What’s that? Explaining cruppers
You may have seen straps extending across a horse’s rump from time, especially horses in harness and wondered what’s going on there. Is it just to keep a horse’s tail raised in a showy manner?
Nope. Those are probably cruppers, and they have a real safety purpose. Cruppers (or croupers) consist of a loop that fits under the horse’s tailhead, and an adjustable strap which fastens onto a saddle or harness. The crupper’s primary function is to keep the saddle or harness from sliding forward, where they might fit more loosely. The portion that fits under the tail was once made of leather but these days is usually a smooth tube stuffed with linseed to keep it from becoming hard and irritating. Cruppers may be single or double forked across the croup.
Cruppers should be adjusted so that they’re snug but not so tight that they cause irritation to the skin under the tail. Like many other safety devices, they’re meant to engage only when needed, so the horse shouldn’t feel pressure on the tail unless the harness or pack saddle actually begins to move. They’re especially helpful for horses with low withers or narrow shoulders, whose conformation makes equipment more likely to slip.
You’ll most often see cruppers being used with harness, but when they are used with saddles you’ll find them in endurance riding, trail riding, or patrol work.
We sell cruppers in a variety of colors and styles in both beta biothane and leather. They’re priced so affordably that it’s worth picking one up if you think it could help you and your equipment stay safe.