Lucy's Tips

Why do we use leather headcollars?

Why use a leather headcollar? Well because they look fantastic (ok I am biased I know). In my experience most people use leather headcollars for safety reasons when travelling or turning out. This is because the leather will break when under pressure, reducing the risk of injury should your horse manage to get their headcollar stuck somewhere. But, did you know, not all of these leather headcollars are as safe as you think?

One of the most common repairs I see in my workshop are broken leather headcollars. That’s great to see, they’ve done their job and a quick repair from me and it’s a whole new lease of life with minimal waste. However, so often the headcollars I see have broken metalwork rather than broken leather. This is because, a lot of the mass produced headcollars use poor quality leather (or in some cases soft leathers like calfskin), which are then reinforced with nylon webbing inside. This results in the metalwork breaking rather than the leather, meaning that not only is it slower to break, but also creates a second risk factor with the sharp edges caused by metal snapping.

When I make headcollars I try to keep it as simple as possible, just the finest English bridle leather and top-quality fittings, stitched together with linen thread. Although there are no guarantees with a natural material like leather, and unpredictable animals like horses, keeping things simple and quality definitely helps.

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