While in theory, that sounds completely logical, that's not something I've seen in practice. Most people start the year with a dedicated collar for each horse but as the season goes on and the horse looses weight, gains muscle their necks can change dramatically. Not many can go out and buy a 2nd or 3rd set of collars as their horses change. What I see at our auctions is the professional drivers buy up a wide range of used collars to fill in with. I think it's more important in the selection process to have the right size and the right fit (regular, half sweeney or full sweeney) over new. Check to see if the straw is not broken (it will flop open when you unbuckle it) and it's "full" and even. Pads are another issue. I cringe when people buy armloads of dirty, sweat stained smelly pads. Spurge and always buy new. Pads are 2" bigger than the collar size. If you use 24" collars, buy 26" pads.
I can buy a good condition used (draft size) for $30-60. New 2nds $50-90.
Last edited by Left Hand Percherons; 03-20-2011 at 11:36 AM.