Horse has a forward girth groove and the billets don't quite match, they are maybe an 1" to 1.5" too far back. No Problem right? Wrong! LOL. I seem to be destined to have horses that minor saddle fit issues bother.
Anyway- as I'm riding the saddle is shifting forward just a bit due to the billet placement in relation to the girth groove. And yes, its bothering the horse. Saddle fits well otherwise, panels match the shape of the back, not too wide or narrow.
How do I fix this? Will an anatomic girth work? Which one should I buy? They are expensive enough I want input before experimenting.
Saddle is dual flapped- takes a long girth. And I would like to try to make this saddle work, horse is a coming 4 yr old and I will buy him his own saddle once he is a little older. Thanks!!!
Last edited by Judysmom; Mar. 31, 2013 at 01:24 PM.
It depends on the horse and the saddle. For some combinations, anatomic girths work wonderfully. For other combinations, you might need a different padding solution, to girth up the saddle on a different set of billets (example: 1 and 2 instead of 1 and 3), to get a saddler to move the billet placement on the saddle or add a new billet, or get a different saddle. I even worked with one horse owner who chose to have her saddle converted to long billets, which allowed her to use a fairly cheap synthetic dressage girth. Her overall price investment was less than $100, which was still cheaper than getting a higher-end leather anatomic girth.
That said, if the only thing stopping you from the experiment is the expense of anatomic girths, there are some cheap ones out there. The Camelot Contact Girth is among the cheapest. There's also this class of girths that don't technically have a name but I call them "pull girths" because they're kind of a shallow "C" shape and on some horses, they just exacerbate the forward pull of the girth. To be fair, on other horses with certain barrel conformations, they can fix the saddle-pulling problem--but again, it's all an abstraction until you're talking about a specific horse and saddle. Tekna makes a reasonably priced "pull girth" called the Tekna Pressure Eze. Both of these girths are around $75.
He's pretty slabsided, hasn't sprung a chest yet. Narrower in the chest than the barrel. Is a TB, but has a very warmbloody wither (not that high, but wide), I think his withers are going to pop more in the coming year, looks like he has about 2" more of growing to do.
The Tekna looks like a contender, MUCH cheaper than the wintec version. Are these better than for this than the leather contour girths?
What's happening is I'm seeing signs of pressure under the back of the saddle, and mussed fur under the front of the panels. The saddle looks and feels balanced front to back, and I think if I change the padding at all its going to exacerbate the pressure issues. Saddle is a 35cm Prestige Nona Garson, converted to wool. The flocking has compressed some, and I'm using a non shim mattes pad = perfect wither clearance.
I will try using billets 1 and 2 vs 1 and 3 next ride.
Agree 100% with jn4jenny - anatomic girths work for some horse, but not for others. If the anatomic girth doesn't work, you can have the saddle retrofitted with a point front and swing rear billet so the billets line up with your horse's girth groove. Job isn't cheap (I charge $150.00) but then again, that's less than some of the anatomic girths on the market!
I had that problem with the mare I am half leasing. She was unfit in the fall...fat with little topline and a forward girth groove. She's also a little downhill. My saddle actually fit her decently (with mattes + shims to fill in behind withers), but was still sliding forward. Because she's 1) not my horse and 2) was unfit and would change, I didn't want to do any surgery on my saddle to solve the problem. I did have good luck with an anatomic girth and one of those cheap, black, anti-slip pads. As she has gotten fitter (less dip behind the withers and less of a big round belly), I've been able to remove one of the two shims in the front of the Mattes and do away with the anti-slip pad and the saddle still stays put. She's going more uphill too, which helps. No more mussed hair in front!
See if you can borrow an anatomic girth. I was able to borrow one from my trainer to see if it worked for the mare. After using it for a couple of weeks and seeing that it did help, I found a used County Logic (same as the one I'd been borrowing) for less than $100.
Thanks for all the input everybody. I'm going to try the anatomic girth first before converting the saddle to point billets. I'll head up to Dover next week and see what they have, the new guy could use a leather girth anyways. I feel pretty lucky, the only thing I've had to buy for him so far is a turnout halter LOL so a $150-200 girth won't kill me
I bought a $100 Chetak Ronja Anatomical girth for my mare with similar issues in, oh, 2005 and still use it almost daily on every horse in the barn. And I abuse it horribly..... It has maybe been cleaned five times since I bought it and is in amazing shape.