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Contoured or anatomical girth - do I need one?

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  • Contoured or anatomical girth - do I need one?

    I just got my new dressage saddle over the weekend (love it!) and I'm wondering if I need an anatomical or contoured girth. After my ride, my current girth (plain Wintec) has sweat marks behind the elbows where I'm assuming the "cutouts" would be for an anatomical girth. Do I need such a girth? Do you use one and which one do you like?
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

  • #2
    I never thought I needed one, but I got a free County Logic girth with my County jumping saddle and it's the most awesome thing ever!
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


    • #3
      I too have a County Logic and love it as does my horse.


      • Original Poster

        How do you know they love it? What difference did you notice?
        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


        • #5
          I had a horse that was girthy and I had the Wintec with the CAIR panels. He really liked it much better. He was less prone to feeling confined by the girth. For some horses who care about the girth, I think it really does matter.


          • #6
            I have one because horsie has something of a beer gut (conformational, I might add... some people call it a "forward girth groove..."), and it does stop the saddle from being pushed right up his shoulders and the girth from wedging into his elbows. That being said, he still ends up with the sweat marks on the girth that you describe.

            I think, when my County Logic bites the dust--assuming we haven't reached our dotage by then as it is still in very fine shape after 5 years of almost daily use--I might try one of those funny-looking Le Tixerant girths. I do see the purpose in them.


            • #7
              I say no. Wide girths distribute the pressure across their width. Contour girths distribute the pressure along the narrowest part of the girth. Some horses do not mind. Some do. For horses such as the one atr describes I would opt for an adjustable back billet so that the pressure on the wide girth can be distributed evenly.


              • #8
                For me it keeps the saddle in the right position, keeps it centered, and so far the pony seems most comfortable and does not get girth gals (which she gets in most girths). But that's just my experience!
                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                • #9
                  the anatomical ones (W shaped) are awesome! they allow more room for the horse's elbow than other girths, and don't pull the saddle down on the withers like narrower ones can.

                  the KL Select is really nice (pictured on the right)


                  • #10
                    Some horses get marks, rubs, etc behind their elbows - for these the contour girth is the solution.
                    some horses have forward girth groove - ie the girth wants to be forward from where the saddle sits and the result is a saddle pulled forward on the withers. This is where the County Logic, or similar anatomical girth comes into play. Its design allows the billets to go vertically into the girth, while the under part of the girth goes into the better place.
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                    • #11
                      I recently started using a rather wide contoured girth with my two - a sensitive, girthy cold backed type, and an elephant who is generally pudgy causing the girth to dig in quite a lot. They both seem a little happier and the sensitive boy hasn't humped on the lunge unless the saddle has slipped back while gradually girthing up. Seems to take less time to get it up to riding tight too, it used to be one hole at a time, trot, canter, another hole, trot, canter...


                      • #12
                        If your girth run somehow vertical, you don't; if your girth slant forward, an anatomical girth is probably a good idea.


                        • #13

                          This is a good quality, slightly contoured girth -- and a really good price.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                            If your girth run somehow vertical, you don't; if your girth slant forward, an anatomical girth is probably a good idea.
                            Good point!
                            "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                            • #15
                              My horse has a somewhat forward girth groove (at any rate, the girth wants to slant forward rather than go straight down). I was using the Ovation Airform girth (it's like the Wintec) but my saddle fitter expressed extreme dislike for those waffle-type synthetic girths so on her advice I bought a Nunn Finer Passage contour girth instead (leather, padded). Honestly, I don't see a difference other than it is easy to not tighten the Nunn Finer enough by accident because of the padding, which could result in rubs. It also seems to need to be tightened one hole more on the front billet than the rear. My horse goes the same in either girth.
                              MelanieC * Canis soloensis


                              • #16
                                They are not pretty, but I prefer a string girth. It contours well, and if you have a horse that is exceptionally crooked, you are not going to get girth rub marks/sores from the horse bulging out on one side.