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Facts your horse wants to know about girths.

A brilliant article from Carley Sparks with some added information from Sam Goss.

Carley has looked at the work Russell Guire from Centaur Biomechanics and added the brilliant cartoons.  I was able to attend one of Russell’s demos and all of this information was available and it really made me think about our perception when we are tacking up a horse.
We sometimes tack up much too quickly and this can cause problems with our horses we need to read their responses when we are working with them.  Here is the information from the article and some additional comments from Sam.

Elastic on the girth hinders saddle security. Bloating does not. Tension fluctuates with pace. Forget everything you think you know about girths. The research is in and it goes against almost every belief horse people hold dear.


This I found ever interesting as I have a horse that someone girthed up when I wasn’t there I now have to take a lot of time (which I don’t mind) with her girth.  I have changed the girth to a be-kind where the two buckles are attached but allow for blowing out.



I have found this with some saddles that have elastic girths.  we should look at the conformation of our horses and how they are placed with where the girth goes and how
it effects the combination.


This again is very noticeable when you have a horse that is very sensitive.  When you are working around this area in general, a lot of horses will investigate what you are doing.  For instance when you are grooming, generally checking or clipping, horse are very sensitive in this area.  So take time when applying your girth.















Watch your horse and start to understand what is happening when you apply your girth.  it is often a good idea to apply the saddle first and allow the horse’s back to warm up and the horse to get used to the girth being around his/her body.





I can quite believe this.  I was present at an international competition when an international manager tighten the girths much too tight.  They were loosened without causing disruption to the riders or competition.




Russell also explained at the demo I went to that uneven pressure from martingale loops, stud girth attachments, or breastplate loops can cause 60% difference in the efficiency of the hind legs.




Well, that would be as they are usually stronger than us females!  This has been a great chance to look at some information and see how we can help our four-legged friends become more comfortable.

*Special thanks to the ever-inquisitive Russell Guire of Centaur Biomechanics for enlightening us with much of this research. Check out his site for more compelling studies on equine biomechanics and Visualise Canada for research-based training tools he’s designed.

If you have enjoyed this article please feel free to go to Sam Goss Coaching on Facebook like our page, or leave your email on our website here at  Thank you.

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