Whether you ride for pleasure, to compete or a mix of both, a neck strap is a useful piece of kit. Making sure the neck strap fits both horse and rider is important, and much of this is down to personal preference and the build of your horse’s shoulders, neck and wither.
Wondering whether you need a neck strap? Here are eight reasons to always pop one on.
How to fit a neck strap
Charlotte Fountain is a Society of Master Saddlers qualified saddler and Master Saddle Fitter for Colne Saddlery in Gloucestershire.
“Make sure the strap isn’t so tight that it’s too far up the neck to reach, but also not so loose that it’s too far back. It needs to be in a good position for the rider to put a finger through without needing to move their hands,” she explains.
Charlotte adds that while many event riders make do with an old stirrup leather, racing yards she visits would never use one as they are too bulky.
“Work riders at racing yards always ride with a finger in the strap and they use thinner ones — usually around half an inch wide, whereas a stirrup leather is usually one inch. We make lots of custom straps, especially for younger riders on ponies where a thinner strap is easier for them to use.
“Some people use their martingale strap instead of a neck strap. These can work well, although something like a three- or five-point breastplate doesn’t work, as it sits too near the saddle.”
Whether you ride for pleasure, to compete or a mix of both, a neck strap is a useful piece of kit.
Shop for neck straps
Kate Negus Saddlery Neck Strap
Colours: Black, chestnut
Sizes: One size
Buy at katenegus.com
This English leather neck strap has two keepers to keep any excess leather neat and tidy. There’s plenty of adjustment for a good fit, and a brass buckle. Ideal whether you’re competing, riding a youngster horse or appreciate an extra place to grab.
Bespoke SXC Neck Straps
RRP from £19.99
Colours: Black, brown, burgundy/ maroon, cerise, flo lime, flo orange, flo pink, flo yellow, gold, grey, light blue, navy, orange, purple, red, sky blue, teal, white, yellow
Sizes: Pony, cob/ full
Buy at superxcountry.co.uk
This equine safety neck strap is made from BioThane, which looks and feels like leather and is durable, easy to clean and waterproof.
These straps come in a huge range of colours and can be customised with your name, your horse’s name, business name, team name or logo. You can choose from a range of fasteners and buckles too.
Salute Equestrian Click & Connect Championship Range
RRP from £170
Colours: Black, brown
Sizes: Small, medium, large
Buy at saluteequestrian.com
Suitable for all riders, the Click & Connect Neck Strap has been designed by a British international event rider and British Horse Society accredited coach, developed from working with riders and horses of all levels from novice to international competitor.
Permitted for FEI, British Dressage, British Show Jumping, British Eventing and The Pony Club, the Click & Connect Neck Strap is specifically designed to meet the 2019 FEI Ruling.
There are nine different ways this leather neck strap can be fitted and it can be worn on its own or attached to your saddle, martingale or breastplate. There’s even an option for personalisation too.
Velociti GARA Leather Neck Strap
Sizes: 3/4 /60″, 3/4″ /40″, 3/4 X 50, 7/8″ /40″, 7/8 X 50
For stockists: shiresequestrian.com
A quality leather neck strap which acts as a useful aid for extra grip and safety. This neck strap is available in three sizes to cater for different horses and hands.
Cathedral Equine Neck Strap
Colours: Black, brown
Sizes: Pony, cob, full, extra full
Buy at cathedral-equine.co.uk
A black rolled leather neck strap with buckle adjustment that fits flat over your horse’s wither. Available in four different sizes.