Where can I put quick release snaps on my harness?

Do you want to add some quick release snaps to your harness but you don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place!

First, we’ll discuss the different snaps that can be used. I’ll discuss three main types here and then show you where they can be used.

This is your typical quick release shackle. To release it you pull on the little ring and, walla, it will snap open!

This is our 2001 Stainless Steel Snap. These are typically used for minis and small ponies – NOT big horses and draft horses.

This is called a Swivel Snap with Locking Jaw. Sometimes, also known as an Alligator snap. We don’t sell these so I have made the above a link to the best place to purchase them I have found!

The Quick Release Shackle

The Quick Release Shackle is a pretty well known option. Many people use these in various places on their harness. The size of your equine will dictate where you can use these particular ones. These are rather large for the minis and small ponies so we suggest using them ONLY for the traces – attaching the traces to the single tree.

If you have a large horse or a draft you can also use these for the hold back straps, wrapping the straps around the shafts and then snapping the shackle to the ring on the breeching. Here is a blog that shows how to attach these to your hold back straps: Adding a Snap to Your Hold Back Straps

PLEASE!! If you are using this style Quick Release Shackles be sure to use thread locker on the screw that attaches the shackle to your hold back strap, the single tree, or the Hyperbike Quick Hitch strap. Here is a blog that shows how to do that: Quick Release Shackle Care

Below is a little video showing how the quick release shackle works with the combo end trace and a single tree on a cart:

The 2001 Stainless Steel Snap

These are the 2001 Stainless Steel Snaps. These work great on the mini and small pony sized hold back straps. Here is a blog that shows how to put these snaps on the hold back straps you currently have:Snaps for your Hold Back Straps


The Swivel Snap with locking jaw

Many people use this style snap on their turn back strap. They will slide the turn back strap through the loop on this snap and then snap the jaw to the D-ring at the back of the saddle. If you do this please be sure to LOCK that jaw so it doesn’t come undone while you are driving. Having the entire back half of your harness come off while trotting down the road would be devastating!

Having the option to open this little snap if you are in a tricky situation can be very helpful. It will allow the entire back of the harness to come off the pony or horse meaning they can step away from the shafts if the traces are released and the over girth is loosened. 

There are a few reasons I wouldn’t use a clip in this spot:

  1. The clip tends to bounce. It can bounce right on their spine if you don’t have enough padding under you saddle to help keep it up off the equine.
  2. It can come open on it’s own. That is a disaster!
  3. It’s just one more piece of hardware that can fail.

Be sure to purchase a high quality one that LOCKS!!

I couldn’t find a photo of this device on a harness so I’ll try to explain how it attaches for those that really want to have one on their harness. (I have put one on my harness only to have it bounce and drive me crazy so I took it off before I even finished the drive I was on. I DO NOT use this clip!!)

You will run the strap of the turn back strap through the strap loop on the clip, then clip the mouth of the snap on the D-ring that is on the back of the saddle (the same ring the turn back strap runs through without the snap). The little lock mechanism will be on the TOP of the snap. It looks like a little wheel.

Hopefully, this blog helps you figure out where you would like to have a quick release shackle or a snap on your harness. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at mindy@chimacumtack.com!

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