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Anatomic Girth?

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  • Anatomic Girth?

    I have a sensitive thin skinned TB mare. We just spent the weekend at a fitter to try and sort out some saddle issues. The end result was that even with the Black Country Ricochet I have on order(have to get a custom flap for me due to my long leg...at no extra charge *fist pump*)...I will still most likely have some saddle slipping issues since she has a very forward girth groove and a large shoulder.

    She is very sensitive and easily irritated by neoprene/no slip pads...as I've learned during my 3 years of playing with saddles.

    The fitter suggested I look into anatomic girths. Said there is a chance that it would be ok even slipping forward but its hard to say, and since her royal highness is quite fed up with the last few months of saddle issues....even with a properly fitting saddle it was hard to tell (and the consensus was that she's also developed ulcers...lovely).

    I've heard mixed results about the anatomic's, so I'm a LITTLE reluctant to plop down $250 on a girth (esp after forking up the cash for a brand new saddle and eating quite a bit on the sale of my previous one) with uncertain results....

    So, who hear uses a anatomic girth, likes, dislikes, and any secret hookups for one that won't break the bank (further?)

    my royal princess that I love so very very very very much *threatens with sale to a lesson barn if this doesn't work*

  • #2
    My saddle was slipping forward a bit on the mare I am half leasing...she has a slightly forward girth spot. an anatomic girth did help, but I hear they do not help in some situations and you might need to have work done on billet placement.

    Can you borrow one from someone before making an investment? I was able to borrow one from my trainer and use it for a couple of weeks, to make sure it was going to work before spending any money.

    I did find a used County Logic girth, in good condition, at the Fine Used Saddles website for just over $100. I see she has a 50" brown one now.



    • #3
      I would definitely try and borrow one first.

      An anatomic girth turned an "energizer bunny" full of go, go, go! into a balking sour mare in the first ten minutes, and every ride she got worse. Another mare I tried it on shortened her stride and "told" me that she did not like it at all. I ended up giving it to the stable where I get lessons so I would not be tempted to use it anymore.

      It would have been excellent if the horse had girth sores as a temporary measure.

      Some horses like them, just not any of the horses I ride.


      • #4
        I have an OTTB that I use an anatomic girth for with my jump saddle and with my dressage saddle. With many TB's, the saddle wants to sit well behind the wither and frequently the most common issue is people putting their saddle too far forward to start. The problem with the wither is that the billets then want to hang down where the girth spot isn't! The anatomic girth helps keep the saddle in place yet allowing the forward curve of the girth to rest in the girth spot and also enabling the billets to hang straight. When one uses a conventional girth and the spot is far forward, the angled forward billets want to pull the saddle forward.
        Jay McGarry
        sms trained saddle fitter


        • #5
          I have a BC Ricochet (LOVE!) and use an ADT anatomic girth, not only for shoulder clearance and appropriate pressure location, but also because my guy has a forward girth grove.

          I've had this saddle since summer and it has only slipped the last few months because I body clipped late and his spring coat hasn't really come in. It doesn't slip using a fleece pad directly on his back. But normally, when his hair is normal and not like a hairless cat, I just use a regular pad (I use Lettia) and all is well.

          I did find the side Ds that came on the girth started rusting so I cut them off at the base of the nylon and you really can't tell they were ever there from 2 ft away. I didn't use them anyway. Center D is fine. No idea why they would use rustable metal on a girth. My girth was custom made due to small size (44") and at the time (2 summers ago) didn't come in brown, only nut. Comes in brown now and maybe they fixed the D issue.

          I do love that it has dark brown elastic so it looks new and it has triple elastic on both sides.


          • #6
            I'm not sure if this is exactly what your mare needs, but my friend has one and is happy with it- the girth comes in black and brown. Shires Salisbury Contoured Girth
            Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Instagram | Flickr | Calendar


            • #7
              BTW, although the BC anatomic girth comes standard without elastic, we order it with elastic at both ends.
              Jay McGarry
              sms trained saddle fitter


              • #8
                It does seem to depend on your horse's build--sometimes they're the best thing since sliced bread, and some horses hate them. I have two Toulouse girths for sale--it worked well as far as slipping went, but my horse's girth groove is shaped oddly and it didn't look comfortable on him. One is a 50" (used about a dozen times but looks brand new) and one's a 54" (used once). PM me if you'd like more info.
                "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                • Original Poster

                  ^ PM Sent.

                  Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the insight.

                  Now another question....can you get a fleece cover? This mare hates leather girths (which might be associated with her ulcers) so that's something I'm concerned about.