Doing Up Girths??

Free Adverts from New Rider

Dizzy

New Member
Jan 11, 2001
1,968
0
0
N.E. U.K.
Visit site
Ros, could you explain about the pressure points, I bought a humane girth for Breeze, must admit it wasn't used much as I use a western saddle now. But I thought the humane girth would be far less restricting for the horse as it moved with them, as opposed to a girth that was ungiving.

Surely if there are pressure points, they would be more pronouned with a girth that had no give as the saddle is fixed. Ideally we are talking about a saddle that fits the horse, the reasoning behind the humane girth is that the saddle is held at the same tension all the time, as one leg steps forward, that side gives, but the tension is counteracted on the other side.

The ones that were stitched wrongly are by the by anyway as they had a fault in thier manufacturing. Would they not have been the equivalent to a normal girth as the give and take was eliminated due to the error?

I am not favouring the humane girth, just interested in your reply - I have never been a lover of the elasicated girth, I feel these can be over tightened far too easily.

Lesley
 

Bebe

New Member
Aug 15, 2001
2,862
0
0
S.Yorkshire
Not sure how the humane girth can cause more pressure points than an elasticated girth. Would like to see the research that shows this.

It's by the by for me anyway, my horse most definitely prefers it over any other girth I've used. I found that whilst using the new Thorowgood airoform girth huge amounts of pressure were created on the breastbone area (under the belly) but up the sides of my horses barrel there was none, in fact the sides looked so loose that I kept being told my girth was too loose, yet when I tried to put my hand under the girth at the breastbone it was so tight I couldn't. I can't possibly see how this is better for the horse. It got to the point where Bebe would run to the back of the stable (had major saddle panic again at one point despite having a treeless) and when I went to girth up she pulled faces, moved around and attempted to bite. I'd used the humane girth on her before (for a year with no problems) so I bought the dressage version and immediately she was back to being calm and quiet whilst tacking up. I think that speaks for itself but realise that each horse is an individual and may not feel the same.
 

ros

New Member
Jun 9, 2001
1,677
0
0
Saltash, Cornwall
Visit site
Hi Dizzy

Its the v-shaped fastenings that cause the problem because they centre the pressure when the girth is done up. It's a similar priciple with girths that have the reinforced stitching only up the centre line (like Cottage Craft) rather than having stitching all across the width of the girth (like the ordinary Aerborn girths - which I do like, incidentally). If you look at the outer edges of any used Cottage Craft girth you'll see they look ruffled, because they stretch more than the centre.

As far as movement goes, the ideal is to have a saddle that is completely stable. You can only achieve that if the fit is perfect and the saddle well-made - inside as well as out! If it sits flush all the way along the back, and not too far forward so that it doesn't interfere with the shoulder blades, you shouldn't really get much movement at all. Out of interest, there's a modern tendency for saddlers to make the girth webbings long so that they can renew girth straps without dropping out the panels. That makes the girth webbing less stable, which allows more movement of the saddle, and in turn that can lead to problems (if the saddle itself isn't right).

If the saddle fits you shouldn't need to overtighten the girth, in which I guess you're less likely to have problems with it whatever make it is.

Amanda - I'm a great believer in letting your horse tell you what it likes, so if Bebe's not happy I guess she'll let you know!
 

cvb

Active Member
Oct 23, 2001
9,382
0
36
Scotland
turning upside down

I didn't realise how much my new horse was puffy out until we had a spook and i fell off.

She's western, so you really DO need to get the girth sorted out before you get on !

Anyway, she spooked at some flappy plastic on a windy day, across a ditch, through a rope fence - which made her panic again/more, dumped me on the floor and went home.

Luckily we were both ok. (I had images of a horse with a shredded chest, but she was fine).

But when I finally caught up with her - about 10metres from home - her saddle was completely upside down. Poor little girl.

So now I am doubly careful about girth and have gone back to using a breastplate. Makes her look like a fetish/bondage horse and takes me twice as long as the english/classical riders to tack up, but so much more safer and comfortable for us both !

(I had stopped using the leather breastplate so I could use a reflective fluorescent one instead - it broke rather than stabilise the saddle).
 

Bebe

New Member
Aug 15, 2001
2,862
0
0
S.Yorkshire
Ros, I can see where that would happen. Actually, as soon as my old saddle started to be uncomfortable to Bebe, she started objecting when she was girthed up. She's now in a Fitform which can't do anything but fit perfectly. I'm pretty bad too for not doing my girth up very tightly unless someone reminds me so tend to ride with it looping around her body (I know it's bad!). In theory you'd think that would let me get away with any girth but she definitely hated the airoform.

I also use a breastgirth, just the standard elastic one which I got from Libbys tack. I live in Sheffield and we have monster hills everywhere. My saddle stays where it should do on 95% of the rides but there are a couple of hills that drop everyone's saddle back a bit and I got fed up of getting off at the top of them all and putting the saddle back where it belongs.
 

Dizzy

New Member
Jan 11, 2001
1,968
0
0
N.E. U.K.
Visit site
Ros, thanks for the reply, I can now see what you mean - the pressure point is through the centre of the girth.

I see I gave a poor explanation, I didn't actually mean that the saddle should move. I meant that because of the runner mechanism, and the action of the horse, the girth (not the saddle) will give and take, keeping the girth constant but not restricting. But with a fixed girth the pressure is constant and doesn't have the give and take.

cvb I know exactly what you mean, I do Breeze's cinch up bit by bit, but I have now learnt exactly which hole it should be on, and if we stick to our diet/fittening plan it will be one hole less :D very soon.

Lesley
 

ros

New Member
Jun 9, 2001
1,677
0
0
Saltash, Cornwall
Visit site
Talking about breastgirths reminds me what an idiot I was with Frank. He's quite long in the back and has filled shoulders too, and he naturally carries the saddle well back. I used to put it on much too far forward (and boy, when you really start looking don't you see a lot of people doing that - I was watching some medium dressage tests not so long ago, and I reckon two thirds of the saddles either were too far forward or didn't fit at all) so of course it would slip back to where it wanted to sit (and of course should have been sitting) - so what do I do? I buy a breastgirth! Of course, it doesn't do any good because I'm fighting nature. I did give up in the end, but not because I realised what I was doing wrong.

Of course that's a totally different matter than having lots of steep hills to contend with.

And back to girthing up - because so many people put their saddles on too far forward, they also have the girth too far forward as well, instead of in the girth seat, which is at least a hand's width behind the elbow. I remember when I was young all my Pony Club manuals and stuff used to tell you to allow that hand's width when girthing up, but how many people remember to do it? And this morning I looked at Frank, and his girth seat actually starts a good 9 inches behind his elbow, which falls in line with where his saddle should correctly sit.

AND (sorry!) if you put the saddle on too far forward, that makes it look as though the front arch is closer to the withers than it should be, so you think "oh my goodness, my saddle needs re-flocking", or you stick a thick numnah under it, which then makes it too tight, and bingo! You've created a problem where you never really had one in the first place.
 

Bebe

New Member
Aug 15, 2001
2,862
0
0
S.Yorkshire
Looks like the breast girth might be redundant now, a sign has gone up on our steepest ride saying no horses!!! Not sure if it's due to some wrangling over getting an official bridleway designated (most of ours are cart tracks that have been used for hundreds of years but aren't on the official maps and we're arguing with the Forestry Commission over retaining use of at least a couple - if they don't grant us that much we're going to take it further ourselves) or something else so will have to investigate. It's annoying though as this ride has a gorgeous long track that is great for cantering down, and getting up there is too steep for most walkers so we usually have it to ourselves.
 
newrider.com