Breast Collars are generally an optional item on a saddle but for disciplines like barrel racing, roping, and cow horse where our horses make quick stops and turns with powerful acceleration and pull they can be a life saver. Steep inclines on the trail are another place a breast collar is invaluable.
Fit: A breast collar will prevent your saddle from rolling or slipping back. It helps you to not have to cinch up as tight also. A good breast collar should work on both small and larger horses. Often riders will buy breast collars that are too big. If there’s so much length between the breast collar D rings that you end up taking several wraps of the tug straps around the D Rings on the saddle the breast collar is too big. The extra wraps make a lump at the D ring that can be uncomfortable on your knees if you bump them.
There are so many breast collars on the market that are too big. I try to build a breast collar that will fit both a 2 yr. old and an older, larger horse. It’s better to purchase a quality breast collar that’s shorter in length between the D rings and take up or let out the tug straps to fit both small and large horses.
Safety Checks: It’s important when saddling up to be certain the breast collar is even across the chest (A). Fasten the right-hand tug to the right D ring on your saddle then hold the breast collar up to see if the center of the breast collar is in the middle of your horse’s chest. If so, attach the left tug to the saddle D ring. Adjust the tug straps evenly on each side until you have a fairly snug fit. Next snap the center strap between the legs. Be sure after you fasten it to the D ring on the cinch that it is right in the middle of the space between your horse’s front legs. If it’s off to one side it means your cinch D is not in the middle of the horse’s belly and you need to even out the length of your latigos on each side of your saddle to even up your cinch. Check after you saddle each time that you don’t have a twist in a tug strap (B). This happens to almost everyone occasionally. Finally, check your tug straps and center strap for wear before riding (C). For safety’s sake you never want to ride with worn leather on any piece of gear.
Breast Collars are important pieces of equipment that help stabilize your saddle. I have a wide variety of handmade breast collars available for training, showing, ranching, roping, trail riding, and barrel racing at Dennis Moreland Tack. I also make replacement tugs and replacement center snap and buckle pieces. For more information please visit: http://hcity.co/Breastcollars or call 817-312-5305.