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How tight should your girth be

This is a discussion on How tight should your girth be within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How tight should an english girth be?
  • How tight should the girth be

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    11-14-2011, 11:36 PM
My gelding has great withers. Makes it hard to find a saddle that fits, but when one stays. My daughter once finished a ride, and it was slack - as in daylight on the bottom. She & I had some words after that, because that was dangerous, but I LOVE horses with withers!

Beyond that, some horses will bloat, and some saddles will settle. I generally walk the horse some to reduce the effect of bloating, but the saddle will still settle. I find that if I tighten it tighter than most recommend, it will be slightly loose after 10 minutes of riding. I usually apologize as I tighten it: "Sorry, boy, but we both know it will get looser as soon as my fat rear settles down on it - so the sooner I'm up, the sooner it is loose!"

To date, I have no evidence he understands sentences. Oh well.

Also - what works for me is one hand on the withers, and one hand on the far side of the cantle. Make certain you are close to his side. The farther from his side, the more torque when you go up. Hop, hop, hop, then up and lean a bit over to the other side, so my weight is centered on his spine ASAP. THEN swing around and settle.

If a horse isn't inclined to wait patiently, then I figure he deserves an extra tight cinch and a quick but less comfortable mount. Even my spooky mare has figured out that if she stands still, I'll get my weight centered quickly and it is easier for her.

BTW - I also LOVE short horses. My mare is 15.3, and that is about 0.3 taller than I would buy again. I'm 53, and gravity is stronger than it was in the 60s & 70s. That is what has killed the space program - increasing gravity. The mountains are also getting taller, rocks larger and harder, and some of the trails of my youth have doubled in length. I wish a scientist would study it...
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    11-15-2011, 01:58 AM
TBH what the person said in the video is what I do.
Girth up loosely at first, then tighten before mounting.
    11-15-2011, 08:47 AM
Green Broke
That girth isnt tightened at all nore is it tied on, I would have pulle dthe horses knees up and then tightened up the rest of the way, then tied the strap at the top to the saddle rigging.

Two hands underneath ? Are you kidding me ? Maybe a couple fingers,
    11-15-2011, 09:13 AM
^ Using the cinch buckle is just as secure as tying off the latigo at the rigging. One doesn't need to do both.
    11-15-2011, 09:58 AM
I do tight the first time since my guy blows out. Then right before I mount I tighten so its 2-3 fingers snug. Never had a problem with to loose or to tight and no sliding even with my rounder horses. But since I ride with some slack I use a breast collar all the time in case of major slippage.
    11-15-2011, 11:46 AM
My boy used to bloat, like hardcore. He stopped bloating when I stopped tightening it as tight as it should go. One hole down, and he now never bloats...
    11-15-2011, 11:54 AM
I can fit at least one hand in between my girth and the horse, usually I'll tighten it up 10 minutes or so into the ride and I do check it periodically. I also know which hole is perfect for both of them when I'm riding them. Neither of mine bloat, but I don't try and strangle them with their girths so maybe that's why?
    11-15-2011, 12:48 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Sahara    
^ Using the cinch buckle is just as secure as tying off the latigo at the rigging. One doesn't need to do both.
Uh no it isnt, If I use the buckle AND tie it is obviously more secure than just the buckle. As I have the security of the buckle PLUS the tie.
X + anything positive is greater than X, and tieing doesnt weaken the buckle.
    11-15-2011, 12:53 PM
^ If you super-glued it too, it'd be even more secure!
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    11-15-2011, 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
^ If you super-glued it too, it'd be even more secure!
Velcro. Secure, but less permanent.

However, FWIW, I have had a latigo come undone when using the holes.

How? I don't know. It did. Maybe using a nylon latigo contributed. All I noticed was that my gelding seemed concerned about something, so I got off to check. The latigo had popped off the latch.

I tightened the cinch, which was now fairly loose, and got back on. I don't latch and tie both, but it wouldn't hurt any, and might help.

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