The breast collar is a set of straps that wrap around the horse’s front and connect to the saddle. Its job is to keep the saddle from rolling backwards. Collars are essential for events like roping and speed competition that require climbing steep terrain and quick starts. A breast collar will also allow you to ride with a looser cinch and will aid in keeping the saddle in place on a horse with a round withered shape.
Purpose Of A Breast Collar for Horses
A breast collar is usually not required for less intense flat ground riding. They are, however, highly popular since they give a saddled horse a very attractive finished aspect. As a result, collars have become rather ornate, with a wide range of styles, decorations, and embellishments such as complex tooling, braiding, and conchos. The well-dressed horse will wear a collar that complements the saddle’s style, coloration, and design.
The typical material is leather, although they are now also available in mohair, cotton, nylon, fleece, and neoprene.
The breast collar is made up of the breast plate, two rig straps, and a tie-down strap in the middle. The breadth of the straps varies, although they are usually between 1 and 4 inches broad. The rig straps are attached to little dee rings or slots on the front of the skirts, or to the front rigging rings, on each side of the saddle. The tie-down strap links to a small dee ring on the center strip of the front cinch and runs from the center of the breast plate down and between the horse’s legs.
Horse Breast Collar Fitting
The majority of breast collars are one-size-fits-all. Sizing is accomplished by adjusting the straps. The rig straps should be above the points of the shoulder and allow you to move your hand between the straps and the horse in a correctly set collar.
How To Put A Breast Collar On A Horse
Many riders have a habit of wearing their collars overly loose, causing the saddle to slip back pretty far before the collar engages. A breast collar that is too tight or falls below the shoulder points can limit your horse’s movement and comfort.
The central tie strap should be free enough that you can place your fist between it and the horse, but not so loose that the horse can get a foot caught in it.