Racing Tack

Eyeshields

Also known as pacifiers, eyeshields are mainly used to protect a horse’s eyes from particles of mud or sand which are thrown up by the hoofs of other horses. They look similar to blinkers, but instead of the cowls, both eyes are covered by a mesh or other transparent material.

Eyeshields

Neck strap

A trainer may put a neck strap on a horse to help the jockey to control the horse’s pace without having to haul on the reins. It also gives the jockey something to grab hold of if the horse stumbles or lands awkwardly over a jump. The neck strap is a thin leather strap which goes round the base of the horse’s neck. It often has a girth strap which anchors the neck strap at one point in the circle.

Neck strap

Breastgirth

This is a chest strap made of leather, strong elastic or webbing. It attaches to the D-rings of the saddle on one side, passes around the chest and attaches in the same way on the other side. It will usually have a wither strap, which is used to adjust the height of the chest strap and prevent it from slipping down.

Breastgirth

Lip chain

A lip chain may occasionally be used to give the handler more control over a horse that is liable to misbehave in the paddock. The lip chain goes through the bit ring, passes between the lips and over the top of the gums under the top lip, and through the opposite ring. Alternatively, the lip chain may be connected to a strap that goes over the horse’s ears.

Lip chain

Irish martingale

This consists of a short leather strap with a metal ring at each end. The reins are passed through the rings and then buckled. This is not a true martingale, which is an item of tack used to control a horse’s head carriage. Instead, the Irish martingale is used in racing to prevent the reins from coming over the horse’s head and getting tangled up should the horse fall.

Irish martingale

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