Welcome to Horse Breast Collars

A site dedicated to enlightening the novice horse owner about Breast Collars

Breast Collars seem like a straight forward piece of horse tack. Many horse owners use one - some for practical use and others simply for decoratiion.

How a Breast Collar (Breastplate or Breaststrap for English riders) is made and how it is used are important considerations.



The Horse Breast Collar is a safety piece of equipment worn across the horses breast, attached on either side to the saddle D rings that hold the latigo of the cinch and between the legs to the cinch center ring. (see Western Cinches It is used to keep the saddle from slipping back, and it is particularly helpful for horses with flat ribcages. Sometimes a strap is used from the D-ring of the Breast Collar up and over the withers to the other side of the Breast Collar.

The breast collar can give a small amount of security to a saddle that is slipping off a horse's back due to billet or cinch break. Sometimes it can give a rider just enough time to slip off the horse without damage.

Some breast collars have a type of martingale attached. The reins loop down from the bit, through the ring on these leather straps, and back up to the rider's hands. This changes the angle of the rider's pull to the bit. Cutting horses often use this type of rein alignment, as their heads remain low, and it would be very inconvenient for the rider to put pressure with the reins in an upward pull.

Frequently the breast collar is used simply as a piece of dress equipment, purely for show. It has become a prime location for bling.



Breast Collars are most frequently made from leather or mohair. Nylon is also available. They may or may not include the attachment straps. Although the mohair variety is not as flashy, it is a useful piece of working equipment. Leather, of course, is the Cadillac of equipment. We do not recommend nylon because it does not breathe, it traps heat and it builds friction.

Brass and Stainless steel are still the only hardware to consider. Nothing will wear as well. Neither will rust. The mohair breast collar will not last as long as leather.



It is important that the breast collar does not restrict the horse's movement in any way. General rule of thumb is that your fist should fit between the breast collar and the horse's chest. The Breast Collar should ride ABOVE the point of the shoulder so as not to restrict forward movement of the front legs. It should have a hand's width between the withers and the withers strap (if a withers strap is used.)