Is this something I should invest in since I do lots of trail rides? I've never had a problem with the saddle slipping back when going uphill because my girth is tight, but wasn't sure if I should get one just in case
I agree but unless you are going right out and climbing steep grades you can wait a bit before getting one.
In fact, in cutting, the trend is moving away from breast collars. The idea is to allow more freedom for the horse's shoulders without the restriction of the collar. There is a great deal of lateral movement and fast starts and stops in cutting. If your saddle fits properly it does not have to be over cinched or does it need a collar for normal riding.
Why spend the money if you don't need it? It's just one more thing to get hung up, irritate the horse, get worn out, be maintained, etc. I used one for one of my horses, but that's it. The others didn't need it so I didn't bother.
I like using breast collars because then you don't have to tighten the cinch as much and the saddle won't slip as easy and the horse has morch cinch room to breath..... but for me a breastcollar is neccesary w/ my mule.... I really like the pulling collars becuase they go with the conformation of the horse instead of against it.....
I have 1 breast collar... it does not match ANY of my saddles...lol... BUT I don't use it either. I bought a used rope type collar and will only use it only if needed... I do think they look cool tho. I would wait untill you actually need one. Spend the money on a good saddle bag to carry H2O and a cell phone and a couple snacks etc for your trail rides. (you thought I was going to say don't spend any money didn't ya! )