Well I'm a big girl ( seriously I am..working on it though) and I would use a monkey thingie IF I could remember it's there. I tend to just go splat. Having read this thread has prompted me to try and use one again as I'm pretty wobbly atm (having not ridden for a little while due to back problems etc). It's not sissy..it's just common sense.
Northern Peregrine, I'm A Cool Cat, Redochre Aachilles, KP Oracle Oct 2009 - March 2010
My daughter uses a monkey strap... It came in very handy when her little man would buck lots. And after I nearly came of my old horse when he went one way and i would have gone the other way if it wasn't for me getting the balance back by grabbing the reins (he had a very sparse mane and I missed it) and nearly pulling him down I decided I should have one! I just went out and bought a new one as the one I had I've lent to a friends daughter who is learning to ride. I won't ride without one!
Check this gadget out- designed for the purpose without compromising your hand position or rein aids. Attached to your stirrup bars rather than dees, so no chance or ripped leather. Winner of the BETA Innovation award.
I can certainly vouch for the R-Stor strap I bought one about 2 years ago from the UK and it has saved my butt on more than one occasion. I am sure I would of hit the dirt when my big boy dropped his shoulder and did a 360 degree spin out on the trails. I actually felt like I had gone past the no point of return and somehow managed to stay in the saddle. I don't know who was more surprised, me or the horse LOL.
I prefer this device because you already have it in your hand so no need to think about grabbing for the monkey strap when things go pear shaped.