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Anatomical girths. Who has 'em?

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    Anatomical girths. Who has 'em?

    I'm intrigued. They were the ONLY type of girths my old trainer (rode UL dressage horses) would use on her horses. For the babies we used the Professional's Choice girths. I'm a huge fan of the PC girths. We did our own test against the Smartpak version, and needless to say we threw the SP girth away.

    I've never tried an anatomical girth on either of my horses. I have two PC girths, one for dressage and one for jumping. I do stretch Sky's leg out before tightening and getting on to pull loose skin out of the way, but now I'm curious if a shaped girth would be useful. He has a monster whither and shoulder, and can be a bit girthy. Not overly so and not every ride, but enough that I notice it. There are other things I could go spend $125 on right now other than a girth that may or may not benefit my horse. On the other hand, if it makes him more comfortable and willing to cart my ass around the sandbox.....wellllll...

    I'm interested to read the responses of others. I'm sure by now we've all seen the EN article.
    runnjump86 Instagram

    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

    I have the Toulouse version of this girth that I bought in desperation to try to keep my mare's dressage saddle from riding forward.

    It didn't help (26 saddles later, I found one that doesn't move - the girth was not the issue).

    But it does fit her conformation a whole lot better than a non-shaped girth. She goes just as well in her super cushy Matted shaped girth so the contour/shoulder relief etc was not a game changer.

    I don't quite know what the difference between this new girth and the County Contour girth - came out years ago - or the Toulouse contour girth. The Toulouse was inexpensive and is decent leather but not "buttery soft".

    They have been marketing up a storm though, and it seems like a good idea, but I've found there is no accounting for preferences when it comes to horses. They like what they like.


      I have a Tekna that I just adore. It's not leather, but a "Quik-clean" material you can just rinse with water and it's good as new. It's super soft and flexible and fits my TB perfectly.
      "People who say riding isn't a sport are just intimidated because in our game, the ball has a mind of it's own."


        I like the way they fit -- I have both the Total Saddle Fit dressage girth and a Toulouse one for jumping.

        My horse has a short, curvy back and a super forward girth groove. She became girthy about the time I switched her to the TSF girth, but I think that was actually an ab soreness problem, based on the fact that the massage therapist found a monster muscle knot right where the girth went. We had been working to come back from surgery, and lots of walking under saddle, with me asking her to use her abs, and have an active walk made her sore. It showing up about the time I switched girths seems to have been a coincidence. Going back to the other girth made no difference, so I've continued on with the TSF one and now we are conditioning a happy response to girthing (ha! I'm giving her a cookie every time I tighten a hole -- she does like that!) and it seems to be better.

        The Toulouse works well with her jumping saddle, but it was more expensive and feels less comfy than the TSF, but that may only be my perception.

        Overall, I think the anatomical girths have only benefits -- whether they are miracle working bits of lovely leather, I don't know. But, I haven't found a downside, other than cost.
        I have Higher Standards you? Find us on FB!
        Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


          I have a TSF long girth for my short-backed, long-shouldered Trakehner youngster and really like it. He has a very forward girth groove and gets very short in the front end when saddles ride forward (not a good thing when he's super lazy to begin with!) I have the Delfina short girth for my dressage saddle, and while it does the job, I much prefer the TSF girths. For the record, I also own a County Logic long girth and a Chetak short girth in the anatomic style and I think TSF blows all of them out of the water. Their girths are so soft and flexible - when I got my 50" long girth it came in about an 8" square box. I couldn't believe it until I opened the box and saw how flexible it was.

          Adams Equine Wellness


            I am another TSF girth fan. I have one for my monoflap jump saddle. It's super soft and flexible, very nice. I want another one for my dressage saddle!


              I have several County Logic girths and I love them and won't ride in anything else. I did order a TSF girth off of the recommendations on this board and I am not a's too wide and bulky and I can feel it under my leg, which I dislike. But if the horses were happier with it than the Counties I would have sucked it up. They seem to feel the same way about it as my Counties, though, so for now I'm sticking with my Counties. I also have a Jaguar anatomical girth which also works just as well as the Counties (it's just smaller and I have no smaller horses right now).

              With all of that being said, I have two horses who act girthy (part of why I went down the anatomical path in the first place). Both get snarky and snappy when girths get tightened. Both had issues that needed to be worked out with my bodyworker and chiropractor that perhaps caused the snarkiness in the first place, but neither ever stopped doing it. My gelding is a real ass too. If I didn't know that it doesn't hurt I'd have a hard time believing it since he makes all sorts of faces and snaps the air and at the crossties when I pick up the girth to connect to the second side. But the minute I hook it he starts yawning and is perfectly happy, so suffice it to say that it's just a quirky thing he opted to retain from back in the day when he had sternum issues.

              So I guess I wouldn't expect an anatomical girth to change a whole lot with girthiness while being girthed up, but I do feel like my anatomical girths keep my saddles in place better than straight girths. And because I have a horse with an injury in the girth area that I rode girthless for a few weeks and am now riding in a fuzzy straight girth on holes 1 and 1 (meaning it literally hangs there), I realize that my saddles fit well enough to not move on their own, but the anatomical girths seem to stay further forward and out of the way of my leg better than straight girths.....which might be less of an issue with a PC girth versus a big fuzzy girth.
              Flying F Sport Horses
              Horses in the NW


                I'm a big fan of my TSF girth, saving up now for the dressage version as well!
                No Trouble
                2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.


                  I have one, it came with the horse. I don't think it changes where the saddle fits (it still slides back if it wants to). I actually used to use a Pro Choice neoprene girth, which does help a bit in preventing saddle sliding. However I started using this girth when the horse had a sore shoulder, as I had read online that the contoured girth could help with shoulder freedom etc.

                  Can't say I've noticed a difference, but I figured, why not try it in case it does provide some relief.

                  You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                    I have two -- one County Logic and one Dover. Got the Logic 1st, bought the Dover one when it became apparent that the leather wasn't planning on darkening past a red-brown color on the County!

                    They both seem to do the job equally well -- the Dover has a tiny bit shallower curve but otherwise hold the saddle just fine. I didn't notice any difference in the way my gelding behaved or moved, but I always felt my saddle was too far forward with my SMX girth and with these it feels much more normal.
                    fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                    skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk


                      Original Poster

                      Thanks all. I'm trying to find one I can borrow before actually buying, especially since we are just tack walking at the moment after having the entire summer off. He goes pretty well in the PC girths, and I especially love them when I go XC since I can just hose all the gunk right off and it looks brand new again.

                      He is a big mover, which is why I was rolling the idea around to get one for dressage. I may buy one for the hell of it and if anything else resell it on Facebook!
                      runnjump86 Instagram

                      Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                        I have one for my dressage saddle. I'm not sure it's technically an "anatomical" girth--but it's a contoured one. Here it is:

                        It has seemed to make my mare MUCH less girthy than she used to be. No more cranky-pants during the girth tightening! So, from a horse comfort perspective, it *does* seem to work (and I am rather dubious of newest, latest products with sketchy research to back up their claims).


                          Read this as "Anatomical Gifts. Who has 'em?" and thought, sadly, not me.
                          Proud Member of the League of Weenie Eventers
                          Proud Member of the Courageous Weenie Eventers Clique


                            I have a couple of Countys, which I really like, and a Total Saddle Fit that I bought in desperation when I switched to a saddle with longer billets and I couldn't find a used County to fit my young horse. I've used anatomical girths for so many years due to my old horse needing them that I kind of default to it when I need a new girth.

                            The County ones work really, really well on my current TB- I won't ride him in anything else. He has a set back girth groove and they work perfectly for him. My WB, the young guy, doesn't really care but the TSF girth is really lovely and as someone else said there doesn't seem to be a downside. The TSF is a lot wider than the County model, or the other anatomical ones I've seen, but it doesn't bother me. Also, I like that the pressure is spread out a bit more across the width, particularly since my guy is....well, somewhat tube-shaped, let's say.

                            I had a Le Tixerant girth several years ago for my old horse and loved it, but after a lot of use the elastic stretchy bit in the middle stretched out too much, and it began to smell really, really bad. The metal dees for attaching things also rusted very quickly. That was *not* a cheap girth so I was pretty disappointed. My horse liked it so much that I bought another one when the first one went kaput, and the same thing happened.
                            You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil