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English Breastplates and Martingales

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English breastplates and martingales are horse equipment that can be used together or separately. English Breastplates keep the saddle from slipping back while you are riding. English Martingales will keep the horse from tossing its head. Breastplates and martingales can come in a variety of leather types. These include flat leather, plain raised, fancy stitched or braided. Breastplates and martingales are normally made of leather. They can also be made of biothane or nylon.

English Martingales are divided into two main categories. The
English standing martingales, also known as a "tiedown" or a "head check", has a single strap which is attached to the girth, passes between the horse's front legs and is fixed to the back of the noseband. It also has a neck strap or a breastplate used in lieu of a neck strap. The English running or German martingale consists of a strap which is attached to the girth and passes between the horse's front legs before dividing into two pieces. At the end of each of these straps is a small metal ring through which the reins pass. It is held in the correct position by a neck strap or breastplate. This type of martingale is less restrictive than the standing martingale.

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