Online Tack and Horse Equipment Guide: Belly Guard

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Belly guardAs the sport of show jumping has grown, certain items of
tack that once looked peculiar have become more familiar to the average
equestrian. Such is the case with the belly guard. At first glance the belly
guard looks like a shield to save the horse’s underside from bumps and scrapes
obtained while scrambling over difficult jumps. But that’s not the case. Many
sport horses competing in jumping and eventing have caulks or studs temporarily
screwed into their shoes. They act like cleats to provide traction and
stability, especially when the course is set on grass or damp, heavy dirt. When
these equine athletes snap up their knees to clear the jumps, they often smack
their undersides with their front shoes. That can leave painful marks from the
caulks and studs. The belly guard prevents that. Made from thick padded
leather, belly guards can either be buckled onto a standard English girth or
incorporated into one already designed for high-performance competition.

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