What Is A Saddle Crupper?
The crupper is a strap that goes under the horse’s tail and attaches to the back of the saddle. Its purpose is to help keep the saddle from slipping forward. This is not a very common western saddle accessory but is used in areas of very steep terrain and in endurance riding. An alternative accessory for stopping forward movement is saddle breeching which is standard on most pack and mule saddles.
The crupper is attached to dee rings on the back of the saddle with a buckle or snap. With a fork style design that has two straps that go to either side of the saddle, the straps can be buckled to the rear rigging rings. A single strap design requires a dee ring behind the cantle that few saddles come with these days.
Cruppers are made of leather, nylon, neoprene, and combinations of these materials. It should fit snug to keep the saddle in place, but not so tight that it irritates the horse’s skin or tail. A poorly adjusted piece can create a very cranky horse. Horses need to be introduced to the feel of a crupper and get used to it before hitting the trails.