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appropriate length of dressage short girth

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    appropriate length of dressage short girth

    I just bought a shoulder relief girth and think it might be too short. It probably could have been tightened one hole. Thoughts?

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    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

    #2
    I've always been told you want the girth to be as close to the saddle flap as possible with only a few inches of free billet. I would say that is too short personally -- this is my opinion, but I have had horses get rubbed and pinched (especially XC!) when the billets have come in direct contact with the flesh for more than a couple inches or so.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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      #3
      Quite a bit too short. The buckles should be above the elbow to avoid having them interfere with the nerve that runs from the top of the fleshy part of the elbow to the underbelly. I might try something 2 sizes larger, so if this is a 24 for example, try a 28

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        #4
        Too short, its right on the nerve line there.

        Comment


          #5
          I have also read that it should sit right below the saddle pad on both sides, but all over the place I see people with them sitting where OP's is in the photos. I think it looks bizarre.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            thanks folks. survey says too short and I agree
            A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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              #7
              Yes, I'd go up 2 sizes. 2" extra on each side should get you elbow clearance.

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                #8
                2" might get it past the elbows, but I'd be tempted to got up more so it is almost touching the pad.

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                  #9
                  While we're on the topic, sometimes I hear a clinking sound I assume from the stirrup hitting the buckle on the girth. I also have a TSF girth, as recommended by my saddle fitter in the size recommended by the fitter but would you also take into consideration the rider's leg length to avoid this annoyance?
                  http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                    While we're on the topic, sometimes I hear a clinking sound I assume from the stirrup hitting the buckle on the girth. I also have a TSF girth, as recommended by my saddle fitter in the size recommended by the fitter but would you also take into consideration the rider's leg length to avoid this annoyance?
                    I think you should fit the horse correctly and not worry about an “annoyance “.

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                      #11
                      My friend warned me that the TSF girth’s do not stretch much and to size up. I ordered a 24 instead of her normal 22 and it was perfect.

                      Per picture...too short.

                      Susan

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                        While we're on the topic, sometimes I hear a clinking sound I assume from the stirrup hitting the buckle on the girth. I also have a TSF girth, as recommended by my saddle fitter in the size recommended by the fitter but would you also take into consideration the rider's leg length to avoid this annoyance?
                        I get this too so I have ordered a girth that has buckle covers. Hopefully it works.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Kyrabee View Post
                          My friend warned me that the TSF girth’s do not stretch much and to size up. I ordered a 24 instead of her normal 22 and it was perfect.

                          Per picture...too short.

                          Susan
                          True, but I would say it's not brand-specific and is the case for dressage girths generally. Since dressage girths are usually short and multiple layers stitched together they don't generally stretch a noticeable amount. In my experience girths have only stretched if they are the longer H/J style with elastic on both ends, and it is the elastic that gives way over time.
                          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                            #14
                            A general rule of thumb, for either GP or dressage, is that the girth should fasten on the fourth hole from the billet end on the right side, third hole on the left side before you get on, to allow for it to be tightened by one hole on the left once you get on.

                            ETA I’d be slightly concerned that the billets aren’t hanging straight down but look like they’re being drawn forward, this might be a consequence of the girth being too short.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes, the girth is too short. I'm also looking at saddle fit and placement. The height of the pommel and cantle is about equal and it looks like the saddle might be placed too far forward on the withers. The seat is sloping downward towards the cantle which will put you behind the balance point. That is hard on the horse. Also, the stirrups are falling well behind the girth.

                              I was riding in a Susan Harris clinic last fall and she walloped me over the head (not really ) with a rear riser pad before she slipped it under the cantle. My gelding is now 26 and his back has dropped some. I also lost quite a bit of weight (not on purpose, it was a med change). I fit my saddle (Albion) much better. I hadn't given much thought to any of this. I had the saddle adjusted by the same saddle fitter who reflocked it three years ago. I bought a good rear riser that works well with my Supracor dressage pad. No adjustments were needed up front. Since everything fell into place I am having way more fun riding a horse who is very very happy. We are now 98 and looking forward to a Century Ride next year.
                              "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                                While we're on the topic, sometimes I hear a clinking sound I assume from the stirrup hitting the buckle on the girth. I also have a TSF girth, as recommended by my saddle fitter in the size recommended by the fitter but would you also take into consideration the rider's leg length to avoid this annoyance?
                                For the OP, if that's her normal stirrup length, going up 3 sizes (6") would probably put the buckles above the iron. I also go for having the top of the girth just below the saddle pad, so even my not-very-big horse is in a 30" girth. I also don't like having to try to tighten a girth that barely goes to the last hole or two of the billets.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  "A general rule of thumb, for either GP or dressage, is that the girth should fasten on the fourth hole from the billet end on the right side, third hole on the left side before you get on, to allow for it to be tightened by one hole on the left once you get on." Nous, that's a very specific # of holes for a "general rule of thumb." It's much too specific, in fact. The # of holes will depend entirely on the brand of saddle, the length of the billets, the size of the horse's barrel, etc. I don't think this is good advice.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    it is always good advice to not be on the top hole. I ordered the 28" for my 24 year old guy with huge shoulders and withers. (we have a combined age of 92 and I rode him at the track in 2002!)

                                    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Nous View Post
                                      A general rule of thumb, for either GP or dressage, is that the girth should fasten on the fourth hole from the billet end on the right side, third hole on the left side before you get on, to allow for it to be tightened by one hole on the left once you get on.

                                      ETA I’d be slightly concerned that the billets aren’t hanging straight down but look like they’re being drawn forward, this might be a consequence of the girth being too short.
                                      When you say billet end, do you mean the end attached to the saddle or the end that flaps down? Because the latter makes no sense at all - billet length is all over the map. I was always taught to fit my girth to the horse's build, not to some random number of holes.

                                      My current horses girths both have the buckles just above the point of the shoulder. One takes a 24" , the other a 26". 24" is up ~4 holes from the bottom on my ancient passier, give or take a hole for "seasonal" fluxuations (i.e. miss mare blows up like a beach ball when we're in the dead of winter, the hay is plentiful and the exercise is not). The 26" is on hole 7 - 8 from the bottom but she's in a new Custom that has crazy long billets.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Nous View Post
                                        A general rule of thumb, for either GP or dressage, is that the girth should fasten on the fourth hole from the billet end on the right side, third hole on the left side before you get on, to allow for it to be tightened by one hole on the left once you get on.

                                        ETA I’d be slightly concerned that the billets aren’t hanging straight down but look like they’re being drawn forward, this might be a consequence of the girth being too short.
                                        Can also depend on brand of saddle and flap+ billet placement. Not a lot of non-dressage saddles with long billets have them hang straight down. Billets being drawn forward can sometimes be a sign of a girth being too small, but can also be a sign that the flap+billet configuration is not right for the horse's anatomy.

                                        I've been in the dressage scene for a while now and haven't heard that as a rule of thumb. It really depends on the saddle. Not directly dressage related, but to show how saddle flap angulation and where the billet comes out plays such a huge role.. I have a horse that is in a 28" dressage girth for his dressage saddle (Kieffer Wein). In this saddle with the girth snug, the billets are almost entirely used up (maybe 2 holes from top) - and the girth buckles sits above his elbows. In his Stubben Zaria, the girth sits just below his elbows and I can't buckle more than the #2 billet hole on either side. In his BC Vinci, I can't even get the 28 on him at all..
                                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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