With a horse that is a ‘big 16.2hh’, and a neck akin to a giraffe’s, being short has its disadvantages. Basic tasks like trying to put a bridle on can be scuppered just by him putting his head in the air, and plaiting results in arm cramps and pins and needles after a short while. Don’t even get me started on going to shows alone or with someone who can’t give a leg – queue trying to line the horse up to the side of the ramp, failing miserably as he wanders off, doing it again only to be dragged off the ramp when he puts his head down to eat grass… It really is a struggle to be a short girl with a big pony.
Enter the Hippo Tonic “Grip” Folding Step Stool! This is a handy little step that can be used as a mounting block, and will fold away for ease of storage when not in use. It has a handy little carry handle integrated into it which makes it easy to carry to the car/lorry along with your 55,000 other things you are packing for your upcoming show. Also the anti-slip rubber on the top make this step ideal for not falling on your face as your horse inevitably walks away from the step and it’s a very wet day. To further the anti-slippage, the step has anti-slip rubber legs too!
I’ve tried this on a number of surfaces – even concrete, gravel yards, shavings beds, and wet surfaces. The step doesn’t cave or wobble, and I even jumped up and down on it to be super sure! The grip surface works, but I’ll admit I haven’t tried it in my riding boots yet as I’ve mostly been using it around the yard in my Dublin River Boots or my trainers.
The only thing to watch with the stool is that the two sides are connected correctly in the middle – they just lock in together, but there was one instance I got a bit overzealous opening the stool and separated the two sides of the stool. They pop back into (and stay in) place really easily, and it has never come apart while I’ve been standing on it.
The stool comes in two colours, Grey and Turquoise (my favourite colour!), and in my opinion is worth the €19.99 price tag (you can buy it here). The fact that it folds away, is sturdy, and looks nice, makes it ideal for both shows and at home – it doesn’t take up much room and is very portable. As someone who competes and trains alone quite a bit, I no longer have to worry about how I’m going to get up on my horse away from home – unfortunately it doesn’t fix all my problems, and I still have to wrangle with Paddy as he drags me down to eat grass at every show.
This product was sent to me by Horseworldeu to test and review, but my review is honest and unbiased – I thoroughly test all products before posting a review, and will never recommend or endorse a product I do not truly believe in. I am a loyal Horseworld customer for years, and a big fan of being able to reach my big horse without pulling a muscle in my arm or leg.