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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Default Elastic (in the middle) girths for stablizing saddle?

    I have a roly poly horse. (Tons of pictures on his blog, linked in the signature line.) I realize the first problem to address is saddle fit. Mine is a (good) treeless, so I'm starting from the assumption that the saddle *can* work on this horse.

    I have already bought a non-slip pad (which is not here yet, so I don't know how much help it will be), and now I am moving on to a non-slip girth. Here are the girths on my wishlist.

    SmartPak Breathable Dressage Girth

    Wintec Elastic Girth

    Flexi-girth

    The last two girths on the list have elastic at the sternum, along with claims that this is the missing link for saddle security and horse comfort. The first one on that list is the usual type with elastic on both ends.

    For a laugh, you really need to look at the demo video for the Flexi-Girth. It is truly painful to watch. It's like "as bad as this is, it would even be worse without our fabulous girth" except that the guy in the video seems to think he's done well.

    But my real question is -- is there any logic behind elastic at the sternum helping to stablize a saddle (side to side) on a roly poly horse?

    My second question is -- are there any other girths (under $100) I should consider?

    Or is the girth a significant factor at all?
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    just want to wish you well. Those low/Non-withered horses can be challenging.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Thank you, Nezzy. Would anyone else care to chime in?
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2001
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    1,111

    Default

    I had a super round, no withered 1/2 Arab. Primarily I rode him Western, but we did do a little bit of English. Either one once I found a saddle that seemed to fit well, I was able to keep them pretty stable with a Pro Choice cinch as well as a breastcollar. I'm not sure what your discipline is, but if you can do the b/c thing, I'd highly recommend it. Adds a lot more stability than I thought possible.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    ETA:

    Further googling led me to these additional options:

    Humane Girth, which seems to be available only in the UK.

    This page, which somebody identified as the best kept secret in girths.

    And cord girths.

    Can somebody help me sort through the options?
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
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    6,998

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindyg View Post
    I have a roly poly horse. (Tons of pictures on his blog, linked in the signature line.) I realize the first problem to address is saddle fit. Mine is a (good) treeless, so I'm starting from the assumption that the saddle *can* work on this horse.

    I have already bought a non-slip pad (which is not here yet, so I don't know how much help it will be), and now I am moving on to a non-slip girth. Here are the girths on my wishlist.

    But my real question is -- is there any logic behind elastic at the sternum helping to stablize a saddle (side to side) on a roly poly horse?

    My second question is -- are there any other girths (under $100) I should consider?

    Or is the girth a significant factor at all?


    (Tons of pictures on his blog, linked in the signature line.)
    This needs fixing - Gooogle worked fine though

    You've done a wonderful videography
    BUT can I comment on his weight?
    (I know, I didn't actually wait for your permission )
    I realize you've started him in a grazing muzzle & it's obviously difficult to increase his work without a suitable saddle, but please consult with his breeder & your vet & local feed guy, to work out a program for managing his weight.
    How much active walk are you doing with him?
    Do you round pen him? (the sort where you get to mostly stand & he moves in an active, forward walk, trot, canter)
    Are you in the habit of weight taping him weekly? this can really help keep things on track - when you see them everyday, it's so easy for the extra pounds to slip on (last Easter, we had managed to generate a lovely round Welsh he'd always been thin so it was rather a shock - he wasn't "maturing" he was just rounding to a nice jiggly state )

    This is going to make fitting a saddle somewhat more difficult - as he loses the weight, you may need to adjust the saddle as well.

    I know I'm going on as if you had a treed saddle, rather than tree-less BUT if the saddle is slipping bad enough that you are adding non-slip pads & girths etc, the saddle is not the correct fit for the horse
    This might mean looking for a different tree less saddle, or looking for a treed saddle with the appropriate tree & panels.

    Do you have friends that you can tag along with on trail rides - the nice slow walking sort? i.e. suitable for you to hand walk Oden? (until you get a saddle sorted).
    Are you comfortable riding bareback with just a neck/grab strap - at least at home?
    (if time is a factor, perhaps your trainer can find someone to ride him a few says a week - in addition to what you're doing)

    FP (Welsh cob) is a difficult saddle fit - yes, you can go ahead & imagine rider & saddle sideways - but with the right saddle adjusted properly, saddle does. not. move, even through a lively spook & 4 fingers loose girth <oops>



  7. #7
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    This needs fixing - Gooogle worked fine though
    Thank you! I had no idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    You've done a wonderful videography
    And thank you again! I'd never edited or uploaded a video before I got him. But I've enjoyed the project.

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    BUT can I comment on his weight?
    Yeah. I swear he doesn't look fat to my eyes, but he's on a diet. I have actually already consulted with a nutritionist and done mineral balancing. I'm at the point of waiting three months or so to see if this regime is working.

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    Do you have friends that you can tag along with on trail rides - the nice slow walking sort? i.e. suitable for you to hand walk Oden? (until you get a saddle sorted).
    Are you comfortable riding bareback with just a neck/grab strap - at least at home?
    I'm an older, unambitious, timid rider and he's a somewhat green horse, so all of this is going to be slow going. But I do have a trainer, and we will be proceeding. My trainer actually manufacturers and sells her own line of saddles, so I'm sure, in time, if we can't make this saddle work, she's going to sell me one of hers. I'm trying to avoid that -- not because I don't like her or her saddles, but because of they money.

    I appreciate your comments. And back on the subject of girths, I have fallen in love with this one. But, boy, that price.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Pacific Northwest
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    My only experience with a treeless saddle on a round, wither less horse was not positive. Nothing would make that thing stay centered, but had to use that saddle because the horse's owner also owned the saddle company! If you had to mount from the ground, you might as well give up as the saddle would roll. He was naughty too. So that added to the challenge. Never saw any no slip pad and girth combo make much difference.

    I have my own roly poly boy now and he is in a well fitted, treed jump saddle, and I use no slip pads (have both ecogold and barnsby -$$$ but they work well). I have tried many girths and have found that those with elastic at both ends and a wide center, so somewhat anatomical fit, work best. I try to find those with the elastic not too long, as the ones with lots of elastic are TOO stretchy, IME. Like the fuzzy fabric girths lots of people use don't work on him as they are too stretchy. Right now, I'm riding him in a Tekna Ergonomic Girth ($60 from cheshirehorse.com) and it is working well. They make a dressage version as well, but I have not used it.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    595

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    I ride a rotund and low-withered horse, and saddle fitters have told me to stay away from girths with too much elastic, as it actually destabilizes the saddle. I use an Albion Humane girth on my mare, and the saddle doesn't go anywhere.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    My mom used to have a horse who was shaped like a swaybacked barrel. He took about two years to find a saddle which really fit him well - and it could still rotate. As suggested above, she used a breast collar on him to help hold it. This horse was absolutely hilarious for me to ride bareback - his skin was loose, so when I would try to grab with my legs instead of balance I'd find myself tipped as his skin shifted.

    We ended up having no problems with jumping saddles on him - but that may have just been that my jumping trainer and I had better balance, and we never got on him from the ground. For the rotund types, I have found treeless to be the least stable option. Sure, it makes it "fit" better - but there's nothing to help hold the saddle in place.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  11. #11
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    Jul. 24, 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    I bought a Le Tixerant girth for one of my horses many years ago. I read that it helped prevent the saddle from slipping back with many paragraphs detailing how the elastic at the sternum was the important factor.

    My saddle slipped more with that girth than with any other girth I've ever used, so there it sits, all these years later, sadly unused on one of my top saddle racks.

    I don't know how relevant that is to you since there's only elastic/give at the sternum (not at three points like what you've mentioned), but you can chalk me up in the camp that doesn't believe that give at the sternum is an important factor on most horses.
    __________________________________
    Forever exiled in the NW.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWjumper View Post
    I bought a Le Tixerant girth for one of my horses many years ago. I read that it helped prevent the saddle from slipping back with many paragraphs detailing how the elastic at the sternum was the important factor.

    My saddle slipped more with that girth than with any other girth I've ever used, so there it sits, all these years later, sadly unused on one of my top saddle racks.

    I don't know how relevant that is to you since there's only elastic/give at the sternum (not at three points like what you've mentioned), but you can chalk me up in the camp that doesn't believe that give at the sternum is an important factor on most horses.
    Wow. You got that super expensive girth! Wow. I'd offer to buy it from you, but it's probably too big. The girth on my saddle is only 27 inches, and from your link, that girth starts at size 48.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2012
    Posts
    519

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    I've not used a middle elastic girth with my treeless saddle. However, the Professional's Choice grip girths do really well. They have elastic on both ends but it's very tight and therefore you do not need to overtighten the girth like so many often do. It's one of the few girths that doesn't give my mare sores or make her super grumpy! I can let the girth hang really loose (I put it down 1 notch after I get on) for the whole ride and my treeless stays just fine. Hope you find something for your boy, he sure is a sweetie!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindyg View Post
    Wow. You got that super expensive girth! Wow. I'd offer to buy it from you, but it's probably too big. The girth on my saddle is only 27 inches, and from your link, that girth starts at size 48.
    LeTix also has a dressage version. I had both and like PNWJumper, found that they didn't really help an already slipping saddle. The middle piece kind of rolled up on the edges after awhile, and didn't seem that comfortable either. Sold them a long time ago.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    The Wintec Elastic isn't. Yes they put nice elastic in the middle of the girth (sternum). Yes they attach the buckles to nylon strips attached to the elastic. Then they go and sew the buckles down to the non-stretchy neoprene outer cover negating any chance of getting any stretch out of the <bleep> girth.

    I bought one. And ended up taking the buckles off and reattaching them with proper elastic. Just. Don't. Bother.


    I think the point of the centre elastic is that if a girth had elastic on one side and not the other, the saddle is going to tend to slip towards the non-elastic side. The centre elastic means you don't need elastic on both ends of the girth.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 27, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHorses View Post
    The Wintec Elastic isn't. Yes they put nice elastic in the middle of the girth (sternum). Yes they attach the buckles to nylon strips attached to the elastic. Then they go and sew the buckles down to the non-stretchy neoprene outer cover negating any chance of getting any stretch out of the <bleep> girth.

    I bought one. And ended up taking the buckles off and reattaching them with proper elastic. Just. Don't. Bother.


    I think the point of the centre elastic is that if a girth had elastic on one side and not the other, the saddle is going to tend to slip towards the non-elastic side. The centre elastic means you don't need elastic on both ends of the girth.
    I appreciate that review. Thank you.

    Going to google the Professional Choice.
    Last edited by Cindyg; May. 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



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