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What good in an overgirth, anyway?

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  • What good in an overgirth, anyway?

    I just purchased a used George Theodorescu Passier saddle for my old guy. Lovely saddle. Anyway, it has an overgirth or flap girth, not positive about the terminology. I'm thinking about cutting the straps off. The flaps are already "too long" for me -- so no chance of hooking my boot tops on the bottom of the flaps.

    Is this a bad idea?

  • #2
    The straps attached to the flaps are to buckle to a third buckle on your dressage girth. Some girths have these third buckle. They help keep the flap from shifting/moving under your leg. Ever notice how for some jumper riders the flap bunches up behind their leg??

    Should be no problem if you remove the straps. You can cut just the stitching so there's no vestige bump under the flap.


    • Original Poster

      On this saddle, the straps buckle to each other -- buckle on the right side, punched strap on the left. So I could easily do away with the strap -- and yes, I'd just cut the stitching, not hack the straps off. They could always be resewn if the next owner likes the straps...


      • #4
        I used a Wintec Isabel Werth for starting my young horse and it had similar straps. I found them completely useless. I kept them on because it was a starter saddle and we quickly needed to change to something different and I didn't want to decrease resale options.
        "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


        • #5
          i cut mine off my wintec


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the feedback!


            • #7
              My Kieffer Wein had that when I was a teenager. It made me feel fancy so I wouldn’t have dreamed of removing it. Now that I’m adult, I would get rid of it without compunction. Then again, I rode in a drop noseband for a long time to avoid the extra effort of two buckles on cavesson and flash (plus, I liked the way it looked).


              • #8
                I cut mine off my Wintec. The idea of cutting something off a saddle was excruciating, but I have not missed the straps at all.
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                • #9
                  Over girth, a safety feature in case the usual girth breaks when racing or going cross country. Fairly often seen in point-to-point racing. Usful in dressage? Probably not.
                  "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                    Over girth, a safety feature in case the usual girth breaks when racing or going cross country. Fairly often seen in point-to-point racing. Usful in dressage? Probably not.
                    Those over girths are quite different in design than the ones on some models of dressage saddles.

                    Racing and XC overgirths go over the entire saddle. The ones on dressage saddles are thin straps sewn to the bottom of the flap that connect to the girth. Someone once told me their function on a dressage saddle is to hold the flap down, not to help secure the saddle in anyway. Maybe the smooth, pancake dressage saddles of the past benefited from something like that, but I can't say I've ever had a problem with the flap moving under my leg with a dressage saddle made in my lifetime.
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                    • #11
                      I have a saddle with very soft flaps. Instead of an "overgirth" it has a loop sewn onto the under side. The rear billet goes through the loop and helps stabilize the flap. You can also pull the billet out and ignore it if you wish.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                        Over girth, a safety feature in case the usual girth breaks when racing or going cross country. Fairly often seen in point-to-point racing. Usful in dressage? Probably not.
                        Yes. But that's not what the OP has or actually means,

                        I have some old school Stubben Tristan Specials that have those. The leather is stout enough (even on the bridle-leather ones) that I don't think I'm in real danger of scrunching up the flap. But Stubben always built for hardcore use, so I think they put those on there. Mine (like the OP's I think) buckle to each other, over the girth. It doesn't bother me to have them there, but if I were going to remove them, I'd unstitch them.

                        Oh, and I have seen some people who have riveted theirs on since the stitching is right under your calf.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat


                        • #13
                          Have one on my Wintec Isabell that I’ve had for many years and I can’t see a reason to cut it off’. Sure it’s a pain to also fasten this up but it does help me tighten my girth’


                          • Original Poster

                            Really? The overgirth on my Passier just gets in the way when I tighten it. Placement differences, perhaps.


                            • #15
                              I have an older Passier with an over overgirth. It's a mild annoyance. I have 180 pounds of rider holding those flaps down, lol, they're not going anywhere! Haven't cut them off as I have a bit of a tack buying problem, and I knew I either wouldn't use the saddle at all or would want to upgrade it if I rode much dressage. (I'd never even sat in a dressage saddle when I bought it, on a whim, "in case" I wanted to try dressage). I worried about resale if I just took to removing pieces of it.

                              Now I event, and I have a fancier dressage saddle on the way (with NO overgirth). I do, however, cut all of the bullet straps off my pads. I'm not concerned about their resale.


                              • #16
                                I rode in a Wintec Isabelle that had an overgirth (on a friend's horse) and I didn't really get it. It was just kind of there.

                                I thought maybe it'd help with the flaps staying down or not flapping around too much if one were to lunge with a saddle on the horse sans rider.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Whacked the overgirth off a couple of days ago. (well, I carefully snipped the stitches...) and there's no difference at all. Flaps stay down, and the world did not end!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MsM View Post
                                    I have a saddle with very soft flaps. Instead of an "overgirth" it has a loop sewn onto the under side. The rear billet goes through the loop and helps stabilize the flap. You can also pull the billet out and ignore it if you wish.
                                    I saw this on a saddle and was scratching my head as to what that was for, now I know!!
                                    “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke