Upload & Sell: On
I got my 500 f4 in 2004, sold it this spring as I moved to a place that is not so great for bird photography, but I have thousands of bird images so I will share what I know.
I have a heavy aluminum tripod with no center column, very rigid. I have an Acraswiss ballhead and a Wimberly sidkick. This always worked for me and I never felt the need for the Full Wimberly.
I carried my camera/lens over my shoulder a few times but always felt that was an accident waiting to happen, especially when busting through brush or walking on ice or scrambling up or down steep banks. If I fell the lens would fall.
After those few times, I always carried the camera and lens in my Kinisis Bag.