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Can we talk about string girths?

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  • Can we talk about string girths?

    Wasn't sure where to put this so I chose here, where most of the people whose opinions I value hang out the most.

    I found a string girth in a sale bin yesterday and since the list of "pieces of tack I do not own" is short but included such an item, and it was like 80% off, I bought one. Finding girths short enough to use on Keebler (little horse) with a monoflap saddle is challenging.

    So if you use one and like them, what is so good about them? If you hate them, why?
    Click here before you buy.

  • #2
    I don't like them, but, in their defense, my biggest time spent with them was working in a very busy school mill type of lesson barn. We used them a lot, and we also had a lot of girth galls, so now I tend to think string girths=girth galls. Supposedly, they are GOOD for sensitive horses, so the girth galls may have had more to do with bad grooming, entirely too many hours under tack, very furry (and thus, sweaty) horses, etc, etc, etc (I only lasted their 6 weeks). Take my grumpiness with a grain of salt!


    • #3
      Did you buy mohair?

      I have one of these in dressage length. No substitute if horsey is very sensitive and gets girth sores easily (once you have ruled out saddle fit issues). Don't use it often, but they are superior in a lot of way. They last forever, don't need to be cleaned after every ride, don't mold. FIT, FIT, FIT just right.



      • #4
        I also remember using string girths on school horses as a child, but haven't seen them used much since. How do you clean them? I imagine they could be more annoying to keep clean than a leather or synthetic girth that can be wiped down.

        I must admit I have been curious about using string girths too because I have a monoflap saddle on a smaller horse. Short brown girths are hard to find!


        • #5
          My horse had a couple of nodular sarcoids removed from his girth area -- right in front of where the girth usually lies. Obviously, he had a good amount of time off to heal before I tacked him up again, but once the vet gave me the OK to put a girth on him, I used a string girth for a while, because my trainer thought it would be more comfortable for him. It seemed to work really well. He is back in his normal girth now, but the string girth was excellent when he was still a little sensitive.
          Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


          • #6
            String girths

            I used one years ago and liked it and can't say for sure why I changed unless it was just a fad thing.

            I cleaned my with mild detergent, yours may have cleaning suggestions, but I made a 'stretcher' for it to dry on so that I didn't have to worry with shrinkage/shape. Newer ones may not have that problem. But, I just took a light board that was slightly longer and wider than the girth and put 4 cup hooks in it. Worked great!


            • #7
              I used a short, and long one, on a sensitive horse. Had tried a wintec, leather, and a synthetic sheepskin, but this was the only one that didn't make him swell (ones I bought were nylon). I got a little roll of velcro and made keepers for them.
              "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aussie08 View Post
                I used one years ago and liked it and can't say for sure why I changed unless it was just a fad thing.

                I cleaned my with mild detergent, yours may have cleaning suggestions, but I made a 'stretcher' for it to dry on so that I didn't have to worry with shrinkage/shape. Newer ones may not have that problem. But, I just took a light board that was slightly longer and wider than the girth and put 4 cup hooks in it. Worked great!
                Same experience here. In fact my special order Passier AP (1985) came with a very nice string girth that I ended up giving to the BO/instructor/adopted Mom.
                The main reason I used leather girths with my old girl is the elastic end. She was and still is a bit spicy.

                FYI - am using a western string girth with my western saddle, just as I have always done. Never cared much for the look and feel of the non-string western girths.
                "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                Courtesy my cousin Tim


                • #9
                  I love string girths. I think that the are more giving, and my horses always tolerate them quite well. They're usually not costly, so it's my go-to purchase if I need a new girth for a horse I'm riding but don't own, or for a growing youngster, or if I need a new size to accommodate a saddle I don't absolutely love (and therefore might sell in the not so distant future.)


                  • #10
                    I use them and like them, I think the sensitive horses tolerate them well, they tend to be wide enough to spread the pressure & have more leeway than the leather girths do. Mine were not cheap.

                    I just toss mine in the washing machine & air dry, never had a problem.


                    • #11
                      I also love string girths. Good for the girth sensitive type-and I utilized them with the impression they produced a lower occurance of girth galls--I never had one caused by a string girth. I too wash in the washer and air dry.


                      • #12
                        There are several different kinds of string girth. I love the mohair girths with fat strings. They don't slip, give, and are comfortable. I've never had a girth gall from them, and brushed them with a stiff brush more often than I washed them.

                        There are string girths with nylon strings, and I dislike those, whether thin or fat strings. The ones with fat strings - Trevira? - slip, and I think the thin ones pinch.

                        As usual, then: it depends. Have you tried it yet?


                        • #13
                          For a grey horse who gets sores under a leather girth in the dead heat of summer, a string girth is the one and only answer. Plus you can chuck them in the washing machine.
                          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                          • #14
                            Put in over your belly. Would like it? I don't think I would.
                            Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson


                            • #15
                              I have a mohair one that I love, generally for use in the hot part of the summer. I think they breathe much better than any other material. It's white, though, so it's not the "prettiest" for shows.


                              • Original Poster

                                My belly is not covered with fur, and girths go across their chests anyhow.

                                Going to try it this week on Keebler, who is pretty stoic about tack but I'm curious to see how it fits as a 20" non-elastic where he wears an 18" elastic dressage girth. (try finding THOSE in more than 2 styles!)

                                Boscoe is the "princess and the pea" horse so I'll be curious to see how he feels about it, too.
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  Started my first " English" riding with string girths, still have some. They don't chafe. The shorter mohair girths are great on dressage saddles (Reiner Kleimke used one). Throw them in the washer and they are clean.

                                  OK, I use a very expensive all elastic girth now, but my fingers along with the rest of my joints are old.
                                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                  • #18
                                    They were very popular when your other options were the tri-fold leather and balding leather girths, both sans elastic (and very expensive). They breathe, they are cheap, easily washable, and safe (one string goes, you have 15 more). As leather girths improved (can you even buy a tri-fold anymore and how many of us know how to care for them? (flannel soaked in oil in the center)) with easier care and ELASTIC I think string & mohair fell out of favor. They also don't look as nice as a leather girth.
                                    Also other versions of safe, comfortable cheap nylon girths arrived like the Toklat fleecy ones.

                                    But they still are cheap, breathable and very easy to keep clean- string was always touted for horses who were prone to girths sores for the breathable and cleaning aspects.


                                    • #19
                                      I have one that came with my (used) dressage saddle some 12 years ago. I use it sporadically; I was taught that it's good to use a string girth after fresh body clipping, to help reduce rubs...that's about the only time I use it. I like how it wads up and sort of hides in the corner of my trailer's dressing room... it has been a savior on more than one occasion when I forgot to pack a girth! As others said, just throw it in the washing machine to clean. It's not a piece of tack I use often, but I'm glad to have it around for certain occasions.
                                      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                      ? Albert Einstein



                                      • #20
                                        I used one on my mare who used to fall over when you did up her girth. She was special. She loved it. For some reason, she would get anxious when you put a leather girth on, or any type of stiffer girth and would hold her breath and then fall over, even if you did it up very slowly and walked her around while you did it up. She never did it with the string girth. I think because it's so supple, you don't get pressure points like you can with a leather girth because it shapes perfectly to the horse.