A long, shaped girth made from anti-chaff material, well bound edges and a good bearing surface. What lets this girth down is the single sided elastic inserts. This girth style ranks amongst the highest of girthing sins. So with this girth, the elastic is only double thickness giving a lot of stretch and very little resistance to saddle movement. This causes the saddle to tip away from the elastic insert end. As this only happens on one side, the resultant movement will make the horse very sore in his withers and often atrophy can be seen on the opposite side to that of the elastic insert. So why not just change the girth around from time to time? Well, that would make your horse sore on both sides….
Other points worth remembering
When fitting a dressage girth…
– Choose the material most suitable for the job it has to do. For example, a treeless saddle will be far more stable when used with a neoprene girth.
– Use the longest girth possible. This will keep the buckles and buckle surround up away from the elbows when they move. Also, it will minimise the area of skin or hair which could get trapped between the girth straps. The girth shown here is too short.
Checking your girth tension…
– When checking the tension of the girth mounted, it is commonplace to lean forward and slip a hand under the girth just below the saddle flap. But, when you lean forwards, all of the weight goes into the front of the saddle which pushes down into the muscles either side of the wither making the girth appear slacker than when you are sitting upright in the middle of the saddle. It is better to lift a leg forward and feel how much slack there is on the girth buckle. Also, the tightest point of the girth is where we can’t check when mounted. This is underneath on the horse’s sternum. In an ideal world, someone on the ground would check the girth so they could feel down the sides and around the bottom.