I was shopping today and wondering if *most* horses really notice their girths. I have a Prestige (love the shape, the leather not so much)... an OrthoFlex (have always hated that it doesn't have roller buckles)... and a Nunn Finer Piaffe (love), but I don't think my horse cares one way or the other.
If your horse has difficult conformation or skin issues, I'll be happy to hear from you, too... but I'm mostly wondering what basis the owner of the non-fussy horse uses to choose.
This could be the one I have, the brand just didn't matter much to me.
My TB is extremely thin-skinned, as in I can't use a saddle pad with seams on the edges or they rub bald spots, and I have to ensure the wrinkles in my boots don't touch him or they do as well. He used to be EXTREMELY cranky about being saddled, and a girth which is flat, stiff and wider in the middle seemed to make a huge difference to his crankiness. You can talk about forces and pressure all you want - but the part which mattered to me was he was happier about being girthed up. I like the elastic on both sides because I adjust one hole at a time alternating sides, so even though I don't get the saddle too tight it still helps a lot.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
I like elastic on both ends, keeper/guides above the buckles and a nice way to tuck the ends of the billets in, something with some anatomical shape to it, padding for sure (I am currently using the Smartpak Wellfleet Girth and really like it), and easy to clean
I have short billets on my saddles and use either the string Trevira cord girth from Stubben or their 232 elastic ended leather girth. The cord girth has the best buckles (never rust) and the girths have held up very, very well over the years. The leather girth is fabulous quality and like the cord girth - the buckles are the best I've come across.
For the lunging surcingles we've switched out all the "girth" parts for Wintec cheapo centralized elastic synthetic/plastic types.
I'm using a fat fleecy girth - from Lettia I think - my guy is a little girthy and he seems less fussy with something fat and soft. I love the billet keepers on this, the elastic at both ends, the fact it's kinda wide. But most of all I love being able to throw it in the washing machine. But - my first dressage saddle had short billets and we used a Professional's Choice and he seemed okay with that.
Love the leather, love the padded cushioning and the contours for the elbows. Best feature is that the girth 'self-adjusts' to equalize pressure. To me this means that I can tighten and not stress about over tightening - but the saddle does.not.slip.
Ovation fleece girth with double elastic ends and their version of Coolmax against the horse. Washes well, though the buckles are kind of cheap and get a scant amount of rust on them. My mare never objects and since it is soft it really conforms to her.
County Logic. Horse is very round and has a forward girth groove (AKA well-developed gut...)
It's got elastic at both ends, is nice and substantial and easy to clean and has held up to almost daily wear or the past 5 or 6 years. Horse is comfortable in it and that's realy all that matters.
The only thing I would like to add to it is a pair of keepers on each side lower down on the girth--I like my short girths long enough that I don't have much gap between the saddle flap and the top of the girth, and that leaves a lot of loose billet below the buckle and existing keeper, which I'd rather not have.
My saddles, dressage and jumping all have short billets. I generally use a leather Stubben girth with elastic on one side. I found it used at a sale or I probably wouldn't have bought it full price. Its great quality and holds up well to the abuse I put it through (foxhunt in it...and rarely clean it more than to brush it off and make sure there isn't anything that will rub my horse).
I also like the Premier leather girth I got for my old TB mare. Though at this point the barn (she does kid lessons now) uses the Wintec girth that matches her Wintec saddle (didn't want them destroying my nice Stubbens...).
I also have several cheapie string girths that seem to work just fine also.
There's no real rhyme or reason to which one I pick. Generally the string ones get used when I'm too lazy to go get the leather one out of the trailer where it tends to live with the rest of my foxhunting stuff this time of year.
Neither my Arab nor my mare seem to care which girth I use.
For the longest time I used the cheap Wintec girths, which worked fine on my older horse. Easy to clean and last quite a while.
My current horse has a swayback, a very round barrel, and a very forward girth groove. I use the Prestige Anatomic girth and really like it. Having keepers above the buckles is nice, it fits my horse, allows his saddle to sit where it should, but has the pressure of the girth forward where it should be. The girth is good quality and the padding is quite nice. My saddle also no longer moves.
I have a CWD girth for my horse now. I do love it and my horse seems happy with it. I bought this one because I needed really big size (66"). I love the leather, shape, and how padded it is. It also has a clip to attach martingales and the like.
Before this one I had a KL Select, which I didn't really love and it seemed to rub him a lot.