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cheap vs. expensive girths

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  • cheap vs. expensive girths

    Hi,

    From the perspective of the horse's comfort, is there a difference between an inexpensive/moderately priced girth ($100 ish or less, e.g., soft touch girth or wintec girth or Nunn Finer) and a more expensive (over $150 e.g., County, Passier, etc) girth? Do the more pricey girths stabilize the saddle more or offer significantly more comfort?

    Thanks for sharing your impressions...
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  • #2
    I'm sorry I can't answer your question but I wanted to relate something that happened to me.

    I use a Wintec elastic girth. When it started to crack, I decided to use a leather girth a friend had given me. Well, my horse was spooky that ride. I first thought it was just because of the change in weather. But the next 2 times I used the girth he was spooky too. During that week my trainer also rode him and thought he was spookier than normal. The next week I switched back to the Wintec and his spookiness went away. Needless to say, I bought a new Wintec girth and sold the leather girth on Ebay. I'm not 100% sure it was the girth, but I rather be safe than sorry.

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    • #3
      I like synthetic, antimicrobial girths better than leather. They're easy care, rinse or sponge off, no mold, no stretch or change in shape with use/sweat. AND they're cheaper. Ovation or Thornhill Airform girths come in many sizes and elastic at ends. I have NICE saddles and I use these $40 girths for years and recommend them highly.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        lots of variation but...

        I have used the Soft Touch girths and like them very much -- they do have to be replaced every 5-7 or so years when they start to crack.

        Someone loaned me a Logitech girth for my new County saddle (flaps are longer, soft touch doesn't fit). It's a pricey girth and I expected it to feel like butter.

        Gosh -- it FEELS stiff and uncomfortable in my hands, and my youngster hates being girthed. Don't think it's the saddle (hope not).

        I'm tempted to get another soft touch in a shorter length, or may be a Nunn Finer Piaffe. It is sooooo soft and a nice shape to boot. Plus it comes in brown.
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        • #5
          sheepskin only for my horse

          He is a crank if his girth is not appropriately clad in sheepskin (the real thing, no synthetics)

          I use a mid range leather girth with a mattes cover. His highness is happy. He HATES neoprene!!!
          Last edited by TBrescue; Jan. 29, 2011, 03:50 PM. Reason: typo

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          • #6
            Silly mare has a very narrow space between her body and her elbow, so she gets chafed by anything the least bit rough where the skin folds over the top of the girth. After trying many hundreds of $$$$ worth of various fancy leather girths (and sheepskin and other girth socks), we tried a $30 Ovation thing, shaped with a little blob of gel in the middle (which doesn't do anything IMO, but it's there). Finally, no more chafed up armpits! I still use a girth sock just to be extra safe, but I was so happy to find a dirt cheap solution. I do have to replace it about once a year b/c it wears out and the elastic overstretches, but I can buy a lot of $30 girths for how much I have wasted in the past....

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            • #7
              First of all, I think some stretch is MANDATORY for most horse's comfort. Not all girths (including very expensive ones) have elastic in them. The county logic girths have almost no stretch at all, as expensive as they are. And they are thick (wide), so for a horse with a narrower girth groove, that could cause some rubbing.

              I much prefer the Albion ergo-shaped girth, which is softer leather, more elastic at the ends, and not quite so darn thick. I also love those Passier all-elastic girths, and find most of my horses do well in them. I tried a County Logic and got some grumpy horses when I tightened the girth. So, those are all fairly expensive girths, but one got a major "hooves down" rating from a few horses.

              I have used a Wintec on one of my horses - he was very small, and it was the only thing I could find that was short enough - and he was very sensitive, and never objected to that girth. So, there, a cheapo that seemed to be quite comfortable.

              Oh, another "MUST" - roller buckles...

              I think it all depends on the horse. Finding one that fits the girth groove is important to their comfort, and finding one with enough stretch (but not so much that it slides around) is important. And I do think you can find those without spending a fortune!

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              • #8
                What do you think of the way the buckles on the Nunn Finer Piaffe dressage girth can slide to equalize pressure in the billets? Seems like a good idea to me. Are their other girths that do that?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lusoluv View Post
                  I like synthetic, antimicrobial girths better than leather. They're easy care, rinse or sponge off, no mold, no stretch or change in shape with use/sweat. AND they're cheaper. Ovation or Thornhill Airform girths come in many sizes and elastic at ends. I have NICE saddles and I use these $40 girths for years and recommend them highly.
                  I second this. I use a Wintec.
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                  • #10
                    I really like the mohair girth I got recently (although for my jumping saddle). It has a bit of grip, it breathes, it has some stretch and it's washable. These can cost a bunch, but my Dover one was only $20. And NO cinchy sores, either so the horse is

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                    • #11
                      With leather, I bought one "cheap" one that had a hard leather piece above the buckles as a keeper and it rubbed my horse sore quickly. So that and no roller buckles and elastic are the main differences in some of the prices. Going into the tack store, the super expensive girths don't seem any better than the lesser expensive one I bought from Dover. Seems the price differences don't make the same difference in the leather as in bridles.

                      Was using a Passier all elastic girth which worked well for a few years but then I realized it was over stretched and not holding my saddle in place any more. Replaced it with a super cheap synthetic girth by Eos that I'd never heard of on trainer's recommend and horses seem to like it. It doesn't have elastic but seems to have some give, also like that it's soft and though wide it doesn't constrict the horse's movement. Have also use Wintec. Their lack of elastic seems to bother me more and make girthing up harder.

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                      • #12
                        I really like the 27 dollar smart pack fleece girth. I also just started using a buccas cotton girth (also quite inexpensive). I used Wintec but I think these other materials are better for my horse. Leather and synthetic are great, but my horse is very round/broad and I need something with a little more "stick" when it gets sweaty. I also use cheap bits too, finding the right style is more important then cost.

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                        • #13
                          After years of riding with Wintecs I got my first "expensive" girth for my new mare, and it makes a huge difference for the stability of the (well fitted) saddle. I don't have to pull it as tight, hence I would argue it's more comfortable for the horse. My mare is not at all flinchy about being saddled. She stands happily and quietly.

                          I have the this one (got it with their Holiday discount ) based on the recommendation of my saddler to go with this shape: http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...6&cm_vc=Search

                          (FWIW: I also tried the Prof. Choice and a super elastic fleece covered, and found both of them absolutely useless...)
                          "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
                            I second this. I use a Wintec.
                            Ditto. I will never buy another leather girth. I have been using Wintec girths for probably 8 years now. That is all I buy and use them on a variety of horses. They last forever, clean easily, are comfy for the horse and, important for us on the humid Gulf Coast - have STAINLESS STEEL buckles that don't rust. Can't tell you how many more $$$ girths I've bought and had the durn buckles RUST.
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                            • #15
                              I don't think the price means anything at all. I've had cheap and expensive on all my horses, never elastic. The one that has made all my horses happy is a nylon outer, and 1/4 inch felt lining. The compression of the felt makes it "give" less than elastic, but more than leather. (When I say cheap it does not include shoddy, I mean less expensive but well made.)

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                              • #16
                                I have had some really nice girths. Some of them are totally worth the money (schleese, dk). If they fit your horse, they are worth the money. Nevertheless, a saddlefitter recommended the wintec girths for my difficult to fit, panic and girth gall prone horse and it works beautifully. I wouldn't hesitate to buy wintec. Nice girths. I wouldn't buy any other girth unless I had a good reason to.

                                I have tried some super elastic girths on my horse. I don't think she liked it because it was always pulling. Girth must have some give, but not so that it's always pulling.

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                                • #17
                                  It totally depends on the horse, saddle and girth = ) How's that for useful?

                                  But on my short coupled appy with my very loved Passier GG, I've had great luck with my $40 Wintec girth. I think it still looks good enough to show in - and all you have to do is rinse it off periodically.

                                  Some horses are very very delicate in their girth region, so it may require lots of trial and error if you own one of these. I started out in arabs, and I have never had so much trouble with delicate skin and girth areas. We always had to try what seemed like 20 different girths, covers, and adjustments to get the right one that wouldn't cause a rub within 5 minutes (slight exaggeration, but some horses just have very sensitive parts, haha).

                                  My advice, try a Wintec and see how it goes. If you go with leather, you do often have to spend a bit more to get quality, but after you get to a certain price point, it's usually just brand name that inflates the price, not the quality of the leather.

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                                  • #18
                                    I have the Nunn Finer Piaffe girth and HATE it, so do my horses. While the idea of "equalizing pressure" sounds good in theory, in reality I find it causes my saddles to creep forward. I've gone back to my Ronja, but really need to find another alternative in a smaller size for the youngster. The Piaffe girth was purchased for her but it's now for sale and I'm just using the Ronja on both horses.

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                                    • #19
                                      My mares loves her Ovation cheapy $29.99 synthetic girth.
                                      "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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                                      • #20
                                        Nope. I like synthetic girths that wick away sweat and allow at least some air in. And can be cleaned with a hose. I think I have the Ovation one too. I also love SmartPak's synthetics, very nice.
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