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measurebridleOver the last forty years, when people order a harness it has not been possible for me to measure all the horses personally. Therefore customers or trainers are required to supply measurements. So many details influence a ‘measurement.’ The breed, particular horse, age, fitness, intended use, the owner and trainer, and last, but not least the prevailing opinion on the ‘proper’ fit and look – i.e., measurements! I would like to present a harness maker’s perspective on measuring for a harness. Function and form can be at odds, but the horse deserves the best in that struggle.

There are six broad areas of concern: bridle, back pad and backstrap (turnback), breeching, breast collar and neck strap, full collar, and breast plate (false martingale). Each of these has particular issues of construction and fit. It is a great aid to harness the horse (with almost anything) in order to give points of reference for measurements. Placement of the various particular parts lengthen and shorten both attached and adjacent parts. Although made up of various parts, it is necessary for them to act in proper coordination for the safety, comfort, and beauty of presentation.

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