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 Equestrian Inventions


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Equestrian Inventor Helps Horses


Judith Turner

Most of us, even if only on the periphery of the horse world, are aware of horse loading problems. If you help run events, as I do, you may have waited patiently, or not so patiently, in a field waiting for the last person to load up go so you can close the gate and go home! It is very common that often well meaning people may offer help either in the form of brute force or other methods.  Either they’ve just been on a Parelli course or seen Monty Roberts on the Satellite channel!

What Cath Dennis has devised is a harness that puts the lone rider in a less vulnerable position when loading. She is BHS qualified, has studied Equine behaviour and is a lecturer at Aberdeen University.  Her horse, Zenith, a 17.1 TB gelding, is very erratic in his loading behaviour and she never knows when a problem will occur. She developed the harness after watching her husband-to-be load Zenith using a lunge line in an unusual but effective way. The harness enables the handler to both lead and encourage from behind at the same time. When loading a fractious horse one person that the horse is familiar with doing all the “jobs” is preferable so every one is as calm as possible. Cath says that as we humans have a completely different “time scale” from horses, patience combined with the harness often works when all else has failed. It is designed to stay in place, can be put on anywhere and clips onto the breast bar of the trailer to stop the horse reversing out, once loaded.  The handles/straps clip together for ease of handling. For safety reasons the breaking strain is 130kg so it cannot be used to just winch a horse into a place it would rather not be! Cath also recommends the harness for horse that are not particularly problematical but just to give the person confidence, especially if loading in a large, open or strange environment. The harness looks rather like a driving harness or breeching straps.

Click on picture of horse wearing this harness to enlarge it.

Cath has developed her idea over the past five years, the catalyst being a business course and the patent is pending. A college student is currently evaluating it, as an honours project and several prototypes were sent out to anonymous testers. She is currently working on a quick release buckle head collar and would like to develop other ideas. She would like the harness to be marketed as a device for all horses not just difficult loaders. The harness costs £ 67.50 (About $125). Cath’s web site addresses various questions about the harness and goes into more detail about it.

Cath’s web site address is and she can be contacted directly on

The author, Judith Turner, is an avid English horse rider who began her equestrian career under the tutelage of the legendary Welsh Long Rider, Thurlow Craig. Turner now journeys around the world to ride and report on equestrian holiday establishments. Her reviews have appeared in: Horse Magazine, Horse and Rider Magazine, Equiads, The Dalesman, Western Rider UK Magazine, Going USA and Farmers' Weekly. Additionally, Judith has been named a “Friend of the Long Riders’ Guild” for her work in locating many “Missing in Action” Long Riders.  Judith’s work may be viewed at her website -

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