View Full Version : tightening up the girth
30th Apr 2000, 12:27 AM
I am going to be leasing a horse soon. The horse I will be leasing is nice to ride but really snippy about the girth. He bites the air when you tighten it and sometimes he paws at the ground and moves around on the cross ties. I was just wondering if I should be firm and give him a sharp no or try to be soothing? I know for a fact that nothing is wrong with this back,withers etc. Any advice would be much appreciated!
30th Apr 2000, 01:10 AM
He may have had bad expereicnes with girths before like had it on tightly or whatever - but there are some horses that just don't like it! - Whats he like when you brush him in that area?? I would say try doing it up a hole at a time from both sides and not putting it on the third hole or whatever straight away... that might make it a bit easier for him as its not tight straight away... I wouldn't give him the sharp tap just be as gentle as pos with it...
30th Apr 2000, 11:51 PM
Many horses object to their girths doing up - I understand it can be because they're a bit ticklish. I guess being a bit gentle may help
1st May 2000, 02:42 AM
Hi. If you're in the UK, the new issue of Horse and Pony magazine has an article on horses that don't like being saddled up or having their girths done, which you might find interesting.
Hope it all goes well
1st May 2000, 03:49 AM
If possible, try and get on without moving the saddle (get someone to give you a leg up) and tighten it while you are on. Have someone hold him and put your leg in front of the knee roll. Then lift up the saddle flap and pull the billets up that way. It's a lot easier and you will get it tighter. If he doesn't walk you don't even have to have someone hold him. Good Luck!
3rd May 2000, 08:23 AM
There is no shame in tightening the girth s-l-o-w-l-y! I don't have the girth tight until we are out of the cross-ties and have walked the arena once, maybe even twice, stopping 4 to 5 times to tighten. Maybe you're moving too fast. It's FAIR to the horse to give him time to adjust to the girth, and it also helps in a horse that tends to bloat when girthing.
Instead of thinking of your goal here as being "Tighten the girth quickly without the horse getting fidgety," think instead of your goal as being "Be fair and give my horse a few minutes to have his girth tightened ONE hole at a time."
THEN, your next goal is to have him be quiet during each one-hole tightening. If he's quiet with just one hole, PRAISE LIKE CRAZY, and walk one for awhile before you try the next hole. If he jigs around, break it down into even smaller steps. Apply a little pressure on the billet straps, don't even buckle it -- no jigging? PRAISE LIKE CRAZY, and walk on for another 20 seconds or so.
Repeat ad nauseum!
Sometimes our "riding time" doesn't turn out as we had planned -- sometimes we have to instead work on a problem you're having right now. When I first started half-leasing my horse, he wouldn't stand while mounted. I often spent 15 - 20 minutes out of every hour of riding time working on this problem. He now will stand beautifully for mounting about 90% of the time, and if I was his only rider, I'm sure he'd be better, because I don't let him get away with it, but I watch as others do -- make me crazy! But anyway, I digress...... But yes, I lost out on riding time working on this problem.
Ground manners are of the utmost importance. Be FAIR to the horse, but demand good ground manners.
Hope this helps!
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