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Hi. I have been riding about 3 years, and about 8 months ago, I started getting into jumping. I was looking at tack, and found breasts plates and martingales. I always thought breast plates were used to control the horse's head when jumping. But, I saw a martingale does the same thing. Can someone please help me understand what the difference is and what kind of correct breast plate or martingale you are supposed to use for show jumping.
 

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Breast plate is used to help keep a saddle from slipping backward. <br />
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There are different types of martingales. And while they are commonly misused to create a false headset, their true use is, in general, to keep the rider from being hit on the face by the horse's head if it were to suddenly raise it above a certain point.<br />
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A breast plate with running martingale attachments is most often used in eventing and show jumping - you have the combination of keeping the saddle in place plus the martingale there as a 'safety net' should anything happen to cause the horse to get its head up high enough to hit you in the face and/or put the action of the bit in the corners of the mouth instead of on the bars
If its correctly fitted it won't interfere at all with the horses natural head set
 
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