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Dressage Newbie! What girth do YOU prefer?!

I have proudly purchased a Bates Innova and am now on the hunt for girths! I am seeking everyone’s opinion based on what they have found works/doesn’t work.

one-sided elastic/double-sided elastics?
best for comfort/breathability?
fleece/sheepskin lined?
brand name?

I have also found an adjustable girth. It may be beneficial for me, since I ride a few different horses, but I haven’t used them before. Has anyone had any experience with them?

The biggest thing for me is comfort and non-pinching. I feel that if the girth doesn’t “give” when i squeeze it, it shouldn’t be put on my horses. What comes second is price; After my $2500 saddle, I really don’t want to spend another $200 on a girth. D:

thanks for your input!

Ask your horse.

I prefer short billets and use a Stubben string girth.

Nunn Finer Piaffe girth… buckles slide to even pressure, padding is heavenly, construction is tough, and it’s pretty. :slight_smile:

Little over your budget but I love my Mattes sheepskin girth.

You can get short string girths, too.

County Logic - I prefer leather girths, the anatomic shape works well for this horse

Kieffer Air-Tex - machine washes beautifully (something to consider when riding multiple horses - you can easily transfer skin diseases with a girth), looks like new after 2 years, with no cracking of the padding (that lays against the horse - I’ve observed this to be an issue with other branded similar style girths)

Both have well padded buckles for the comfort of the horse, thinner profile (buckle) for the comfort of the rider, buckles are well made with good quality metal,

Both girths are double elastic as this was recommended for the horse (or non elastic, both sides BUT this is more difficult to find in girths - at least in my area!)

Re adjustable girths - I question how comfortable they are for the horse, the buckle system will obviously be quite apparent to the horse & I suspect creates pressure points.
A quick internet search, reveals some posters complained of the buckle apparatus slipping off the padding & pinching the horse - this was my intuitive concern, but I was surprised to so easily find evidence.

Hopefully you were able to check the fit & test ride the saddle on the various horses (you ride) - if you have the (synthetic) wool flocked panels they are easier to shim before riding in the saddle, with CAIR panels, you really need rider weight & ~10 - 20 minute ride time (depending on temperature) before checking the fit & shimming if needed.
(there is a shim set available for CAIR panels)

Nunn Finer Piaffe girth… buckles slide to even pressure, padding is heavenly, construction is tough, and it’s pretty. :)[/QUOTE]

Another vote for the Nunn Finer Piaffe, it was the only 20" girth I could find that was shaped, had plenty of padding, and was an equalizer for my little guy. I liked it so much I ended up using it with both my saddles (bought it originally for my jump saddle).

I just recently bought a Smartpak dressage girth, made by Wellfleet. It is shaped, is leather, and has elastic on both sides. I’m very happy with it.

Prof. Choice, with the newer soft backing. I wish they would come out with a contoured version!! Never had a horse complain, and they basically last forever.

Ovation fleece girth! Loff it!! Was like $40.

Ovation fleece girth! Loff it!! Was like $40.[/QUOTE]

I have several gorgeous, expensive leather girths… a Devoucoux, a Cliff Barnsby… they sit unused in the bottom of my tack trunk, gathering dust, because my horse was very clear about his preference for the cheapie Ovation fleece model from Dover! Go figure… but it’s all I’ve used since, and they’re great.

Custom made mohair/string girth. Neoprene behind the buckles, no elastic. LOVE IT.

My horses seem to prefer Wintec. Even pressure and can be hosed off after each ride.

I like the ProChoice knockoff that SmartPak makes for like $35.

Every one of mine ends up in this at some point, and the more expensive ones end up in the extra stuff box.


Smartpak makes a similar one: http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-breathable-dressage-girth-6116p

Wintec. Easy to clean and the only girth that I have tried that does not rub my horse. I had a nunn finer piaffe, rubbed the hell out of him, a passier elastic girth which slipped no matter how tight, and in the end of my numerous girth testings I went back to the Wintec.

If I could design my own it would be made of Thinline, shaped like a County Logic with Lettia Clik buckles.
ATM I use my Thinline girth but I wish it had keepers above the buckles.

I like string girths. Cheap, practical, and very machine washable.

I’ve been very happy with the Symbian girth by Jeffries. It’s patterned neoprene, stays pretty cool, no elastic and has humane-ends buckles, where the two buckles are connected with a webbing strap. It also is slightly shaped, which is helpful for keeping a saddle far enough back off the horse’s shoulders.

[QUOTE=not again;7181361]
I prefer short billets and use a Stubben string girth.[/QUOTE]

Curious about this comment not again. Do you mean you shorten the billets on your dressage saddles? Can you explain how and why - I’ve never heard of this before. I happen to hate cinching short billets, maybe because it’s new to me (having only had dressage saddles until recently getting an AP), so I’m confused about the benefits of the short billets.

I don’t like anything rubber backed. My horses all seem so much more comfortable in a soft leather, or even better, fleece lined. I’ve never spent more than $50 on a girth, although I did get a really nice used mattes that was substantially more new - but I’m patient, I wait for deals and excellent used items :).