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  1. #1
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    Jan. 8, 2008
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    Default girth to tight? cause/effect?

    A general question to some of you who may have experienced this.. The trainer I am working with now insist on tightening the girth so freaking tight that I can't take it off.. Now...my question. I notice my horse is tense/tight and his walk is so much shorter when she rides him.. He wants to retreat behind the vertical. Could the cause be an "overly" tight girth? The girth does have elastic on both sides. Thanks!!


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  2. #2
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    Feb. 13, 2009
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    Default

    i don't know about the tense walk. but there was an offical veterinary study about respiration and girth tightness and the conclusion was that the girth should be as loose as it safely can be. This study was summerized at last years USDF seminar and was/maybe still is available on dressage training on line


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  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank you! All I can tell you is he is a different horse with the girth so damn tight!! I can't say a word though because "I am NOT the trainer!!"


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  4. #4
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    Default

    maybe you need a new trainer. (I'm an amateur) I would not work with anyone that I couldn't discuss stuff with and wasn't open minded and secure enough to consider my point of view.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackhorse6 View Post
    I can't say a word though because "I am NOT the trainer!!"
    But you are "the client" with the chequebook, which makes you the "employer". If you feel your horse is suffering, you should feel obligated to make things right.

    I know, easier said than done. But this is your partner. Good luck.



  6. #6
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    Default

    OTOH, I learned a valuable lesson from Walter Zettl years ago...

    The girth cannot be loose either. If the girth is not correctly tight, then the rider subconsciously is always 'adjusting' for the slipping of the saddle. More side-to-side, but also front to back. It's very subtle, and insidious.

    Perhaps a different type of girth (non-elastic, or center elastic with limited stretch) is needed in this horse's case. I had one mare who could NOT tolerate elastic.

    At any rate, you are the student, the client, and the employer. If you don't like the results, employ another teacher.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


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  7. #7
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    Default

    Thanks for all of your responses. I do realize the girth has to be sufficiently tight but on the other hand I wonder if there isn't a point where it is "to tight".. Restricts movement and respiration, a point brought up in one of the attached post. I never felt my saddle moving from side to side when I rode this horse. I guess I liken this to having a backback on. It has to sit on my back properly and not move around but....if the straps are so tight they cut in to my shoulders, than I would certainly move more gingerly..Stange analogy but the best I can do



  8. #8
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    Default

    Your horse, your money, your decision. I had this with a trainer who jacked the bit up in my horse's mouth (for more control) and every time I would take it down. It came down to a battle of wills, and I took off.



  9. #9
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    Default

    I never felt my saddle moving from side to side when I rode this horse.
    The thing is, you WON'T. And I'm not arguing that it's not *too* tight either. His Princeness and the Pea is fussy with a neoprene girth in winter (apparantly it 'grabs' his long fluffy winter coat... ) he also goes far better in some girths. So absolutely, it can make a difference...

    But it's very subtle. And valid. And insidious.

    Have you told the trainer that you cannot loosen the girth when done?

    And seriously, she can't crank a non-elastic up as much... if you love everything else about her, then get a new girth. Otherwise, new trainer.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    The thing is, you WON'T. And I'm not arguing that it's not *too* tight either. His Princeness and the Pea is fussy with a neoprene girth in winter (apparantly it 'grabs' his long fluffy winter coat... ) he also goes far better in some girths. So absolutely, it can make a difference...

    But it's very subtle. And valid. And insidious.

    Have you told the trainer that you cannot loosen the girth when done?

    And seriously, she can't crank a non-elastic up as much... if you love everything else about her, then get a new girth. Otherwise, new trainer.
    All I get is that I am to underweight, to weak, etc. etc.. GAWD forbid, I am pushing 50 Again, thanks for your replies.. This is the same trainer that wants the flash cranked as well as the nose band.. Guess I am about comfort for both horse and rider as long as the tack is serving the "desirable" purpose for both horse and rider.. Of course, i will always put my horse first..



  11. #11
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    eesh...

    It doesn't have to be hard or harsh. Methinks it's time to find a new trainer.

    I *love* teaching adults, as they can think and reason. It's more challenging for them to get the body to do what the brain says, but I think it's very rewarding when it comes together. There are other teachers out there who enjoy adult ammies.

    There have been lots of threads here arguing both ways on flashes, cranks etc. Some feel they are an absolute necessity. Sometimes they are needed for a particular habit. Maybe there is something your teacher is trying to correct? If so she should be telling you WHY and HOW... ya know?
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  12. #12
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    Default

    First of all, you need to understand why the trainer want your girth tighter. Did she see you slip from side to side?

    A girth should be tight enough that the saddle does not move. Whether a tightened girth is comfortable or not, has to do with saddle fit and the way the girth is made.



  13. #13
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    A trainer I started with a couple years ago was like this. She automatically tightened my girth several holes, and my flash, and added longer spurs...and I quote "this is how it must be done in dressage". Well, I had jumped for years with a much looser girth and my horse was PISSED about the too tight flash, etc. It took about 5 lessons to change trainers. The biggest problem I have with anything automatic like that is she didn't take time to know the horse or see if there was a problem-it was just a control thing.
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


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  14. #14
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    Unhappy

    I agreewith PP.

    I have run into this problem with trainers, too. Got the response of this is the way I always do it because i was taught this way. The trainer had only old totally leather girths and old stretched out bridles. the trainer had gotten into the habit and forgotten the reasoning behind particular adjustments.

    My horses go better when they can breathe and there is some space to chew while bridled. If the pressure points are already producing pain, it seems to me that it would be hard to concentrate and respond.

    I also don't think our trainer is listening to you, which makes me wonder about trainer's ability to teach and train.



  15. #15
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    If here answer to a saddle that moves is to jack up the girth without suggesting you get the saddle checked for fit, then she needs to communicate with you, or does not know.
    A horse that is not comfortable cannot relax in his work.



  16. #16
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    The girth placed on the correct part of the horse's body does not prevent free breathing or movement of muscles. The rib cage moves in and out further back than the girth.

    If a girth were so restrictive to breathing when tight, how could race horses run so fast with two girths on??

    The insufficiently tightened girth causes the saddle to rock, wobble, shift forward and back, and make the horse's back sore.

    The sufficiently tightened girth keeps the saddle secure, prevents sore backs, and keeps the saddle in the correct position where it is balanced and easier for the rider to balance.

    Most trainers tighten the girth for students and chide them that the girth is too looseeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Usually after a circle or two of trotting, the saddle has settled into place and the girth is quite remarkably loose; most people don't sufficiently tighten the girth.
    Last edited by slc2; Jul. 14, 2009 at 04:59 PM.


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  17. #17
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    Default

    I know there can be a too loose girth, but I also believe there can be a too tight girth too. Isn't there something about being able to put your fingers under the girth at the horse's side but not between the girth and horse at the belly?

    Anyway, I think a properly fitted saddle doesn't have to be suffocatingly tight. Even if the rib cage is what is expanding, it still can't be very comfortable if it truly is too tight. It would be causing muscle tightness though, I would think. I think the gaits can be affected as it could be causing tenseness, to say the least. Not to mention the ability of the horse to able to mentally relax and think about what he's doing if he is wearing comfortable attire. I'm sure there are horses who can deal with a tight girth better than others. The fact that you see a difference tells you something. If you really are able to see a difference, I would talk to the trainer about it. After all, it is your horse and you are paying the bills.

    Perhaps a massage therapist could come out amd see your horse and give an opinion on any thing that they notice?

    I think we had a post fairly recently about flash nosebands vs. drops. I found that very informative. (I am able to use a regular cavesson.)

    JMO.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by slc2 View Post
    The girth placed on the correct part of the horse's body does not prevent free breathing or movement of muscles. The rib cage moves in and out further back than the girth.

    If a girth were so restrictive to breathing when tight, how could race horses run so fast with two girths on??

    The insufficiently tightened girth causes the saddle to rock, wobble, shift forward and back, and make the horse's back sore.

    The sufficiently tightened girth keeps the saddle secure, prevents sore backs, and keeps the saddle in the correct position where it is balanced and easier for the rider to balance.

    Most trainers tighten the girth for students and chide them that the girth is too looseeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Usually after a circle or two of trotting, the saddle has settled into place and the girth is quite remarkably loose; most people don't sufficiently tighten the girth.

    Are you saying a girth can never be too tight?

    "Can you get your hand between the horse and the girth? If not, it's too tight a saddle that fits properly should not move around or slide. A too tight girth will cause short striding along with muscle damage."



  19. #19
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    I think you can say something to the trainer because a successful relationship begins and ends with communication, respect and a mutual need for what the other has to offer:
    your $$ and her knowledge. But, there is no need for a student to be treated like a bloody fool who has no mind of their own or no knowledge. If you are gaining something from her you should be able to say how tight you feel the saddle is, that you should get a saddle fitter out, etc. In fact, with my wonderful trainer, I told him that my poor horse had soft and tender armpits and sometimes she had hair rubbed off her from little crinkles; he immediately realized that he was doing his strong man thing and appreciated the comment. We now take particular care in girthing her up to make sure no wrinkles are under the girth.
    He is doing me and her so much good I could never just leave him - I'm so motivated it's marvellous. He gets excited about my horse, he is enthusiastic about helping us.



  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackhorse6 View Post
    Thank you! All I can tell you is he is a different horse with the girth so damn tight!! I can't say a word though because "I am NOT the trainer!!"
    your the owner-- say something its your horse at the end of the day
    tell her -
    say excuse me but -- and undo it - i like it like that -- period



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