New Standard Girths for Sale
We have assembled a collection of what we think are the best girths on the market that address many fitting concerns and suit every budget. Girth sizing can be quirky. If possible, we recommend that you physically measure your existing girth, buckle end to buckle end in order to choose the correct size. Girths can stretch over time, and every company measures a bit differently, so the stamped size may not always be accurate. Billet length on saddles can vary, so different saddles can require a different length of girth. As a rule of thumb, if you are transitioning from a short dressage girth to a long girth, You would add 24” so a horse that wears a 26” dressage girth will generally take a 50” hunter girth. With a long girth, the girth buckles should sit behind the bend of your knee. Buckles that are placed too high or too low can be very uncomfortable for the rider’s thigh and calf, and can also create significant pressure points on the horse’s ribcage.
Some riders and horses prefer elastic ends in their girths. It makes tightening the girth much easier, but some people feel that the elastic can cause slippage on certain shapes of horses. It’s also easy to over-tighten an elastic ended girth, so be aware! (The Society of Master Saddlers say that about 70% of people way over-tighten elastic ended girths.)
Shaped girths offer freedom at the elbows and allow a wider supporting area behind the forelegs to lessen pressure. Certain designs, such as the Baines Comfort Girth are helpful for keeping saddles back behind the shoulders.
Sheepskin or fleece is soft and cushy and can be good for sensitive-skinned horses, but remember it must be kept scrupulously clean. Real sheepskin should be washed gently with a wool-friendly soap, and dried carefully away from intense heat. Synthetic fleeces are machine washable – we recommend a non-scented detergent and fabric softener. Some horses are allergic to the perfumes.
Choosing the correct girth can assist in stabilizing a saddle, but keep in mind that if you find you are having to pull your girth up extremely tightly to keep your saddle in place, you may have some saddle fitting issues or pad problems. A girth should generally be as tight as you’d wear your own belt. An overly tight girth can cause pressure points that are as significant as a saddle that doesn’t fit. Since some horses are clever enough to blow up their bellies when you are tightening the girth, make it a habit to recheck the tightness when you have mounted and walked for a few moments.