Breastplate/collar education needed please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Breastplate/collar education needed please

My skinny TB has been a total PITA to fit a saddle to. He is high withered and about as narrow as I am - I've been working really hard on his weight and he has filled out recently.

I was totally unable to find a saddle that fit him previously without getting one custom made, that was out of my budget - so I had the best fit I could and used a riser. Since he has filled out, he is easier to fit a saddle to, and a new one is coming soon.

However his saddles have always slid backwards. I usually get off part way through my ride (at least once) and take it off and put it back on again. I've never had to use a breast collar/plate before - so I don't really know anything about them.

Are they all the same? Is there something I should look for or something I should avoid? I ride exclusively English.

Thanks in advance for any advise given.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 11:18 PM
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There are a few different styles of english breastplates to choose from. There are the all leather hunting style breastplates, the Y shape elastic style breastplate, and the 5 point style breastplate. The traditional hunting style breastplates can also come with smaller elastic sections at the sides on some models, they also have a leather strap that goes across the withers. The Y shape breastplates don't have the strap that goes over the withers and they have long elastic sides. The 5 point breastplates have 5 points of attachment to the saddle and the girth, an elastic section and a strap across the withers. The 5 point style is the most secure style of breastplate that you can get. It might be your best bet seeing as though the saddle moves so much on your horse.

I forgot to mention, it would be a good idea to buy Dee Ring Savers to attach your breastplate to your saddle. They loop on over the stirrup bars, this would be the strongest part of the saddle to attach to.
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Last edited by HorsesAreMyPassion; 05-10-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-10-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! That's just what I needed to know!

I suppose that I can expect rub marks (doesn't matter much)? Or does that depend on how you adjust them?
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 08:32 AM
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Alex, most 5-point I've seen have a fleece circle attached to prevent rubbing. However from my understanding 5-point is geared towards eventers (I very well may be wrong). I myself have a traditional 3-point. They come either all leather or leather + elastic (the latter has some "give"). Unless you plan on doing any big jumping I'd go with all leather. I never had issues with rubbing.

P.S. If you have some extra-$$ I'd look into Nunn Finer. I've seen those in Dover and they are very nice quality for the price.

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 11:30 AM
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Is the riser pad pushing the saddle back?
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Is the riser pad pushing the saddle back?
Sadly no, now that he is fitting other saddles they slide back too and they are not being used with a riser.

Thanks for the advise Val, I'll look into it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:24 PM
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I took a look at a lot of Nunn-Finer tack at the Bit of Britain tent at the Rolex and it is a nice piece of kit.

If I ever find the need for a breastplate the Nunn-Finer five-point would be my choice.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:46 PM
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Yes, the 5 point breastplates are most commonly seen on eventers, but there are becoming more common with show jumpers and field (fox) hunting as well now.

The 5 point is the most secure style of breastplate, that is why I suggested it, seeing as though you are having very obvious saddle slipping issues with your saddle and horse.

The 5 point style would distribute the pressure over a greater area than the other 3 point styles, seeing as though it also attaches at the lower girth billets/higher up on the girth straps, as well as at the regular attachment areas of the saddle and girth. With the regular 3 point styles, with a saddle that is prone to slipping back while ridding, the pressure can be very high on the 2 points of attachment at the top of the saddle which then causes more pressure to the horse in that area as well.

It's up to you which style you choose to best fit your needs. If you think one of the 3 point styles may be enough to do the job that you need it to do then I would definitely recommend one of those styles, but if the slipping issue is a big problem, the 5 point may be best regardless of what discipline you do and whether or not it is commonly seen in that discipline.

Would it be possible for you to try out the different styles? If you know someone who could lend you theirs to try out that could be helpful in deciding which style would work best for your needs.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 01:54 PM
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I find that the five point is the best at securing a saddle that slips.

The next best is the traditional hunt breastplate. As said above, it attaches at three points. It allows some slippage, in extreme cases, since it does not secure the girth area.

Equally effective to prevent bad slippage is the breast girth that usually only attaches at two points. But, these two points are at the girth and often prevents slipping better than the hunting breast plate. However, it does interfere with shoulder movement more.

Some attach it at the dees to prevent the shoulder interference, but it makes it less effective to prevent slippage.

Alex, I hope this helps.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-11-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, that really does help a lot. I think I will go with the 5 point, the whole idea is to secure the saddle and as this is the most secure - it makes the most sense. I also like that the pressure is more evenly spread out.

I've never had to use such an excessive amount of tack before - laugh. Is there anything I should know about how to fit it? I assume, it would be just set at a regular tension, not too tight, not loose?
Sorry for the dumb questions, and thanks for being tolerant! :)
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