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View Full Version : Breast collar or no?



dacasodivine
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:22 PM
I'm trying to decide if I need one and if so, do you guys prefer leather or nylon?

I will probably not be doing hills so probably don't really need one so it would be more for looks and the occasional ditch crossing or something along those lines.

GallopingGrape
Aug. 11, 2011, 04:14 PM
I always ride with a breast collar for safety and because I'm a traditionalist. Its handy to keep your saddle in place on hills. I wouldn't ride without one.
Kim

dacasodivine
Aug. 11, 2011, 04:24 PM
Kim, thanks for replying. Do you use leather or nylon or what?

Not many hills here south of Houston though. I like the look so probably will get one. I've never had anything but leather but I kind of like the way the matching bridle/breast collars look but worry the breast collar may chaff or something.

threesacharm
Aug. 11, 2011, 11:30 PM
Breastcollars are good for helping to keep your saddle on and in the right position - like not slipping under their belly or side!! Besides helping on the hills they allow you not to cinch up so tight. I personally love biothane and beta type breastcollars - Just rinse off and they don't chafe! The one I want to get is the Zilco, which has some cushion.

Eggplant_Dressing
Aug. 12, 2011, 09:30 AM
One of my horse's has a belly and his girth has never slipped so I dint use one for him but another horse is quite thin and the saddle will slip occasionally so I use a soft neoprene breast collar.

Practice with it too because the first one I bought was leather, and rubbed sores in spots so I opted to buy a soft neoprene and sold the leather one to a friend.

Guilherme
Aug. 12, 2011, 09:36 AM
A horse changes shape when it moves. A saddle that is rock steady while the horse is standing may not be so when it's moving. Adding the breast collar (or even a crupper) may be necessary to achieve proper dynamic fit and stability.

Note that this is largely independant of the type of ground you're riding on. :)

I ride a Stubben Scout and use a "hunt plate" type breast collar. I may not need it but it does not add much weight or complexity and give me a feeling of security. It also is useful as an "OH S**T!!!" strap and can help when you're loading your saddle for a longer ride.

So I guess the answer to the original question is "it depends." :)

G.

Auventera Two
Aug. 12, 2011, 09:52 AM
I never leave the barn or trailer without my Zilco endurance breastcollar on. My saddle is a treeless, but still I would always wear one no matter what. The style that connects over top of the neck/withers is the best in my opinion. It really minimizes any side to side shift in the saddle. You never know when deer will pop out of nowhere right in front of you, while you're cantering and the horse does a hard ditch one way or the other. Even a treed saddle can spin all the way underneath the horse when he flexes his rib cage enough.

Also I agree that the breastcollar helps you to leave your girth a little looser. Mine is always pretty loose and it allows the horse to breath and move better.

This was from our ride on Wednesday.

In the forest (http://www.hphoofcare.com/SweetsVicPoppleRidge2011.jpg)

dacasodivine
Aug. 12, 2011, 12:23 PM
I'm sold! The best reason given to my mind is not having to cinch up as tight. I'm sending wither tracing to someone so have time to shop and decide what I like before getting my new saddle. Besides, it's too danged hot to ride right now.

Thanks all.

Guilherme
Aug. 12, 2011, 03:04 PM
I'm sold! The best reason given to my mind is not having to cinch up as tight. I'm sending wither tracing to someone so have time to shop and decide what I like before getting my new saddle. Besides, it's too danged hot to ride right now.

Thanks all.

I'd be wary of the idea that a breast collar means a notch looser on the girth. That's a "maybe so and maybe not" depending upon a LOT of things.

G.

Snowdenfarm
Aug. 12, 2011, 04:35 PM
Aventura, great pic. Love the whole turn out.

rmh_rider
Aug. 19, 2011, 05:13 PM
I have a biothane breast collar.

I only use if I think I will need it. Iow I do not just use one on all rides like it is part of my regular tack.

I prefer not to use one ever. That way there will be no restriction of shoulder movement. JMO. Also there will be no restriction of the horse putting its head down to drink.

And yes, I know how to adjust my breast collar.

HorsingRound
Sep. 5, 2011, 05:51 PM
I only use if I think I will need it. I do not just use one on all rides like it is part of my regular tack.

You would around here. :winkgrin: There is not much in the way of level ground.

katyb
Sep. 6, 2011, 03:17 PM
I don't use one, ever (and yes, I ride mountains, but my saddle fits great and doesn't budge), but if you like the looks of one, why not use it? I don't really see a downside, other than something else to keep up with when you trailer out.

HorsingRound
Sep. 7, 2011, 01:30 AM
I don't use one, ever (and yes, I ride mountains, but my saddle fits great and doesn't budge), but if you like the looks of one, why not use it? I don't really see a downside, other than something else to keep up with when you trailer out.

I just scrolled through a whole bunch of photos on FB of my friends' rides and I don't see a single person riding without a breast collar. Not one. I'm pretty sure our saddles fit great too. ;)

Maybe it's a regional thing.

BTW, the breast collar on my saddle stays buckled to the off side of the saddle--I unbuckle the near side and toss it around and over the seat when unsaddling, where it stays until the next ride.

gaitedincali
Sep. 7, 2011, 02:19 AM
I just scrolled through a whole bunch of photos on FB of my friends' rides and I don't see a single person riding without a breast collar. Not one. I'm pretty sure our saddles fit great too. ;)

Maybe it's a regional thing.



It must be because I ride with one too. :cool:

IME saddle slippage isn't just a matter of saddle fit but of conformation - I have one horse that I probably could skip the breast collar and have the saddle stay put, and two that even if you molded the tree to their backs and cinched them just about in two the saddle would still slip on long, steep hills.

The breast collar stays buckled on the offside so it can't get lost and goes on in a second. Not a big deal.

I prefer the martingale style ones that buckle to the swells, like this-
http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l229/kitty_5150/gypcollar.jpg

katyb
Sep. 7, 2011, 09:05 AM
I just scrolled through a whole bunch of photos on FB of my friends' rides and I don't see a single person riding without a breast collar. Not one. I'm pretty sure our saddles fit great too. ;)

Maybe it's a regional thing.

BTW, the breast collar on my saddle stays buckled to the off side of the saddle--I unbuckle the near side and toss it around and over the seat when unsaddling, where it stays until the next ride.

Many of my friends ride with one. I'm a minimalist, lol. I ride in a riding halter (rope with rolled noseband), treeless saddle with attached Haf pad, and that is it. Again, I don't see any reason NOT to use a breast collar if you like them. I just don't need one, and I'm a bit lazy.

katyb
Sep. 7, 2011, 09:09 AM
It must be because I ride with one too. :cool:

IME saddle slippage isn't just a matter of saddle fit but of conformation - I have one horse that I probably could skip the breast collar and have the saddle stay put, and two that even if you molded the tree to their backs and cinched them just about in two the saddle would still slip on long, steep hills.

The breast collar stays buckled on the offside so it can't get lost and goes on in a second. Not a big deal.

I prefer the martingale style ones that buckle to the swells, like this-
http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l229/kitty_5150/gypcollar.jpg

I agree - conformation makes a huge difference. My horse has great withers for keeping a saddle stable (not so great for fitting a saddle though).

tabula rashah
Sep. 7, 2011, 09:31 AM
I always use a breastplate- all of mine are beta or biothane, I'm not a big fan of leather or nylon for trail tack. Even when I ride western, I use an english style breastplate as opposed to a breast collar because I feel it allows freer movement and does not have a tendency to rub.

Guilherme
Sep. 7, 2011, 09:40 AM
I use an English style "hunt plate." It works quite well.

Horses change shape when they move; the faster they move the more they change shape. Not only speed changes the shape but so does going up and down hills. Or the level of collection the rider call for. Or the gait that's being done. What fits nicely at the halt may not do so well in movment. That's why fitting a saddle requires a more "holistic" (God, I hate that word due its constant misuse :mad: ) approach. You have to ensure that saddle and padding are appropriate to confomation and discipline.

G.

rmh_rider
Sep. 7, 2011, 11:30 AM
You would around here. :winkgrin: There is not much in the way of level ground.

I rode 13 years of endurance/trails in WA, OR. Only on a few occasions did I use a breast collar. Same for here in the SE region.

Hoofbeats02
Sep. 8, 2011, 12:11 PM
I agree - conformation makes a huge difference. My horse has great withers for keeping a saddle stable (not so great for fitting a saddle though).

I totally agree. I don't use a breast collar with my 12 year old gelding, and we go trail riding right in the mountains a few times/year (camping and riding). All of our rides are pretty hilly and have some steep climbs too. He has high withers though, and like yours it made it hard for me to find a great fitting saddle though I did eventually! It took me almost a year though and I went through 4 saddles LOL My 6 year old I do use a breast collar with though. He has a lot lower withers and he's still pretty green so I like to know my saddle isn't moving if he spooks or anything.

Tevisbuckles
Oct. 7, 2011, 05:17 PM
I always ride with one, feels safer, saddle cannot fall back or rotate, my favorite is the padded Zilco, very gentle on the horse, no rubbing and easy maintenance. A crupper is also safe to keep the saddle from moving forward.