One of my biggest pet peeves is people using equipment just because they think it looks cool. Granted, if you are going to use a piece of equipment just for looks, I guess a breastplate is the one to use (better than using a harsh bit because it looks cool). My philosophy is "less is more." If the horse doesn't need it, I don't use it. My old hunter did need a breastplate. He had HUGE withers and it took some serious saddle fitting and creative padding, along with a breastplate, to make everything work right. If I didn't use one, my saddle would end up in the middle of his back.