This breastplate is based on scientific research and is designed to:
- Prevent the saddle slipping back when needed
- Work without restricting the horse’s breathing
- Allow the horse to maintain his natural jumping action or shape over a fence
The Performance Breastplate was developed using Pliance Pressure mapping and Centaur Biomechanics gait analysis.
Testing & Design
The top image, without a breastplate, tracks the horse’s fore and hind limb movement throughout the trajectory of the jump. You can see the horse’s jump forms a smooth curve over the fence from take-off to landing.
In the bottom image, with a breastplate, the horse’s lead foot makes contact with the ground much closer to the fence and the landing phase of the jump is steeper.
Our testing into breastplate designs showed that using a breastplate has a significant negative effect on the horse’s action as he jumps.
When a breastplate is attached to a saddle and then the girth, it forms, in effect, a ‘cage’ around the horse’s shoulder apparatus that restricts his movement over a jump.
The highest pressures were consistently seen at the moment when the horse is at the peak of take-off and its shoulder is in its most forward position. However, biomechanical analysis showed that the whole jump is adversely affected by the breastplate from this point onwards:
The shape of the jump from take-off to landing (the trajectory) is shortened the horse’s landing is steeper the horse’s hind legs are “cramped” in the landing phase, with the joints flexing more in an attempt to clear the fence
Furthermore, both over-flexing and landing more steeply cause increased wear and tear on the horse’s limbs and joints.
Scientific trials have shown that the Fairfax Performance Breastplate does not interfere with the horse’s natural jumping action or shape over the fence.
Use & Care
- A tube of Rapide Leathergel is supplied. Apply this leather feed to both the under and upper surfaces before using the breastplate for the first time. We recommend Rapide Leathergel for regular cleaning and feeding of the leather
- Immediately after use wipe all traces of sweat off the leather using warm water.
- If the leather has become wet, dry thoroughly then apply leather feeder.
- Important Do NOT use any glycerine-based products (such as saddle soap) or oil-based treatments (such as neatsfoot oil). These will adversely affect the finish of the leather Never use wet tack
1. Position the yoke of the breastplate at the base of the horse’s neck. Not so high that it pulls on the windpipe, or so low that it dangles on the chest.
2. Adjust straps 1 and 2 (as shown on the picture) so the yoke is held comfortably in place.
3. Thread your (long) girth through the elastic loop. On a monoflap saddle thread the loop under the first girth strap and onto the second (as shown).
4. Place the edge of your hand against the horse’s chest between his body and the yoke of the breastplate.
5. Adjust strap three.
6. If using a martingale, use one with a traditional loose neck strap (not one that attaches to the saddle D-rings) and position it over the top of the breastplate.
In the Press
Read the article published in British Eventing LIfe about the effect the Breastplate has on a horse's performance