Doing Up Girths??

Free Adverts from New Rider

unicorndanca

New Member
Nov 10, 2001
360
0
0
46
Australia
Visit site
I've always been told that horses that 'puff up' when you try to do their girths up take that approach because in the past someone has really yanked up the girth or done it up really tight. I have always been very careful not to do either and have tried various girths but more often than not my 3yo will 'puff up'. Any advice????
 

Princess

New Member
Mar 24, 2002
208
0
0
32
West Sussex, South England
Visit site
Do up the girth tight enough so that u can mount up, then sort out your stirrups. Once you are in the saddle with the correct stirrups tighten your girth again, by this time the horse would have forgotten about the girth and breathed out.
 

LindaAd

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2000
6,356
294
83
Dorset, UK
Visit site
Do you do it up in stages - or all in one go? I find it helps to do it up very loosely at first, then a hole or two more before putting on the bridle, then the rest before I mount, so nothing happens suddenly.
 
~><~

A lot of horses blow because they just don't like the girth, but it goes on anyways. What I do is tighten it a bit, then adjust my stirrups, tighten it some more, go get my helmet and bridle and crop and everything, then I tighten it more, and before I mount, I always check to make sure the girth is tight enough.
 

floppy

Active Member
Feb 25, 2001
4,169
5
38
germany
when i do the saddle up i do it up equally on both sides...with my horse only i do it up 3 holes on each side to begin with...then i do her tail thing up..then i do the girth up another hole or two. Then i go and fetch my hat and gloves then i come back and do it up another hole and then i put her bridle on and do her saddle up one more hole and that's it.
She doesnt midn it and she has stopped blowing her belly out. Before i bought her she always blew out because of an ill fitting saddle she had at her old home.
but to do the girth up tight enough to mount straight away isnt nice for the horses. always be patient.
 

ros

New Member
Jun 9, 2001
1,677
0
0
Saltash, Cornwall
Visit site
If you're being very careful to do the girth up in easy stages and your horse is still blowing out, perhaps she finds the saddle itself uncomfortable for some reason? It would certainly be worth having everything checked out very carefully, as horses don't do these things just to annoy us, whatever we may think at the time!
 

Mossy

Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2000
2,354
38
48
Dartmoor
girths

Hi
My two are direct opposites. Con needs her girth doing up gently, yank at your peril, but does not blow at all. Moss is a little tinker! Nothing hurts, he has his saddle checked very regularly but even if he does not actively inflate he waits until you have one foot in the stirrup and the other off the ground and then deflates as hard as he can! The number of times I have finished up on the floor! He then turns his head and laughs at me. The problem is partially solved with a breastplate.
 

Julew

New Member
Nov 26, 2000
56
0
0
Vic. Aus.
Visit site
My horse had girth galls long before I ever owned him. He would try and bite you as you did up his girth. I found a bit at a time worked well as said above but having done all that I sometimes also walk him a circle or two before the final tightening. Changing to an Equiprine ( is that the right spelling?) girth helped too.
 

Shiny McShine

Bluey McBlue
Jan 14, 2002
1,197
0
0
36
Australia

Usually I find if you give your horse a nice brisk walk around after doing the girth up a bit of the way, they will usually be fine to girth up after that.
 

Stella2

New Member
Aug 5, 2001
4,687
1
0
61
North East England
Visit site
again after mounting

I do the girth up on my mare very gradually, but I worry a bit because I simply can't adjust it again after mounting and most advice seems to advocate this. A couple of people have told me that if its tight enough to mount then its probably okay - I have been riding like this because I have to enlist the efforts of someone else if I want it up a hole after mounting. When just done up on the ground, the saddle has not slipped and I can get 3 fingers under the girth snugly, but comfortably.

So really, it seems okay not tightening the girth again when on board, but I have a nagging worry 'cos it goes against the 'books'. I'd be interested in views on this.

Ann
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,388
113
Check, check and check again. When your weight is in the saddle the girth will become looser simply because you are sittiing in the saddle depressing it and making the girth loose.

Don't have it so tight the horse cannot breath or move, there is no point in making sure your sadle fits, you are absorbing the movement of the horse and following him if you do his girth up so tight he is sore.

The better the rider the slacker the girth can be. With novices on board you cannot take risks...make it firm. With more experienced riders, well, if they cannot tell if they are slipping out the side door........?


Your horse will tell you if something is making him unhappy, it's not the girth going up, it's usually the saddle starting to bear down that makes them flinch. A pinching saddle will make the horse flinch as the girth goes tighter, with some anyway, worth a check.
 

virtuallyhorses

NZ TB owner
Mar 1, 2002
2,785
0
0
56
New Zealand
www.virtuallyhorses.com
The puffing up is a 'prey reaction' to the 'grip' of something around their vulnerable stomach - if you think about it, the fact that they simply puff up is a pretty small reaction for an animal who is hard-wired for survival :)

The more gentle\slow you can make the adjustment from no girth, to tightened girth the more comfortable the horse will feel about the whole thing... and the more consistantly you take this approach the more the horse will learn that it doesn't need to react at all - but this of course will take time.

The advice about doing up the girth in easy stages and making sure that you are aware that girth reactions can also be 'bad saddle fit' reactions are all good ones. I usually put the saddle on and do up the girth ony enough to stop it dragging on the ground the first time, sort out saddle pads etc , do up another hole, pick out feet, do another hole or two etc etc etc It doesn't take any more time and lets your horse get used to having the saddle and girth on without any fuss.
 
Last edited:

intouch

New Member
Oct 2, 1999
1,203
0
0
Richhill, Co Armagh
You should be able to slip your hand under the girth with just a comfortable amount of pressure, unless your horse is barrel shaped, in which case it may need to be a bit tighter, unless your balance is exceptionally secure! A great many horses suffer from sore pectoral muscles from too tight girths, he will flinch or flicker his skin violently when you touch the area behind his elbows if so.
 

jUmPingIsLifE

~A*u*t*u*m*n~S*u*n~
Jan 5, 2002
4,617
0
0
33
USA (((maine)))
nikkibeth05.tripod.com
i put my horses girth on the first hole on both sides hwen i first get the saddle on than i take him out of the pasture tighen it up again, hope on and than go up one more hole.

the horse i ride at my barn, she rears when the girth is to tight! if you have it to tight your horse will let you know it in some way or another
 

virtuallyhorses

NZ TB owner
Mar 1, 2002
2,785
0
0
56
New Zealand
www.virtuallyhorses.com
Whether or not you do up more after you've gotten on board (and even how tight you do up the girth) will depend on you and what you are going to do. If you're schooling in a flat arena and are happy with your balance, then leave it loose-ish if you are riding cross-country or have a horse who's shape means the saddle tends to slip - you may need it a hole tighter when you get on board....

If you really want you could try out an elasicated and\or shaped girth - you get the best of both worlds - just remember not to do it up so tight that the elastic is stretched.
 

snailspace

Learning @ a snail's pace
Jan 9, 2002
269
0
0
47
Indiana, USA
Visit site
I also take the girth up in stages-a little at a time-and one last time right before I mount. I've never gone up a hole once mounted, and still have the "3 fingers" breathing room whenever I check. But I think the shape of different horses has a lot to do with it. The only time(knock wood- I know there's more coming) I've fallen off is with a very barrel shaped horse. We should have done the girth up one more on that one! The saddle just started slipping sideways and I wasn't coordinated or experienced enough to know how to shift my weight to save myself, so down I went! That's when I learned from my instructor that it's hard to get a girth tight on a really round horse! Gee, thanks
:rolleyes:
 

Lucy J

Weaver's Tale aka Ciara!!
Dec 5, 2001
2,525
0
0
41
Renfrewshire, Scotland
Visit site
my youngster isn't good at standing and getting her girth put up another hole when I'm on board (or maybe its me thats not so good!) I have an elasticated girth. WHen I try and fasten it I struggle to get it in the first hole cause she blows out. I do it a bit at a time till we're ready to mount, by which time (although the last hole is a struggle) it is in the 5th hole. That is enough to let me get on and work on the flat. After a few minutes work it could go up one more hole, but unless jumping there is no need to.
 

Bebe

New Member
Aug 15, 2001
2,862
0
0
S.Yorkshire
Has anyone tried the aerborn humane girth? It makes girthing up blowing out horses really easy as you can pull one strap up and fasten it to the girth then wait a while before fastening the other strap (on same side). This is because both buckles are attached to each other through a special kind of ring and if you pull one up the other will shorten. Fastening one buckle on a hole higher than the other is safe because of the way it's designed and means you can tighten by half a hole if you need to.

My mare loves this girth. Even though I fasten the girth really slowly (I take it off completely after every ride so start from scratch each time) she still gets grumpy with elastic end girths. With this girth she's really happy to be girthed up, no nasty faces, tenseness, etc.
 

ros

New Member
Jun 9, 2001
1,677
0
0
Saltash, Cornwall
Visit site
Yes - and I wouldn't use it again. I was warned that it causes pressure points, which makes sense if you think about the way it's constructed. I also saw a batch in one local saddlers which were stitched incorrectly so there was no "roller" effect anyway!
 
newrider.com