The Western Saddle: Breast Collar

A Breast Collar is used to keep the saddle from slipping backwards. Because it is also attached to the cinch, it may be part of a tie down or martingale attachment.

Western work with cattle requires a sturdier, thicker breast collar than English riding, which uses thinner straps of leather.

Usually attached to the saddle D rings that hold the latigo of the cinch and also has a leather strap that goes between the horse’s front legs and attaches directly to a D ring in the middle of the cinch.

Horse Breast Collars be very decorative, such as when used in full parade dress, or just functional.

When fitting your breast collar, attention should be paid to the shoulders, chest, and the area between the front legs of your horse. You do not want to restrict movement in the front or cause irritation. In general you should be able to fit your fist between the breastplate and the point of the horse’s chest and a hand’s width between the barrel of the horse’s chest and the strap to the cinch. Be sure the buckles don’ t rub and that the chest straps lie ABOVE the point of the shoulder on the side so you don’t restrict the motion.

Breast Collars can be made of Mohair (see Mohair), Cotton, Synthetics, or Leather.

Horse training can be dangerous. Not all methods work on all horses. Instruction presented here is not meant to be prescriptive in nature, and takes no responsibility for the welfare of any animal or person using our methods.

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