Attaching An English Breast Plate To Your Horse's Saddle

Although it is called an English breast plate, attacking an English breastplate to your horse’s saddle is actually something that very little English people or indeed European people do. It is much more commonplace in the USA and Australia but is a habit that we would love to see take place more often all over the world.

Ideally you should always have an English breast collar or breast plate hooked up to your saddle because if for example your girth breaks and your saddle comes loose, or if you go into an area which may dislodge the girth, the breast plate helps the saddle to stay in the centre of the horse’s back.

To attach the breast plate to the saddle you should clear any straps that are already on the horses head and ask the horse to stand. Then begin by sliding the upper piece over your horse’s head and arrest the other piece on the horse’s withers which is where it will be going eventually anyway.

If your horse is known for running away while you were strapping him up, then remember to place the straps back over his head that were already there otherwise you may find that you were running after him all day trying to get him back!

Once the breast plate is sitting correctly take the protruding straps that are hanging by the horse’s withers and attach them to the saddle. Any bit of straps that is leftover can be reversed back through the buckle so that it is not simply hanging out and flapping around. The same can then be done on the other side of the horse so that both sides match each other. When this is done the breast plate should now be lying roughly in the centre of the horse’s chest.

You will notice that there is now our spare book or hanging below the breast plate and this should be stretched around to the horse’s girth and attached to the spare catch that you will find there. When this is done you will now have the breast plate attached to the horse itself.

If you haven’t already attached the bridle to the horse then now is a good time to do this. Again, you will need to onto the straps known as the holster that you have around the horse’s head for keeping him in place, and if your horse is the type of horse that likes to bolt away given the chance then you will need to keep a firm hand on his head as you slip the bridle over his nose. Generally speaking if you are nice to your horse during this stage he will be nice to you also!

With the reins already placed over his neck and with the bridle that correctly fits the horse that you are putting it onto, you are going to want to take the nose band and bring it up to the top and hold it where the brow band is.

If the horse is a little bit difficult, and since you need to get it into its mouth, a good tip is to place a finger gently into the corner of the horse’s mouth in order to get them to open it and for you to get the bridle where it needs to go.

Pop the horse’s ears through the other end of the bridle and attach the reins. Tighten everything up while encouraging the horse the whole time since many horses really don’t like this stage of tacking up. The brow band can then be placed behind the actual bridle straps and tightened enough but not quite enough that it is going to hurt the horse.

Lastly you should take the throat latch and attach that to the keeper on one end and the bridle on the other end. Now that that is done just make sure that there is no hair caught anywhere that the saddle is correctly in place, and now you know exactly how easy attaching an English breast plate to your horse’s saddle is!

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