How to Initially adjust our Breast Collars
Initial Adjustment Tips for Breast Collars, including Pulling Collars for Trail Riding
A Breast Collar for trail riding has only one j-o-b. If you are trail riding up a steep incline and your saddle slips back, it should engage and prevent the saddle (and you) from slipping off. Otherwise, a breast collar should lightly float, resting above the shoulder blades. When your horse walks on flat ground, it should not be pulling or tugging or under tension. More like a necklace than a tightened belt.
The Pulling Collar is adjusted differently. These are designed for narrow withered horses and mules. They are designed to stay in light, constant contact with the animal's body at a narrower upright angle. From the Breast Ring Center to the saddle's pommel, the Shoulder Strap should have contact yet move with the shoulders. It should have give but not sloppy slack. Like a belt on a pair of jeans that fit.
The Western Breast Collar may need to be adjusted differently, if used for working cattle and roping.
Initial Adjustments Should Be Done In This Order:
- Let the saddle settle into the normal riding position
Breast Collar On
- Secure the Over-the-Mane Wither strap, if applicable.
- Snap the Saddle Connector straps on the breast collar into the Dee Rings on the sides of the saddle.
- Feed the Cinch Strap between the front legs and snap into the ring on the cinch (or the girth adapter)
Shoulders Strap Position / Angle
- Shoulder Straps should lay just above the shoulder blade at the same angle as the shoulder blade
- If the shoulder strap is pulled back & below the shoulder blade, let the saddle connector out.
- If the shoulder strap is flopped forward, tighten the saddle connector
Breast Ring & Shoulder Straps
- Check the Breast Ring. It should be at rest in the center of the breast. You should be able to fit about a fist behind the shoulder straps and breast collar ring
- At the shoulder strap buckle - you should tighten or loosen until you can fit about a fist behind the shoulder straps and breast collar ring. Do not over-tighten and alter the angle.
Breast Ring to Cinch Ring (Girth Ring)
Note - It can be dangerous to leave this strap too long or to over tighten it. A horse in water etc. can get a leg caught. Cinch / Girth straps too tight will cause rubbing and the cinch to gall
- With the Breast Ring in the Center of the Breast, simply loosen or tighten this strap at the Conway buckle until about a fist of strap "dangle" is achieved
Your Breast Collar should now be fit. Remember our Patterns, Materials & our comfortable Strategic Stitching allow an improved, athletic fit without rubbing or chaffing your horse's skin.
Time to Check & Test
Should you need to add adjustment holes -
- Is the Breast Collar adjusted to "do the j-o-b"? I like to simulate the saddle slipping back, with me safely on the ground. Loosen the cinch. Move the saddle back. Does the Breast Collar engage before the saddle has slipped too far back and into a danger zone? If not, re-adjust.
- Once everything is adjusted & secured, ride in a safe, controlled area and double check your tack. BioThane does not stretch, but it gives and flexes with your horse. It also flattens, shapes and has a temporary "memory". Like with any new Tack, a few times on your first ride in your new tack, plan to stop and check that all is adjusted and fitting as desired.
- Check your tack's fit frequently. Your horse's weight gains and losses over the riding season may require additional adjustments.
Giddy Up - You are Done
Have a SpecTACKular Ride!
We are always here to assist. Please contact us for virtual coaching or with any questions.