Keeps getting girth sores??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-13-2009, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Keeps getting girth sores???

I'm hoping someone here has some advice for me.

I got my horse Enzo a little over a year ago, he is a 9 year old thourghbred. I have never had a problem with girth sores and him but now all of a sudden no matter what I do he seems to get them and this last one was really aweful.

When I got Enzo I knew that Thourghbreds have thinnner sensitive skin so i bought a girth with a cover, he never had a problem with this and I always make sure to wash it with hypo allergenic soap and rinse it twice.

Because of school i hadn't rode Enzo in about 6 months and started riding him agian about a month or so ago and this is when the girth sores started. I do the same thing I use to do before when I tack him up, make sure the area is clean, use the clean girth cover, I stretch his legs to insure no skin bunching. However he keeps getting them, first on the right side then the left and this last one was the worse located completely under in the middle, it was huge and fleshy.

What could be causing this??
I had two ideas but im not sure.

The first one is maybe the girth is too tight????
And the second, when I first got Enzo and didnt have this problem i only rode him in an arena or on flat surfaces, after the 6 months break we only trail ride and there is a lot of uphill which he likes to trot or gallop up, maybe that is causing it??

Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-14-2009, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Aridzona
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Red face

Sometimes it depends on the kind of girth you are using and what materials it is made out of. My mare started to get some serious galls until I realized that the girth was actually pulling her hair the skin (luckily it only happened once). She never did "tell" me she was being hurt. When I went for the girth, I realized that the underside of it that was against her belly was more like a tacky-tack material than nylon...tacky-tack is NASTY for a girth. I quit using it then and there. Now I use a neoprene girth, but you also have to be careful what kind of neoprene you use. There are some out there that have the really thick padding...that's not good because it soaks up the sweat and grime eventually and you just can't wash it off, which means there's lots of bacteria growing in there that could make sores. It also starts to fall apart, which I've found rubs terribly and irritates their skin.

My girth that I had trouble with was a western girth, and I replaced it with a Big Horn Tuffy. This is the thinner type of neoprene, and it seems to be a little more compact and firm than the big spongy girths. It has yet to fall apart. It still looks brand new, even, and I've never had another problem.

However, i will say that it could also be that your girth is too tight. When I first started using my Tuffy, I felt like I needed to keep tightening it, but what the problem really was was that the neoprene was helping the girth behave EXACTLY as it's not really to hold the saddle on all by itself, just to help it be more stable. It was a blessing in disguise because I just figured, "Well, I guess I'll just have to improve my balance."...and I did. You should actually be able to slip 2 fingers comfortably between your girth and the horse. If it's too tight, the skin can't breathe.

I don't know if they still make them, but I also have an english girth that's nylon string. It's kinda like the western cotton string roping girths, but it's for english and each string is braided nylon. My horse really likes that one, too.

As for the soap, I might add (just a thought...dunno if it'd work) but I'd wash your girth sleeve first with an anti-bacterial soap...not bleach, cuz that can be caustic, but just like a regular hand or dish soap...I buy the gigantic bottles of antibacterial Ajax dish soap at Walmart for like $3 and use it on everything from dishes to wound cleansing to cleaning brushes. After you give it a wash in an antibacterial soap to kill any microbes that could be causing sores, then you might give it one in your hypo-allergenic...or you might even find one of those antibacterial soaps that advertize they're gentle on hands.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-14-2009, 01:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I know your feeling of having a horse with sensitive skin and then working extra hard to keep their skin healthy, but it never seems like enough as they continue to have problems!
Anyways, I would recommend buying a fleece girth. A cover can sometimes slip around and thus cause friction. Fleece girths are relatively cheap and easy to find, like this one: Equalizing Fleece Girth (Equine - Horse Tack Supplies - Saddle Accessories - Cinches)
And like you said, check that you aren't over-tightening the girth. You will also want to note if the saddle pad or saddle tend to slip forward or backwards, as that can put strain on the girth. Make sure the girth is in the correct place and that no skin folds are trapped. Here is a properly placed girth for reference (also showing a stretch to confirm there are no folds of skin under the girth):
Finally, make sure you are brushing the sweat and dirt off the area after every ride and the girth is clean. The existing girth sores will need some wound dressing such as Wonder Dust: Wonder Dust™ - Promotions
roro is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 10-15-2009, 11:46 AM
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The PP's have given wonderful advice on what could be causing it but I just wanted to add that I swear by this stuff. So long as the gall's aren't too serious, you can continue to work them while they heal.
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