Fitting a breastplate properly??

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Fitting a breastplate properly??

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  • How to correctly fit a breastplate on a horse
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    05-30-2010, 02:00 PM
Question Fitting a breastplate properly??

Hey folks, I recently bought a breastplate at a local saddlery sale... I'm worried about fit though, as I've never had one of this style. I want to use it for jumping this summer as we're schooling my guy in Jumper shows this summer for the first time and I worry about him jumping out of the tack (seriously lol).

I'll try to describe it first since I can't find the exact picture online to show you.

It is a straight elastic (wide) band, with a perpendicular leather attachment for the girth (runs between the legs). Holding it up it forms a T (isn't V shaped like the ones I'm used to). It has NO wither strap (like the hunting ones I'm used to). It also has removeable running martingale straps.

Now, this type of "T" style breastplate - is it supposed to fit more up toward the base of the neck and attach to the D rings on my saddle? Or is it meant to attach to the billets on the girth? I've seen jumpers like Nick Skelton and Arko with similar straight-across breastplates... but it seems like the tack shop photos are tight fitting (I'm guessing just to make the breastplate look nice in the photos) and I don't believe it should fit so tight as to restrict airways....

Any suggestions on how a straight-across breastplate is to fit? I assumed a fist width between his neck and the band but I'm worried about it fitting too high... so maybe it's supposed to attach to the billets?

Here's some photos I've found of ones that are similar:

Shires 4198 Eventing Elastic Breastplate this one is pretty close to what we have - mine naturally sits about the same place, maybe an inch higher.*.jpg
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    05-31-2010, 07:43 AM
Both pictures seem to have it fitted to the "Ds" on their saddle. As to how tight, unlike a leather breast plate which has little or no give, the elastic type is meant to stretch under pressure from the saddle. If it is loose to begin with, it will have no affect when called for. I believe it should be snug but not stretched when first fitting it. If placed properly, it has no affect on your horse's airway.

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