranching Supplies a saddle hoist was created for my horse trailer.
Saddle Hoist in the beginning….
I am 5 feet tall on a good day and Gemini is well over 16 hands and is built like a tank. My saddle that I had custom made by DK Saddlery to address my balance issues/fear etc. due to a previous brain injury weighed 48 lbs. including the cinch and breast collar.
Throwing this saddle up was impossible before my injury in 2014 because of the weight and the height of my horse, hence the reason I built a mounting platform that I used for saddling as shown above. The platform was 40 inches high, with a surface area of 4 ft. x 4 ft. on top. This allowed me to lift the saddle from the rack and place it on Gemini’s back with no lifting.
After my accident in 2014, I could barely drag the saddle, let alone lift it. When ever I would go anywhere with my horse and trailer I would have to ask someone to help me saddle Gemini. This was so frustrating. I am very particular about where my saddle goes both in relation to where on the horse and where on the blanket. This frustration led me find a solution, and to figure out how I could implement a saddle hoist.
I have worked very hard over the years “training” Gemini to be quiet, stand still and be good with all sorts of man made things. This was the second time he had been in the trailer and saddled. As you can see in the video he is not tied. I rarely tie my horses as I would rather foster willingness and partnership than the use of constraints. The saddle hoist is loud to me so it must be really loud to Gemini.
Wilderness mounting block……
In this photo I had to go pee and I told Gemini ” I need to go pee”, and he found a stump and delivered me safely. He is watching me as he is prepared to compensate in case I have a problem getting back on. He knows that getting on and off are my weakest points. I do not have to hang onto his reins, he will not do anything to compromise me and my safety, just as I will always do the same for him. Our partnership is free of judgement, advocating of expression, and has a solid foundation of trust. Together we are powerful, safe, and eager to travel together!
Just maybe one of these days I will have Gemini load himself, use the saddle hoist to saddle himself, and then get down on one knee so I can get on. LOL