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View Full Version : Breastplates in the hunter ring? UPDATE Post 40, picture!



ToTheNines
Feb. 27, 2012, 02:22 PM
Egad..... here I am asking a "fashion" question. Is a breastplate ok in the hunters? The kind that look like martingales, but without the martingale attachment. He does not need a martingale, just a breastplate to keep the saddle from slipping back.

This one:

http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Ovation-Raised-Breastplate-P2538.aspx

I am talking about a nice thin rolled one that matches his bridle. It never occurred to me that it would not be, but my trainer says what she sees is using an elastic "breast girth" for schooling and pulling it off at the in gate.

auhunter
Feb. 27, 2012, 02:30 PM
It will be frowned upon. You will see many people at the Hunter shows that dismount, loosen girth, fix pad and saddle, tighten girth, remount. Goes with it...

Probably not what you wanted to hear, but you wouldn't want having "unconventional" tack take away from all of the good things about your trip/hack.

Have fun showing!

accidental cowgirl
Feb. 27, 2012, 03:49 PM
The rules don't say anything about a breastplate being "unconventional tack" and I believe they are allowed. I imagine most people take them off when they can so they aren't advertising the fact that their saddle doesn't fit perfectly. I think it's a fashion faux pas rather than a rule infringement.

kmwines01
Feb. 27, 2012, 03:58 PM
You might get some funny looks but it shouldn't be an issue. I personally don't like them because I don't like the way horses look in them but that's just me. If I have a slipping problem I'll just fix my saddle right before Im ready and just fix it for the 3-4 jumping rounds I have.

Angry Bird
Feb. 27, 2012, 05:47 PM
I use one and do very well in the Hunter ring.:D

justathought
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:14 PM
DD first horse always went in a breastplate --- there was NO saddle that did not slip back (believe we tried with multiple saddle fitters and multiple saddles) --- and as far as could me told the breastplate had absolutely NO impact on her placement.

callmegold
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:17 PM
Have you tried a no slip pad? If you want to blend in with the crowd that is, because breastplates are not seen very often.

Rel6
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:18 PM
You will be fine. A saddle that slides back isn't necessarily ill-fitting. Its more about the shape of the horse than saddle fit (although saddle fit can certainly make a difference!)

I showed in a breastplate with a standing attachement at some medal finals as well as in the hunters. Never got penalized for it that I know of (if I laid down a good trip we did well, if I didn't we didn't ribbon.)

rapazzini09
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:24 PM
is it always showing a saddle doesn't fit properly? if that is the case, then do 90% of jumpers have improper fitting saddles?
seen a lot in the jumper ring. hunter ring-never.

justathought
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:31 PM
is it always showing a saddle doesn't fit properly? if that is the case, then do 90% of jumpers have improper fitting saddles?
seen a lot in the jumper ring. hunter ring-never.

Not never --- at least two posters on this thread have shown in the hunterring with breastplates --- even at A rated shows...

What I would worry about is a judge who would choose not to use a horse simply because of a breastplate... lay down a good trip breastplate or no you will do just fine

SidesaddleRider
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:34 PM
A breastplate is very much traditional hunter tack. Fashion over the past 25 years or so has gravitated towards a martingale, but a breastplate would never be penalized by any judge with a clue for being "unconventional" tack. A breastcollar, yes, but not a breastplate. (FYI, a breastplate is a required item for the sidesaddle division, and there is no other hunter division as traditional as that anymore in the USA)

That being said, if you also need a standing martingale attachment, please tray to use the ones that the leather goes over the ring and hooks the buckle, rather than just using an attachment that clips on. They always flop around much more when clipped on, and it is distracting.

dani0303
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:51 PM
I've used one in the hunter ring before (in the A/O's at AA shows) and never noticed it effecting my placing. We won plenty of try-colors if I rode well. I never got funny looks or comments. I also happened to ride this same horse in a *gasp* loose ring ;)

pattnic
Feb. 27, 2012, 09:04 PM
And if you go to a Morgan show, you will rarely see a horse without one!

A breastplate is not "non-traditional" or "unconventional." Just not currently "fashionable." End of story.

PNWjumper
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:25 AM
is it always showing a saddle doesn't fit properly? if that is the case, then do 90% of jumpers have improper fitting saddles?
seen a lot in the jumper ring. hunter ring-never.

No, more that the vast majority of the horses in the jumper ring have a running martingale attached to that breastplate :)

elizabuggy
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:08 AM
Funny...when I showed 17+ yrs ago breastplates were the norm (at least in my area) for daily riding and showing. How trends change!!

bumknees
Feb. 28, 2012, 05:20 AM
I always ride in a breastplate for the just incase thing. The noslip pads work ok but are not fail proof..
I have used a breastplate since 1970's not necessarly the same one but one just the same.
I dislike martingales but that could come from my first horse who would take advntage of someone if they chose to put themselves into a pacarious position it was just safer to have a breastplate..
Use one if you want.

Trixie
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:06 AM
I'm definitely all :rolleyes: at the "unconventional tack." They aren't unconventional in the slightest.

They're just not trendy or "done" frequently. There's a difference.

Punkie
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:07 AM
I know a big "R" judge quite well and actually asked him this just this past week because I saw a horse in a breastplate for the WIHS hunter phase and hadn't seen that at an "A" show in a long while. His personal opinion is that it's "lazy", especially if you use an attachment. He said it bothers him less if the rider just uses the breastplate, no martingale attachment, but he still doesn't like the look. Of course, that is just ONE judge out of many, but I can see his point.

Reagan
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:40 AM
I know a big "R" judge quite well and actually asked him this just this past week because I saw a horse in a breastplate for the WIHS hunter phase and hadn't seen that at an "A" show in a long while. His personal opinion is that it's "lazy", especially if you use an attachment. He said it bothers him less if the rider just uses the breastplate, no martingale attachment, but he still doesn't like the look. Of course, that is just ONE judge out of many, but I can see his point.

Just curious, how is it lazy? Because you don't want to adjust your saddle between every class?

A breastplate is very traditional, realistically probably more traditional than the standing martingale. It seems silly that people would look down on a breastplate which is often just an extra safety measure (girth breaking, grab strap etc) but are 100% pro standing martingale on every horse. Just doesn't make sense to me... but I guess that is why I don't show hunters anymore :lol:

Montanas_Girl
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:56 AM
Just curious, how is it lazy? Because you don't want to adjust your saddle between every class?

You know, people keep saying this over and over. If hunter/jumper riders would learn to place (and leave!) the points of the tree in their saddles BEHIND the scapula where they belong instead of insisting on shoving the whole thing up on top of the withers, we wouldn't have this epidemic of "slipping" saddles. Just sayin'.

I have no problem with breastplates, for the record, but unless you are doing something like jumpers, cross country, fox hunting, etc., a well-fitting and properly placed saddle should not require one.

justathought
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:14 AM
You know, people keep saying this over and over. If hunter/jumper riders would learn to place (and leave!) the points of the tree in their saddles BEHIND the scapula where they belong instead of insisting on shoving the whole thing up on top of the withers, we wouldn't have this epidemic of "slipping" saddles. Just sayin'.

I have no problem with breastplates, for the record, but unless you are doing something like jumpers, cross country, fox hunting, etc., a well-fitting and properly placed saddle should not require one.

Simply not true... but then unless you have had a horse who properly fitted by three different saddle fitters AND looked at by two reputable custom saddle makers and still has a saddle that slips there would be no reason to know. And... for the record, I don't know of a class that let's one stop in the middle to adjust the saddle --- and yes our guy would have needed that. It is NOT lazy to do what is needed to keep a horse comfortable and able to do his job, its smart

Hinderella
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:43 AM
OMG....I don't show, and was simply perusing the thread to see the answers...but the answers remind me WHY I won't show. The very thought that a judge might penalize a rider who had an otherwise good ride for using a perfectly useful and appropriate article of tack is absurd. And yet, over and over again, I see threads in which posters indicate that a judge might be influenced by martigale/no martingale/tack color, or my personal favorite the fake tail!

if you're not going to be evaluated on the performance of the horse and rider, why show?

Parrotnutz
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:50 AM
OMG....I don't show, and was simply perusing the thread to see the answers...but the answers remind me WHY I won't show. The very thought that a judge might penalize a rider who had an otherwise good ride for using a perfectly useful and appropriate article of tack is absurd. And yet, over and over again, I see threads in which posters indicate that a judge might be influenced by martigale/no martingale/tack color, or my personal favorite the fake tail!

if you're not going to be evaluated on the performance of the horse and rider, why show?

Agree with your last statement. In November I bought a new Hunter prospect. He has shark withers and big shoulders so every saddle slides back on him....mine, which has been fitted to him and my trainers.
He is also a quiet but sensitive horse <doesn't like strong leg or a saddle sitting near his kidneys>. If I cannot keep my horse comfortable and show....I simple won't.
It's ridiculous to worry about "trends". Back in the 80's my trainer insisted on a breast plate, LOL

eclipse
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:59 AM
I used one on my old hunter (razor withers) and we won...a lot!

I've asked judges about them (when I've been announcing) and most couldn't give a toss. They want to see a nice round and don't consider it unconventional. :D You put in a great round and you'll get a ribbon, you put in the best round and you'll win. When it comes down to equal rounds, the judge I sat with, went with the horse she found the most appealing....that one wore a martingale and breastplate. :D

Go Fish
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:14 PM
I think you don't see them as often anymore because, over the past 10 years or so, we've become much better at saddle fitting. There are endless saddle choices now, and saddles can be custom fitted. We also have access to better pads.

I seriously doubt that any judge at a big show is going to penalize you for using a breastplate. I've never liked them (western or english) because I think, on a sensitive horse, they can interfere with neck postition if not properly fitted.

lily pony
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:47 PM
I think as long as it's unobtrusive and matches the rest of your tack it shouldn't be a problem at all.

ParadoxFarm
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:58 PM
I use one. I used one last year showing hunters but have since switched to jumpers. We did well in the hunter classes with one. I have one of those horses that need one because of saddle slippage. Doesn't matter what saddle. I even have to use one with my dressage saddle. I probably get more funny looks with that than in h/j tack. :) If judges don't like it, it doesn't matter. I will still use one.

BAC
Feb. 28, 2012, 01:16 PM
I know a big "R" judge quite well and actually asked him this just this past week because I saw a horse in a breastplate for the WIHS hunter phase and hadn't seen that at an "A" show in a long while. His personal opinion is that it's "lazy", especially if you use an attachment. He said it bothers him less if the rider just uses the breastplate, no martingale attachment, but he still doesn't like the look. Of course, that is just ONE judge out of many, but I can see his point.

I don't care how "big" a judge he is, he's ignorant. And its stupid to keep adjusting your saddle each time you go in the ring rather than use the appropriate equipment, only because you don't like the way it looks. :rolleyes: The only people who think a breastplate is unconventional are those who just don't know any better.

SidesaddleRider
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:25 PM
I don't care how "big" a judge he is, he's ignorant. And its stupid to keep adjusting your saddle each time you go in the ring rather than use the appropriate equipment, only because you don't like the way it looks. :rolleyes: The only people who think a breastplate is unconventional are those who just don't know any better.

DITTO.

Punkie
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:23 PM
I don't care how "big" a judge he is, he's ignorant. And its stupid to keep adjusting your saddle each time you go in the ring rather than use the appropriate equipment, only because you don't like the way it looks. :rolleyes: The only people who think a breastplate is unconventional are those who just don't know any better.

If you read what I posted a bit more carefully, he mostly finds the martingale attachment to be lazy. As in someone doesn't want to get off their horse and remove a martingale before a flat class. Like I said, he's not nearly as bothered by a breastplate for the sake of a breastplate, but he doesn't like the look. Never said that he thinks it's unconventional, he just doesn't like it. No different than judges that dislike the look of pelhams or full cheeks or eggbutts or loose rings. None are "unconventional", all are legal for the eq. (you know what I mean), but some judges just don't like them. :::Shrug::: no skin off my teeth and I'd venture to say if you've shown on the A circuit on the East Coast in the last 10 years in the hunters, you've shown under him.

Judges are humans too, and they have their biases. I don't show under him because it would be unethical, especially considering I have one of his horses, but he's an excellent judge and I have never disagreed with the way he's pinned a class that I've been present for.

BAC
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:41 PM
If you read what I posted a bit more carefully, he mostly finds the martingale attachment to be lazy. As in someone doesn't want to get off their horse and remove a martingale before a flat class.

If a horse needs a breastplate to keep his saddle in place then he most likely needs it in the hack as well, it only makes sense to use a standing attachment in that situation. And I am not impressed by how many AA shows he may judge each year, that doesn't necessarily mean he's a good judge, there are all kinds of other reasons why he may be invited to judge, political or otherwise.

GingerJumper
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:10 PM
If a horse needs a breastplate to keep his saddle in place then he most likely needs it in the hack as well, it only makes sense to use a standing attachment in that situation.

Uh, yeah! What does he expect, a martingale over a breastplate, a-la-jumpers? I'm sorry but that's just kinda silly...

As far as breastplates being "untraditional", I think that's ridiculous. Not trendy, but certainly not offensive if they're clean, fit well, and match your tack. Goodness.

Also, didn't a large jr hunter who won something big out on the west coast last year do so wearing a breastplate? Can't remember the horse or what he won (brain isn't working today) but I distinctly remember someone bringing it up in a thread very similar to this and linking to a picture/article. Chestnut with some chrome, I think..

bumknees
Feb. 29, 2012, 05:41 AM
you know what the judge who thinks it is lazy for one to use a breast plate with an attachment just to avoid removal of the martingale would really hate me. I used and would still use snaps to attach the breast plate to my d rings. And the attachment to the breast plate.. Allagater snap from martingale and oh what are they called.. the ones where you can slide over and clip waht ever it is on and then have to push the doo hickey into or up in to remove from... to attach to the D rings..
Yeah lazy try doing those in dead of winter in the cold.. for those of us to dont go to fla in winter while trying not to get the snotsicles incrusted in the snap and your fingers are froze as if you wear your gloves all bets are off... lazy my butt...

Madeline
Feb. 29, 2012, 06:54 AM
I can't imagine the outrage that would bubble up here if the internet and old time Appointments/Corinthian classes co-existed. In those, breastplates were MANDATORY!

Electrikk
Mar. 9, 2012, 11:31 AM
Some horses just can't keep a saddle in place. I personally prefer the overall look of a horse without a breastplate for hunters, but if I was a judge it's not something I would penalize the pair for. I'd rather have horse and rider be safe and happy than "on trend".

hjprincess09
Mar. 9, 2012, 12:13 PM
I used a breastplate for years showing with my mare and she had a custom fit saddle, so the breastplate wasn't used to prevent the saddle from slipping back, nor as an 'oh-crap' strap. I used one because I learned over the years that when I would do my trips (always did trips towards the end of the o/f classes) and would get off to take off martingale for the flat class, my mare would think she was done for the day and then would be very grumpy and pissy for the flat class. So, when I had the breastplate, I could just have my mom or trainer remove the martingale attachment without me having to get off - outsmarting the mare the majority of the time so at least our flat classes went better. Plus, the mare learned that if she could just get through the 10mins that would follow the undoing of just her noseband and then it being done back up, she would be done for the day. So, I love my breastplate for that reason, not just because of stopping saddle slippage.

Pennywell Bay
Mar. 9, 2012, 12:42 PM
I used a breastplate for years showing with my mare and she had a custom fit saddle, so the breastplate wasn't used to prevent the saddle from slipping back, nor as an 'oh-crap' strap. I used one because I learned over the years that when I would do my trips (always did trips towards the end of the o/f classes) and would get off to take off martingale for the flat class, my mare would think she was done for the day and then would be very grumpy and pissy for the flat class. So, when I had the breastplate, I could just have my mom or trainer remove the martingale attachment without me having to get off - outsmarting the mare the majority of the time so at least our flat classes went better. Plus, the mare learned that if she could just get through the 10mins that would follow the undoing of just her noseband and then it being done back up, she would be done for the day. So, I love my breastplate for that reason, not just because of stopping saddle slippage.

I rode my old AA hunter in one for that reason. The judge who thinks it is lazy is most likely not a big time judge, at least not to the majority who show and are on this board.

Now I think I will go dig out my big old fake tail, just in case he penalizes me for the breast plate thing....

ToTheNines
Mar. 9, 2012, 01:34 PM
I got the one I ordered, the one in the original post. It was not very expensive, less than $100, and is actually quite pretty. It is a nice dark brown, simple rolled leather style and matches his show bridle. I will post a picture if the dang weather will just get nice enough to ride!

Oh, and it works too! Saddle stayed put. Not sure why but for some reason, but for this particular horse, the saddle really wants to slide back.

Dewey
Mar. 9, 2012, 02:10 PM
I think the breastplates are very handsome, much better-looking than a regular standing martingale, and so much more convenient. I never heard of anyone being penalized for one; I sometimes think that people can be a little paranoid about anything that is slightly different from the norm in the hunter ring. I can't believe judges devote half the energy to noticing differences that some of the riders do.

ToTheNines
Mar. 16, 2012, 02:46 PM
It came, it's oiled, and it matches his show bridle. Now you can see why I worried about being unconventional..... he is loud enough already!

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/425837_3191771607623_1665880789_2671793_415565684_ n.jpg

GingerJumper
Mar. 16, 2012, 02:50 PM
It came, it's oiled, and it matches his show bridle. Now you can see why I worried about being unconventional..... he is loud enough already!

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/425837_3191771607623_1665880789_2671793_415565684_ n.jpg

Looks good!

And I love your horse... I adore the spotty ones :)

BAC
Mar. 16, 2012, 03:02 PM
It looks very nice, simple and workmanlike, in fact at first glance I thought it was a martingale.

gottagrey
Mar. 16, 2012, 03:06 PM
A breastplate is very much traditional hunter tack. Fashion over the past 25 years or so has gravitated towards a martingale, but a breastplate would never be penalized by any judge with a clue for being "unconventional" tack. A breastcollar, yes, but not a breastplate. (FYI, a breastplate is a required item for the sidesaddle division, and there is no other hunter division as traditional as that anymore in the USA)

That being said, if you also need a standing martingale attachment, please tray to use the ones that the leather goes over the ring and hooks the buckle, rather than just using an attachment that clips on. They always flop around much more when clipped on, and it is distracting.

Exactly!

kmwines01
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:29 PM
Didn't notice it at all first glance at the photo. Good luck in your showing adventures this season!

Electrikk
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:36 PM
It came, it's oiled, and it matches his show bridle. Now you can see why I worried about being unconventional..... he is loud enough already!

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/425837_3191771607623_1665880789_2671793_415565684_ n.jpg

Looks really nice! It flows really well with his bridle.
And I LOVE your saddle pad! Where did you get it? It's my favorite color :)

Linny
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:46 PM
I used to use a breastplate martingale with an easily removable strap (via clip) forming the piece between the chest and the chin. I didn't have to dismount and unhook the girth for the under saddle, I just had a helper unclip the strap.

I don't see a leather breatplate as being unconventional.