What Are Wither Straps For Horses? (What Purpose Do They Serve)

Horses often become participants of various competitions and demonstration performances, therefore different variations of equipment are provided for them in order to ensure the convenience of the horse and the rider, also depending on the type of event, to make a ride on the horse safe. For example, in a barrel of horse racing, an element such as the wither strap is often used.

wither straps

What is the purpose of wither straps? Basically, wither strap is helping to hold the breast collar in the right position. Sometimes the breast collar might fall down or scratch the horse’s chest. And here comes the wither strap to help. It can be easier to manage your horse, especially when it comes to high speeds and sharp turns.

Wither straps usage

Wither strap is essentially a simple strap with hooks at both ends. Therefore, it is not so difficult to make this element yourself, but they are also usually sold in specialized stores. A good life hack is that if you want, you can even use a dog collar as a wither strap. Many riders prefer their wither strap to be styled with a special design to give even more uniqueness to the horse and its equipment. The material of the strip does not matter, although they are usually made of leather.

Wither strap is not a mandatory part of equipping a horse, it simply adds some convenience. This allows you to make maneuvers with greater ease and does not allow the horse to become entangled in breast collar. The advantages of wither strap in the barrel racing are that these jumps for a while, every second counts, and it is worthwhile to take care that nothing prevents the horse and the rider from doing all maneuvers quickly and easily.

What is a horse’s wither area?

Place on the spine between the shoulder blades of a four-legged animal. In many species, it is the highest point of the body. In horses, the withers form part of the spinal column between the 3rd and 11th dorsal vertebrae (most horses have 18 dorsal vertebrae), which are unusually elongated in this part of the body. Since the withers do not move relative to ground level (both in horses and dogs), it is used to measure the height of a horse. Usually, the height of a horse is measured in the palms – 4 inches in one palm. Horses can have significantly different growths – from small ponies to large pig horses. The average height at the withers of a purebred horse is 16 palms, for ponies – 14.2 palms.

What is barrel racing?

Now, this is probably the only discipline in the rodeo, where only women perform. Participants will start one at a time, it is necessary as quickly as possible to drive the route around three barrels, arranged in a triangle. This sport is quite spectacular since everything happens at high speeds and the track has sharp turns. In such races, the rider and horse teamwork is important to ensure the best maneuverability and coherence. Often such races are not only competitive but also present at demonstration performances.

What is horse’s equipment?

Equipment for horses has a powerful base of all kinds of parts. At first glance, for the usual promenade enough quality bridles and comfortable saddle. And yet, this occupation is directly associated with the risk of injury, so it is very important to protect yourself as much as possible and to think through every detail. In modern horse breeding, “armor” for training, road and safety ammunition is distinguished. It is necessary to realize that, for example, equipment for training is used only on a well-rounded and calm horse, and the remaining aids are sharpened to correct the character of the animal. The most important components for coordinating the actions of a horse are the bridle and bit. This is the foundation with which the rider performs the basic commands, shows the course and sometimes even pacifies the obstinate quadruped. In combination with voice signals, changes in the position of the body, they are the very lever that can subjugate the recalcitrant animal.


Wither strap is a useful addition to the horse’s basic equipment. Provides convenient control, as well as allows the horse to feel free and protects against any inconvenience of the chest collar.


I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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