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Why aren't breastplates and martingales adjustable?

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  • Why aren't breastplates and martingales adjustable?

    My big pet peeve is that running martingles don't come with adjustable forks so they actually fit the size of horse you are riding, and that tack is in general not easy to remove.

    I'm riding the project horse in a biothane running martingale made by arabian people. The forks can be adjusted so I have the right length, and the neck piece snaps onto the center O ring so I can take the entire thing off without unbuckling it or taking off the crossties.

    In my super perfect dream world I'd like a breastplate with snaps to attach to the D rings and more snaps so I could take the breastplate part off and make it just a martingale for the times when I don't want a breastplate.

    Anyone with me or am I a lone wolf?

  • #2
    There are plenty of adjustable running martingales/running attachments. Like this one (which also has attaches at the girth with a snap) or the nunn finer running attachment

    Or these

    You can also have any breastplate adjusted to clip to the girth, then buy any number of adjustable running attachments.


    • Original Poster

      The dover and sstack ones are better then the nunn finer version, I want adjustable forks with real buckles NO CONWAYS.

      My borrowed martingale attaches with a clip or a loop to the girth, but what I like is the neck loop has a snap so you can keep the horse in crossties while putting it on.


      • #4
        OTOH, anywhere there is a buckle, snap, etc., tack is more likely to break. Plus it's not as attractive. I think it mostly comes down to tradition, and for many years it was traditional to have a minimal amount of fastenings. As impractical as they are, I have some gorgeous 1950s and 1960s hand-me-down bridles with sewn cheeks and reins that have far outlasted the newer stuff. If only I needed a super wide, cob-sized double bridle, I would be all set.


        • #5
          There is an adjustable breastplate by Tory. It has a snap on one side as well. My pony wears one.
          Pam's Pony Place

          Pam's Pony Ponderings


          • #6
            There are adjustable ones. The Zilco ones for endurance are definitely the best for ease of application with all their snaps! I guess they design so you can rip them off quickly at vet checks. But I do have some leather ones that are adjustable too, Tory makes some, as does Courbette.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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            • #7
              You can just buy your own snaps for about $2 and attach them yourself to the breastplate ...
              "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


              • #8
                I guess I'm not sure I see the point. Why does a piece of tack need so many snaps and buckles? Like Highflyer said, every time you put a buckle or a snap on a piece of tack, it is a spot of weakness. Besides, it IS distracting and unattractive. And what's the big deal of undoing the cross ties to put a breastplate or martingale on? If it is THAT big a deal, just undo the buckle at the shoulder. I've always used the appropriate sized martingale for the horse (cob if he's little, horse if he's not) and never had any issues...I know some people like that adjustable fork thing, I just don't see the need. Just seems like more metal to polish, more stitching to go bad, and more places for the tack to break.


                • #9
                  You're undoing crossties to put on/take off the bridle anyway . . . I just put on/take off the breastplate when I do that.

                  But any piece of tack can be modified with a $2 snap.

                  My show running attachment/fork is elastic and has fit everyone from Gwen the long-necked moose to itty bitty Keebler, no adjustment required. My schooling one I did have modified at the leather shop--added a strap to the bottom with a buckle and 3 holes to allow adjustment. Cost $10.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • Original Poster

                    Hmm, the martingale I have needs to be adjusted to fit my 15.2 hand mare and the 14.3 hand mare and since they are in that dreaded "cob" range the horse is too big and ordering cob is always a stab in the dark with the arab types.

                    During snorty's first show days I'd school her in the dressage ring in a running martingale. It kept us from backing out of a crowded warmup! It needs to be shorter for that and easy to take off from the saddle. Doubt I'll do that again but you never know.

                    Maybe it's just me, but I put the martingale on when I put the saddle on and having the snap on the one I have is fantastic. I think it's easier to snap it on then to buckle and unbuckle.

                    The Tory one is what I'm talking about. The breastplate I have now I put snaps on so I can snap it onto the D ring savers on my saddle instead of doing the buckles but it doesn't have any adjustment on the neck part.