Does your girth have the right length?

Proper girth length is essential for the comfort and performance of both horse and rider. A well-fitting girth keeps your saddle in place, preventing discomfort and injury.

Why is girth length important?

An ill-fitting girth can chafe, pinch or even cause movement restrictions. In addition, it can affect the rider’s stability and balance, which in turn affects communication with the horse. A well-fitting girth provides a better connection between rider and horse, improving the performance and well-being of both.

How do you determine the right length?

Choosing the correct girth length requires attention to your horse’s anatomy. Here are some steps to determine the right length:

  1. Determine the position of your horse’s elbow: This is a crucial step to ensure that the girth is not too close to the elbow, which can cause chafing and discomfort.
  2. Make sure the buckles are above the elbow: This helps to prevent pressure points and distributes pressure evenly across the horse’s chest.
  3. Place the girth about a hand width behind the elbow: This gives your horse plenty of freedom of movement and prevents pinching.

Checking the fit

After lacing up, it is important to keep a close eye on your horse’s behavior:

  • During hitching: Watch for signs of discomfort or resistance.
  • During warm-up and riding: Observe if your horse has an even gait and shows no signs of discomfort.
  • After riding: Check for chafing, hair loss or swelling around the girth area.

Regular checking of the girth and saddle is crucial, especially as your horse goes through changes in weight or muscle development. A well-fitting girth contributes to your horse’s comfort.

Professional help in choosing the right girth

While trying on a saddle, you and your saddle fitter can test different girths to find the best fit for your horse. Our saddle fitters are trained to look not only at the saddle, but also at the correct girth, so that you and your horse can perform at your best. Take the time to choose the right girth length and check the fit regularly to ensure your horse is comfortable and free to move.

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What do our saddle fitters say about Empire?

“For me, the best thing about Empire saddles is that the customer gets that fine close-contact feeling with his horse, without the horse having to sacrifice freedom of movement and comfort.”

Frederieke Biemans – Saddle fitter at Bie-Fit