Western girth

My 11 yo appendix is quite mareish for a gelding :sweat_smile: he is easily bothered by any minimal discomfort. He has been off work due to bad weather in the last 2 months and I’ve began to lounge him a couple of days ago. He is really cooperative and kind during lounging until I don’t saddle him. Thinking back he’s always behaved like that, he’s perfect until I don’t saddle him and he starts to buck when I ask for canter.
When ridden sometimes he bucks the first canter strides and when we are on a steep hill, not a bad buck just a protest one. In the past years I tried 5 different saddles on him with no significant improvement. The saddle I’m using now fits well (also according to the equine osteopath) and Is very light. I was wondering if he could be annoyed by the girth, I use a neoprene one (a straight one, not sagomated) and I wanted to try another kind to see if he stops bucking. I was thinking about a string one, do you think it could be better? What kind of girth do you use on sensibile horses?

Mohair string?

Yes I was thinking about mohair string, is it worth a try?

Neoprene can grab and some horses are bothered by it. I use mainly neoprene because of the ease of sanitizing it and washing it completely clean as opposed to trying to scrub hairs out of fleece etc.

You might experiment with a Total Saddle Fit cinch. It is shaped and designed to keep the saddle off the horses shoulders. The outer part is leather and the part that lays on the horse can be interchangeable with heavy duty Velcro. They make neoprene, fleece and felt. I wasn’t sold on the Velcro initially because I couldn’t imagine it holding up but I’ve had one of mine for 4 years and it is still going strong and a favorite in my barn!

I had a look to Total Saddle Fit after a Cother mentioned and I found it really interesting but it’s impossibile to find in Italy. I only found it from an on-line saddlery in the Netherlands but they order it each time in US and with shipping and customs it would really cost too much for my pockets :sweat_smile:

I have a now retired horse that used to be down right dangerous to saddle…assumed to be cold backed, tried numerous saddle and pad combinations, chiro, muscle work, etc. Finally tried a different girth from the neoprene that’s had always been used and had a completely different horse…found a wider roper style string girth that was fleece lined and it made all the difference…once I saw that worked went out and purchased a few more in case I couldn’t find them down the road.

As he got older and was in a different training program he was able to tolerate a neoprene girth if they occasionally forgot to change out what was already on the work saddles.

My go to is a roper style mohair on girth issues.

Thank you all! I’ve just ordered the mohair one, can’t wait to have it and see if my guy likes it

I’ve had good look with Merino or Shearling. I have one horse that can be a little cinchy and I have another that is allergic to neoprene. The Shearling is so soft and nice, but you have to take pristine care of it and it doesn’t last very long. The Merino is a little “tougher” and will last a season usually.

Although I just ordered the “discount version” of the Merino to try this year … see how it works.

I use the ones from Professionals Choice. This one is the Merino Wool.

I tried this for my horse that is allergic to neoprene and has a well-sprung ribcage. This cinch gave him the WORST rub marks behind his shoulders I have ever seen, just from one ride. What I don’t like about it is that the main part of the cinch is SOLID. So the fleece just “rolled over” and left that exposed hard edge to rub on my horse the whole ride. I felt so horribly when I got off. My horse never let on it was practically cutting into him. Such a saint.

Thankfully, the company was fantastic and they allowed me to return it and gave me a refund.

It seems I had good luck with the mohair string, the horse seems less sensitive in the girth area and so far no bucks neither on lounge or ridden :+1:

The wool felt lined nylon type cinches are nice.

IME, the corded mohair type of cinches could easily pinch.

Out west the neoprene cinches, (and saddle pads) will literally pull the hair off in the summer heat.

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For really sensitive horses, the mohair/cord type girths do rub/pinch less and cause less irritation, generally. I don’t like fleece because I ride out a lot, and they tend to collect debris from tall grass and brush. I’ve seen neoprene blister multiple horses, even in not particularly hot weather. I’m currently using a ThinLine girth and both I and my round/mutton-withered pony are very happy with its cushioning and non-slip characteristics.