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Re: [RC] Using breast collars on flat trails... - Truman Prevatt

I'm a pretty much minimalist when it comes to tack. Extra tack is something else that can break or cause problems. On the other hand I tend to have horses that don't need breast collars to keep their saddle in place and I don't even own a crupper. I will use a breast collar from time to time when there is a need, but I would be more likely to use a breast collar on the first loop of a ride that is flat and will be a fast start where the horse could become overly excited than on a steep mountain ride.

If the terrain is too steep for the saddle to stay in place - either going up or down - then I'm on the ground walking or tailing not in the saddle.


Heidi Smith wrote:
I would NEVER ride without one in a ride with
hills and mountains, yet some folks do.....and I have seen the problems
up because they did not have one.

And having seen some pretty hairy problems arise from the cruppers and
breast collars themselves, I would NEVER use either unless I had cause--ie a
saddle that wouldn't stay put.  While I can't say the incidents have been
frequent, I've seen some pretty good wrecks from horses getting limbs and
brush run up under breast collars when working in heavily-treed terrain.
I've spent a great deal of my life riding pretty horrendous terrain, and
doing so in situations much worse than simply riding the trails the way we
do for endurance (chasing cows, full-bore, up, down, and sometimes swapping
directions abruptly on treacherous terrain).  It has been my experience that
when one has horses with properly conformed backs (getting harder and harder
to find these days), a properly fitting saddle stays put, pretty much no
matter what you do, even if the girth is considerably loose.  I've come in
from chasing cows in our "vertical" central Idaho terrain to find my girth
with an inch of air between it and my horse's belly--and will have never had
the saddle budge.  And I've found that even though I've become much heavier
and have difficulty getting on with grace, once I'm up there, my saddle
doesn't budge one iota, uphill or downhill.  (And now that my horse is
finally FIT and has withers again, it doesn't budge much when I get on,
either!)  In a lifetime of riding (ranching and endurance) we've had ONE
horse that needed a breast collar--my Dad's good old gelding that he rode
into his sunset years.  That horse was so shad-bellied that the saddle
drifted back--a conformational flaw, but one we put up with because the
horse was such an honest mount for Dad in his old age.  Only once in my life
have I ever wished for somethingto hold the saddle back--and that was
packing a deer on a riding saddle that didn't fit the horse, down a 25% or
so grade.  (And then, I'd've much preferred a britchen to a crupper, quite
frankly.)  Sorry, but I'll put my effort into horse selection, and leave the
extra googaws off, thank you kindly.



[RC] Using breast collars on flat trails..., Jonni Jewell
Re: [RC] Using breast collars on flat trails..., Heidi Smith