A horse collar is the contact point between the harness and the horse’s shoulder. A well-fitting collar spreads the load evenly across the shoulder. This enables the horse to lean into the load comfortably while working.
In other words, the collar is the single most important piece of equipment for the horse’s comfort and safety.
Ever own an uncomfortable pair of shoes? If they’re too small, your feet hurt and your toes ache. And if the shoes are too big, your feet slip around inside and you get blisters. Every time you wear them, all you can do is think about getting them off.
An ill-fitting collar, one that’s too tight or too loose, can cause pinches, muscle and skin sores, limiting what your horse can/will do for you.
So, how do you make sure you and your horse won’t have any unnecessary pain?
Well, we can’t really fix bad shoe decisions. But we know how to help your horse!
A good-fitting, quality collar is what they need. Now that we’ve said it, that seems obvious.
But how do you make sure you have a good-fitting collar? How do you measure your horse’s neck to get the right size?
In this video, Terry makes a very nice Vanna White (if you’re old enough to remember who she is…) to show you how it’s done.
Measuring a working horse for a collar:
- You need to know how deep and how wide your horse’s neck is. (This is much easier if you have an ‘EZ Measure’ stick, but you can use two carpenter’s squares together).
- Depth: Measure along the plane of his shoulder from the top to the bottom, as if you’re going through his neck, not around the curvature.
- Width: Next, you need to know the width of the neck at the widest point.
- Once you have these measurements, call us and we can recommend a proper collar.
Please keep in mind there are several variables with collars and harness:
- Kind & material
- Horse breed & measurements
- Hame style
- And, if you pad your collar or not. Hey, we wrote a handy article about this a short while ago. Check it out.
Of course, long-distance collar fitment is difficult to do. So we encourage you to watch the video to get the best results. Or better yet, if possible, bring your horse to our shop and we’ll do it for you!
WHILE YOU’RE HERE, CHECK OUT THE ACS STORE FOR THESE SELECT ITEMS