Girth Sliding into Arm Pits - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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Girth Sliding into Arm Pits

I had a great ride last weekend with my little mare. She conditioning was great, even though it was hot and the trails were awfully hilly/rocky. Our only problem was that after our first day I noticed some heat and swelling of the girth area. The swelling was in the "arm pit" area, way forward of were my girth usually sits. My saddle tends to slide forward doing downhill, so I wonder if my saddle pulled my girth forward on the downhills and rubbed her? (I use a mohair girth, by the way.)

What should I do about this? Maybe buy a crupper to keep everything a little more stable?
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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I love my Alpaca girth as that (in part) helped with my horse's girth galls, but until I was able to rig my latigo's differently, I could not resolve the issue. Since switching to a 7/8's rigging, things have gone much better for us.

I also have the option in our saddle to do as noted in this Julie Goodnight vid:
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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Unfortunately, my saddle has English rigging. Not much room to work there.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 09:11 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE Pa
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My first reaction to hearing anything about girth boogers is to check their back. Sometimes subtle back pain can show up as girth issues as their protecting their back changes how they move.

If the back is ok, my next suggestion is Body Glide. I use it on myself under my tights at races and use it under the girth on any ride longer than 20ish miles. Let me tell you, I notice the difference on my own legs with and without!

A crupper is a good idea if the saddle is shifting that far forward. But I would think your girth would have to be pretty loose also to shift forward that much. Can someone you ride with take a look for you as you go downhill?

Another random thought, is your horse starting to grow a winter coat (not sure how much their coats change down south). I know one of our boys is very prone to girth boogers when his coat is changing, but doesn't have issues in either wooly mammoth or summer coat mode.

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,246
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Her back isn't obviously sore, but I've never gotten her backed checked by a chiro or a professional saddle fitter. I have a specialized that I shimmed myself. Since getting the new saddle, however, she top line has improved. So in the very least she's less sore than last saddle.

I could actually use some Body Glide for myself! I think I've actually seen that stuff at Walmart. Sounds like a easy thing to try next ride.

I do ride with a somewhat loose girth. I can fit all my fingers under it without much resistance. My saddle moves back and forth probably four inches, judging the range of sweat marks.

Southern horses don't grow any hair until December usually. My horse sometimes skips the hair thing all together and just insists on staying slick.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 08:54 AM
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Location: Ontario
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The issue may be with the girth tension, a little too loose. It sounds like it's rubbing instead of gripping.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:18 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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agree with it sounding too loose, but I also think a saddle will slide, regardless of girth tension, if the horse is a certain shape. I rode an awesome little mare that was fairly round, with a straight back, little withers and smaller shoulders, that was naturally built downhill. With the right saddle she felt fine on the flat and going up, but you HAD to have a crupper on her going down long steep grades, or your saddle would slide forwards.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Def use body glide or some show sheen :) should help
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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It could just be that the saddle when settled into the right spot on your horse's back has the billets farther back than the girth groove. Some English saddles have multiple billet attachment options where the billets can be sewn onto different tabs (my dressage saddle does, at least) If that's not an option, you can look into the "anatomical" girths that are shaped so that the girth sits a little more forward than straight girths. The County Logic is the one I'm most familiar with, though there are other companies that make similar girths: Dressage, Jumping, and Multi-Purpose Saddles Catalog
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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You probably can't use this BUT, after we started CW Reenacting (1986) I found the beauty of both a breastplate AND a crupper. My mare needs a crupper bc after long rides the saddle slips forward on her without one. I don't need to worry about the girth slipping either. The military DID know what they were doing with equipment.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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