How To Choose The Best Girth For Your Horse Or Pony


What is against your horse is the key. A soft flexible no slip breathable foam is best. Horses come in many body types, well sprung rib cages, high or low withers, sharp or narrow shoulders.  Not all girths will fit all horses the same way. Flexibility in materials is very important.  So too is the protection on their backs. Often a horse labeled as “girthy” is really what we call “cold backed”. They resist tacking and are tight in their backs. A two fold approach is best for these horses. Give them both a protective saddle pad and a form fitting girth.  ThinLine not only distributes pressure but it alleviates saddle slip and allows horses to relax and breath. As always, relaxation is the key. 

In your girth or cinch:

Can your horse breathe? Is the saddle kept quiet and still? Does he allow you to cinch up without complaint?  

Girth Features

Tightness: A girth fastened too tightly or made of the wrong materials can affect the expand-ability of the horse’s rib cage: choose a non-slip flexible girth.

Buckles: If you choose a girth too small, especially with dressage girths and western cinches, the buckles will impinge on the horse’s elbow and triceps muscles. What materials back your buckle?

Elastic: English girths – Single elastic girths only have “give” at one end, meaning horses can breathe better and the saddle can move with the shoulder on one side more than the other.  The best choice is triple elastic on both ends. Dressage girths are available with elastic at the center, a great option as the elastic lies on the horses’ sternum. Short girths without elastic are best with the V system allowing the buckle point to move and provide comfort to the wider area of the rib cage.  

Short Girths/Cinches:Dressage girths and western cinches are shorter as the saddle billets are longer. This design allows freedom of the rider’s leg without bulk (the feel of the buckles) under the flap as you would find in jumping saddles. Freedom of the horse’s legs should be also very important for Dressage, Reining, and Cutting horses. If the short girth or cinch is too small, the buckle will be directly behind your horse’s elbow which may restrict range of motion.  Be sure the buckle is backed with a protective product such as ThinLine.

RELATED: Western Saddle Pads By Thinline.

Girth Materials

The Best Materials in a Girth:  What riders need to look for is a soft, no slip breathable material. Softness is important as the girth needs to make close contact with as much area as possible. Pressure distributing products are the best. Additionally materials which breathe (allowing ventilation under the girth) greatly improve comfort. Any girth which can kill skin bacteria and fungus is the best option. Sheepskin covers are helpful on leather girths but they tend to bunch and are difficult to keep clean.  ThinLine answers all of these problems without any of the historical drawbacks.

ThinLine,  delivers all the benefits with none of the drawbacks found in traditional girths and cinches. It distributes pressure, is non-slip, has active anti-fungal agents, is soft and allows horses to move with maximum comfort. It is easy to care for, simply wipe it down with a little soap and water. Whenever your saddle can stay stationary and your horse can breathe well you will see horses become more and more relaxed, forward, and through. 

Look for the basics: Choosing the Best Western or English Girth Should be a Cinch

~ Posted by ThinLine – September, 2014 Choosing the Best Girth Should be a Cinch!