Have you heard of Equicube yet?
I was thrilled to try out Equicube the last several weeks. This ~5lb weight rubber cube is magic. I have personally tested it in many rides and used it on several of my students.
Equicube was developed to give the following benefits to the rider:
- Increase core strength, balance and posture
- Improve communication with the horse
- Help with better rein control
When held correctly, Equicube is an incredibly helpful tool for riders at any level. I have found that it forces me to engage at all times and keeps me from fiddling with the reins more than necessary. I am a bit of a wimp at times and find myself pooped and wanting to drop it and move on.
Equicube performs admirably at all gaits, though I did notice a bit of a distracting wobble in the sitting trot, but I force myself to ignore it. There is a professional version that is supposed to help this problem a bit (my students didn’t notice the wobble at all…so you might not either). This isn’t a device you want to use while you’re schooling a horse that’s not cooperating as you lose the ability to independently use your hands.
I do find I have a hard time keeping the block totally parallel with the ground without breaking my wrist-rein-bit line (see really dark photo), however I am not sure that’s particularly important. As long as your not banging the horse in the wither or resting it on the saddle, I think you’re good.
The best thing has been the response of my students. I am primarily a dressage rider, but I generally teach western lessons. Because of the bits being used, Equicube has to be used on a lunge-line with my students. I have tried Equicube on many different students now all with fantastic results.
- A beginner rider – helped drastically improve her seat in just a few lessons. By teaching the correct posture and muscle memory in a few lunge session, Equicube is setting her up to be an effective rider quicker.
- Rider coming back from a long break – Equicube has helped her to reengage her core quickly and build her core endurance back quicker. It also improved her sitting trot (from night to day) in just one lunge session.
- Middle aged intermediate with weak core engagement – One session on the lunge-line with Equicube showed her exactly how she should be sitting to support herself in the saddle. She had quite lovely walk and sitting trot with Equicube after her session, though she struggled handling Equicube in the posting trot.
- Intermediate tense/stiff teenager – She often has trouble being in harmony with the horse’s movement. In her 15 minute lunging session with Equicube the change in her posting was particularly impressive (her walk was much improved as well). She didn’t quite get the hang of the sitting trot with Equicube yet, but it is her tension causing that issue.
Every student I have used it on has requested to use it again. I also have had other riders, instructors and students of other trainers at my barn ask to borrow it or ask me to lunge them so they can try it out.
I highly recommend Equicube for any rider of any level and it is a great tool for instructors (though be willing to lunge your student if necessary).