High Tech Horse'n Around with Cushion Glide Coupler and E-Z UP Stirrup Extender

New Popup coupler on the Cushion Glide Coupler, allows you to hook and unhook your trailer without climbing in the bed. Just pull the remote cable to allow the coupler to slide over the ball or to release the ball. It's spring loaded, tapered to the socket, for easy ball alignment and even has a grease zerk. says MrTruck. Click picture to enlarge.

Read about the new improved Popup Cushion Coupler

Original review, new model available now. You've probably guessed I like technology that makes life easier. What else is science for? Here I review a couple products that are well made in America and make the trailer trip easier on your horses and easier to get on board the saddle especially for 2 broken knees like mine.

Cushion Glide Coupler

When I review a new product, I like to use it on other folks trucks and trailers. Not that I wouldn't mind keeping all this cool stuff, but I want more opinions from the real world. Kenny Brown volunteered to help me evaluate this new Cushion Glide Coupler on his Exiss 20' aluminum stock trailer. Installation of the new cushion coupler was a snap, just loosen the two adjustable coupler tube wedge bolts and the old coupler falls out, watch your toes. Slide the Cushion Glide Coupler up the neck tube and retighten the two wedge (set) bolts and you are ready to go. I did measure first were the old coupler was, so I have a place to start adjusting the new cushion coupler. We used model CG4000 with a 4000# tongue weight rating.

Kenny Brown's rig, a 03 Ford F250 8' bed, diesel with factory "camper package", B&W ball hitch and 20' box Exiss aluminum stock trailer. The unit was setup relatively level. We setup the Cushion Glide Coupler down about an inch more than the standard hitch, raising the front of the trailer, to be level when loaded with 2 to 3 horses as Kenny's most common load and not be too high in the front when empty, so as not to affect the trailer brakes.

The standard coupler. The new hitch, Cushion Glide Coupler


The one thing I was concerned about, is with the larger head on the coupler, would there still be enough room to lower the front of the trailer with the adjustable neck? I could see that raising the trailer would be no problem. We drove the trailer with a couple of horses (2500#'s) loaded in the front compartment, to give us an idea of where to adjust the coupler for a heavy load. When I had the coupler adjusted to be level on the loaded trailer, we still had 2 inches of adjustment left between the coupler top Timbren rubber spring bracket and the gooseneck tube. And two inches is a lot, so I was satisfied that Rehme Mfg. did their homework measuring goosenecks and trucks.
Hitch shows how much room we had left for adjustment, if we needed to drop the front of the trailer. The Timbren rubber spring guide bolts come up when your loaded. We were properly adjusted here, turning the coupler clockwise for the bolts to have clearance with the safety chains and neck gusset brace.

Ford Direct

Here we didn't have the coupler adjusted and were too close to the safety chain with the rubber spring guide bolt. It was approximately 60 degrees F and we had 2 1/4" of the guide bolt sticking up with the loaded trailer. With the empty trailer, the guide bolt only stuck out 3/8".  We'll review this again this summer at 90 degrees F and see if the softer rubber improves on the already good ride. But I'll ride inside with the AC on and take pictures out the rear window.

Kenny and I both drove the truck and trailer with the old coupler, the new coupler empty and loaded with 2 horses (approximately 2500#'s) in the front compartment and then split up with the heaviest, 16 hand Quarter Horse in the rear compartment. I didn't see a big difference with the empty trailer before and after we added the Cushion Glide Coupler. We crossed a railroad track and could see some movement in the Timbren rubber springs. Loaded you could feel a difference in an improved ride with Cushion Glide Coupler. We drove on pavement and dirt roads.

The biggest difference I could see was in slowing down, speeding up, starting and stopping. The Cushion Glide Coupler took the shock out of the movement. Have an improved ride is nice but reducing the jerk between the truck and trailer impressed me. I drive in heavy traffic in Denver and try as you might to allow room between you and other drivers and the gap just keeps filling in with those little cars. So when your truck pitches forward in a panic stop, this coupler can help cushion the jolt and rebound from the sudden stop.

It even matches the color of your gooseneck and your spare tire! The bottom of the Cushion Glide Coupler is tapered inward to allow easier ball hookup, even if you aren't perfect at backing up your trailer. Now of course the ultimate test was Kenny Browns wife, Sandy. She drove the truck and trailer at the end of our grueling test drives while Kenny and I rested in the barn near the refrigerator. And Sandy's quote was "the hitch makes the truck and trailer ride better." What else can I say except that Kenny just got back from a 2000 mile trip from Ft. Collins Colorado to Farmington and Clovis New Mexico and back, hauling a couple of mares (approximately 2400#'s) using the CGC. This long term test was successful, Kenny noticed less horse motion from the trailer verses other similar trips. He also stated that his F250 felt more like the stability you notice with a dually.

 Check out their website,  http://cushionglide.com/

Happy horse, fun ride, just getting annoyed by the goofy guy with the camera, probably the same guy driving me in circles with his head out the window!

E-Z UP LegSaver

I met Bill Mullenbach (on the right above) at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. I've seen his ads in magazines and thought the idea made sense. His E-Z UP Stirrup Extender Company has a product that drops the left stirrup 3" for easier mounting and then snaps up in place. The slide action on the E-Z UP is made by Ruger, the famous gun company. And to make an even better product package, Mullenbach's company merged with Thad Beal's company LegSaver Stirrup Swivel Company. The LegSaver Stirrup Swivel does just that, allows your stirrup to swivel 360 degrees. So put them both together for an easy mount with leg and knee comfort. Or you can buy the products separate as just a swivel,  as a stirrup extender or grouped together. Of course you know I go for all the bells and whistles so we're reviewing the combination as the top of the line model, E-Z UP LegSaver.

The extender in ride position. Stainless Steel and aluminum.

The extender in load position. Ruger slide action.

Right side stirrup swivel. Both sides swivel 360 degrees or can be locked.

For the same reason I don't like pushing a clutch all day, I don't like my knees pointing inward in the saddle and rubbing on the twisted saddle fenders. Just like power seats and the new power adjustable brake/gas pedals in your trucks, using technology to make your hours in the saddle more enjoyable, should be natural. I ripped the cartilage clear through in one knee in high school football and the other one in volleyball (yes real men play volleyball). So as I get older, my knees talk to me more. And you know twisted legs are connected to your sore back. But it's not just us athletes that have problems. Trail riders whom spend all day in the saddle will feel the difference at the end of the day. Come on baby boomers I'm not the only one with gray hair. And it's not always possible to get a shorter horse to make climbing into the saddle easier. Even you young healthy folks will like the comfort.

We didn't want to cut the leather wear guard off the stirrup shaft until we decided which stirrup would get the E-Z up permanently, so we used the stirrups from a bronc saddle. The clamp that attaches the stirrup to E-Z UP is split in half for easy installation. Two allen wrenches come in the package, so it's completely ready for anybody to quickly attach.
Complete, and ready to ride. I could have done this on the trail. (left) Just push in the button to drop the stirrup and lift up to snap in place. Kenny Brown helped with this project too. See how far his left boot is down under "Festus" belly. (right)
Festus is a 16 hand Quarter Horse. Kenny Brown has had many back surgeries and had no problem mounting up his tall horse. Notice the step up height is reasonable. On the right you can see how much movement your leg has to line up naturally. Until I got use to the swivels I'd lock the right side so it's easier to hit the target after you swing over. We will have some trail riders use them next for a long term review. Work, work, work

Check out their website; http://ezuplegsaver.com/  or call 1-877-865-1497

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