A horse neck (or full) collar is a part of a horse harness that is used to distribute the load around a horse’s neck and shoulders when pulling a wagon or plough.
When using a neck collar, the collar itself often supports and pads a pair of curved metal or wood pieces, called hames, to which the traces of the harness are attached. The collar allows the horse to use its full strength when pulling, essentially enabling the horse to push forward with its hindquarters into the collar. The collar has another advantage over the yoke as it reduces pressure on the horse’s windpipe.
Historically collars have been made of leather coverings stuffed with either long or chopped straw. Shapes are available to fit most types of equines from VSEs to Draft sizes, horses, donkeys, mules, Zebra’s etc.
Chimacum Tack offers neck collars in many sizes and styles to fit a wide variety of equines. All of our neck collars are hand made using traditional methods and machinery and skilled craftsmanship. We offer collars in leather, Betathane (Carefree) and the new Feather Flex synthetic collar.
Breastcollars serve a similar function as neck collars. with harness for lighter work, pulling with just it’s shoulders. Traditionally breastcollars were a straight strap across the chest which attached to the traces (or tugs) and connect the horse to the vehicle. That style is still widely in use today. Buggy harness or often show harness is made with a straight breastcollar held in place with a single strap over the neck. Sport harness or harness used for heavier work often has a V breastcollar to avoid constricting the airway. Some breastcollars feature both a deep V and a higher curve over the point of the shoulder to allow for freedom of shoulder movement.
Comfy collars (some called Euro collar or Brollar) are a combination of a V breastcollar with freedom of shoulder movement with the top section of a full neck collar. The upper part of the Comfy collar is not stuffed like a full collar and is quite flexible. The combination allows the equine to use both his hindquarters and chest to pull.