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girth for girthy filly? update: sore on either side of withers :(

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  • girth for girthy filly? update: sore on either side of withers :(

    update: I finally got a reaction out of palpating her back. She's very sore on their side of her withers. The rest of her back is fine, just the standard reaction to pressing hard. No reaction to pressing on her belly or sides. Very reactive to the surcingle, which puts pressure around the sore spot on her withers. My jumping saddle, which has felt over the CAIR from my old Bates, seems to get the least reaction from her. The fit isn't ideal just standing there, and I've only ridden her in it once or twice, so who knows long term. It does look like I will be in the market for a new saddle once I get ex-hubby's Billy Cook sold.

    My filly is pretty girthy, and I wanted to start with a new girth first. Her saddle seems to fit well, though it could also be that. Unfortunately I'm 3.5 hours from a trainer, and as far from a vet that's worth anything. Hence trying a few things before digging deeper into my currently-shallow pockets.

    She's currently in a Wintec Elastic that fits almost up to the flaps of the saddle. It's not pinching at her elbows. It anything it seems to sit back a bit. I had a Soft Touch that rubbed her pretty badly, so that's a no-go. She's barely w-t-c at this point, but she's just not quite right, and it starts with the girth. Saddle by itself doesn't bother her. Even a looser girth doesn't seem to make it better on the lunge. She's so round I can't ride with it too loose or when she wiggles, the saddle slips a bit.

    mohair? sheepskin cover? contoured? I'm on a budget, so no $250 girths. Around $100 is fine though. Of course less is better, and used is fine too.
    Last edited by Hampton Bay; Feb. 4, 2012, 06:18 PM.

  • #2
    Check out Tack of the day Thinline girths till noon tomorrow
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

    Comment


    • #3
      dressage extensions carries a great girth under 100. It's the neoprene one here http://www.dressageextensions.com/Pr...l.asp?KEY=2788

      girthiness can be a saddle fit as well though!
      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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      • #4
        how about the smartpak fleece girth for 30 something dollars? I have one for my round arab mare and it doesn't slip badly on her (altho she does need an anatomic girth but thats another story). Anyway I would buy another one, it has held up well.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Oh, I should mention that elastic doesn't seem to work too well on her. She's so round that it lets the saddle slide a bit more than idea unless I get it so tight that she ends up really unhappy.

          I do know the issue can be saddle fit. I have 3 that I can use on her. One of them fits perfectly, until she lifts her back. Another seems to fit her very well, and when she trots it doesn't lift in the back. The tree points match her shape perfectly. It's a bit unstable on her, side to side, but she has big gaits, and I have gotten used to the nubuck seat and knee rolls of my dressage saddle, so that's going to be a huge part of why it feels unstable. The third I haven't tried on her recently. There is no one here to borrow from since I can't ride in a western saddle. So the girth is the first effort, and if that doesn't help I'll start looking to saddle fit.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I wonder about this one maybe? http://www.dressageextensions.com/Pr....asp?KEY=27002

            Comment


            • #7
              I like this girth for my round guys, and then cover it in the biggest, thickest sheepskin I can find.

              http://www.doversaddlery.com/ovation...th/p/X1-02194/

              No more girthiness...

              Comment


              • #8
                How sensitive is she? Thin-skinned? Ticklish? Can you brush her belly without trouble? If she's any of those, you'll need some kind of a fleece/sheepskin where the girth touches her belly. My PSL mare is ultra-sensitive, and when started as a filly she protested just about everything. I've got her in a SmartPak girth with fleece against the hair.
                Megan

                "The horse you get off is not the same horse that you got on. It's our task as riders to make sure that the difference is for the better."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Try using a string girth. I found that it was the only thing that worked on my filly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might want to have a Chiropractor check her out to see if she has a rib out of place. We've seen that as the problem when young horses are very girthy.
                    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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                    • #11
                      My filly is also the 'don't like it' type. Habitual teeth grinder near other horses (like 25' near!) and girthy. I bought a $25 surcingle pad (its designed to go under the surcngle at the withers). Its really puffy and really wide. I used it under my girth and girthed ever-so-slowly for a month or two and she's over it. I also brush her belly where the girth goes fairly vigorously before saddling.
                      Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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                      • #12
                        I'll second the string girth, though my girthy girl does well in her elastic girth as well. She is round too and it doesn't slide. Maybe yours is too stretchy, mine if fully elastic and quite stiff, honestly I would say it slips less than leather. I got it for $20 at a hunter jumper show in the mobile tack room (guess they didn't have a lot of buyers for 20" brown elastic short girths ), not sure what brand it is but passier makes a similar one.

                        http://www.smartpakequine.com/passie...rth-5154p.aspx

                        cheaper version
                        http://www.horsetackco.com/barnstabl...age-girth.html

                        Just looked at the Wintec and it's totally different than the elastic girth I use.

                        Mine is also very thin skinned and the wrong girth will rub her raw. Both the fully elastic girth and the string girths work great with her.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          She is thin-skinned like her mom, sensitive to the touch. I don't remember what she does when I brush her belly. I'll have to check.

                          I thought I would also try just the surcingle on her, girthed about as tight as I would girth a saddle, and see how what goes. Might give me some more to go on.

                          This past week has been so busy, and now we have had about 4.5" of rain in less than 36 hours, so riding her very soon isn't going to happen. My pasture is flooded, and being on clay it usually takes a week to dry out enough from this kind of rain.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post
                            You might want to have a Chiropractor check her out to see if she has a rib out of place. We've seen that as the problem when young horses are very girthy.
                            Same here. My daughter's horse becomes girthy on occasion, and a chiro adjustment makes a big difference.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                              Same here. My daughter's horse becomes girthy on occasion, and a chiro adjustment makes a big difference.
                              the problem is finding one!! I'm almost 2 hours from a vet worth even bothering with, and they just do basic stuff. I'm literally in the middle of nowhere. There is some massage lady who is supposed to be good, but no chiro.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                                She's barely w-t-c at this point, but she's just not quite right, and it starts with the girth. Saddle by itself doesn't bother her. Even a looser girth doesn't seem to make it better on the lunge.
                                The fact that she is barely w-t-c at this point makes me think she could also simply be uncomfortable with the u/s process yet, resulting in the girthy-ness. How is she in transitions u/s?

                                I would also of course consider ulcers, saddle fit, chiro/MT, and what you are doing u/s. I've worked with quite a few horses who were sore u/s (requiring chiro/MT) and who responded by being girthy. Try the MT near you, she might be able to help your filly even if it is just to tell you where she needs adjusting; she might also be able to refer you to a chiro near you whom you are not aware of. Horses who do not like the work being asked of them u/s - for whatever individual reason - can also respond by being girthy ime. In this case, consider what you are asking of her and how you are asking it (ie, your hands, position, the actual work, etc).
                                ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                                ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  She transitions very willingly with just a light leg (up) or slight holding of my body (down). She's very sensitive like her dam is. I ride very softly on her, soft following contact, etc. I'm not asking her for much other than to listen and respond. She's beyond smart, seriously the smartest horse I've ever sat on, and she really responds well to "good girl".

                                  I'm used to riding hot, sensitive horses, so I'm pretty good at staying out of her way and riding softly.

                                  I am a bit paranoid about soundness issues with her anyway. She cut her pastern/heel a few years ago pretty badly, down to the tendons, and it healed with a good bit of scar tissue. She's never been lame on it except very briefly when it abscessed while healing. She also reared once as a foal and flipped herself over backwards, landing on her back. Luckily she landed on soft sand, and again she never showed any signs of being lame or sore after that. But I am a worrier, especially with her because she was my first foal.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    What is her turnout situation and her feed program? Ulcers could be a consideration. Based on the additional info you've given, I would focus on it potentially being a physical issue requiring a chiro/MT first. Who knows of course it could be just about the girth (or saddle fit of course, which you noted you are considering), but ime more often it is about more than simply the girth alone.

                                    Still keep in mind her being green u/s could still have something to do with it, especially when she is a sensitive mare - she might simply require more time growing accustomed to the feel of the girth and saddle. Often however you see resistance in transitions with such horses (though of course not always). She might not react differently to the surcingle alone if these are already 'established' behaviours now (but try it!). You say you're 3.5 hours from a trainer but if the trainer is one you respect, could you send them a video of the tacking up process and of her going u/s and on the ground without a rider?

                                    Good luck! No one likes seeing their babies in discomfort or unhappy but I am sure you will figure it out. Don't forget to post updates for us! Topics such as these are always learning opportunities for all of us
                                    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                                    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I finally got a reaction out of palpating her back. She's very sore on either side of her withers. The rest of her back is fine, just the standard reaction to pressing hard. No reaction to pressing on her belly or sides. Very reactive to the surcingle, which puts pressure around the sore spot on her withers. My jumping saddle, which has felt over the CAIR from my old Bates, seems to get the least reaction from her. The fit isn't ideal just standing there, and I've only ridden her in it once or twice, so who knows long term. It does look like I will be in the market for a new saddle once I get ex-hubby's Billy Cook sold.

                                      So anyone have recommendations for a saddle that will work for a wide, round, baby who might sprout withers and is VERY VERY flat in profile? And moves very uphill? And isn't Wintec/Bates? I hate saddle shopping.

                                      I will call the massage lady too of course. Might try riding her bareback since she has a ton of mane to grab. I have a friend who can lunge me on her, who has a nice smaller arena and a round pen too.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        for years my PRE x mare expressed her disdain for girthing. We tried string, fleece, wintec---all resulted in pinned ears and a swishy tail. What ultimately suited her was an "anatomic" girth", all leather, no elastic. County Logic is probably the prototype, although mine is made by Prestige (also found a spare on ebay by Custom Saddlery).
                                        She has literally forgotten she hates being girthed. And by fitting so nicely into her forward girth groove, the saddle stays put on her round barrel.
                                        Balance is the perfect state of still water (Confucius)

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