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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 a girth be on a horse
  • How tight should my saddle be

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    11-15-2011, 01:47 PM
  #21
Yearling
This is a tough one for me, as I had a really bad experience with a saddle slipping when I first got back into riding as an adult. It was my first canter lesson, I was on the lunge, and as the little Haflinger I was riding picked up speed on the circle, she remained on the circle while the forces of nature and the loose girth caused the saddle to slip off to the right, and threw me head first into the wall.

So now, I'll admit it, I'm a chronic overtightener. I'm so embarrassed, but I gave my poor mare girth sores from overdoing a fleece-lined girth; the fleece compressed after only a few weeks of using the girth, and the stiff material underneath was rubbing her raw.

After a couple of weeks off for healing, I switched to this girth, which seems to be a lot better for both of us. The elastic is on the inside, so I find that while I can get it very snug to begin with, I can't overtighten it. As we ride, it does stretch, and by the time I dismount, it looks borderline loose to me, but she seems much more comfortable now. And, no sores.
     
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    11-15-2011, 03:16 PM
  #22
Showing
That is one of the few videos where the lady doesn't have a ton of completely useless or wrong information. I do it similar to the way she does...tighten it to "snug", then walk a few steps, tighten again, get on, tighten again if I notice my saddle seems loose or if I get off, I'll check the girth to see if it needs tightened.

There is nothing in this world that will make a horse cinchy like cutting them in two before you even get on every time you ride.

IMHO, if you need to cut your horse in two just to keep the saddle from slipping all over the place, then either a) the saddle doesn't fit nearly as well as it should or b) you don't yet have good enough balance to keep the saddle centered.
     
    11-15-2011, 05:48 PM
  #23
Weanling
I get it snug, put my bridle on, walk a few steps so my gelding will deflate and snug it back up again. I keep it tight enough it doesn't slide, but I can wiggle a finger or two between the girth and the horse if I try.

In all honestly, most average riders that I have seen have problems getting the girth tight enough - its a rare person who really has an OVER-tightening problem, probably because over-tightening requires a good bit of upper body strength.
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    11-15-2011, 09:23 PM
  #24
Green Broke
I tighten my cinch exactly like the lady in the video. I kept waiting to see what she was doing wrong and never saw it. So if she's wrong, I'm wrong too.

I will tighten it about like she does when I first saddle. Then tighten another notch or so before I mount. Then reach down and feel the cinch ring after I mount. Normally I can snug it up yet another notch.

My friends do say I ride a bit loose, but if I use what I call a strategic mounting area, such as a downed tree, cinder block, rut in the road, etc, I normally can get on just fine. Often on the flat I have trouble getting on my Mustang from the ground even though he is short because he is also very round. I think the shape of the horse's back has a lot to do with how secure the saddle is. My Fox trotter has great withers for holding a saddle. The Mustang, not so much! Saddle fit and the shape of the back has a lot to do with it.

I have had the saddle roll with me on at least two occasions. One was a spook n' spin, the other was when I ducked out to the side to miss a tree limb. Both times I think the breast collar saved my life, or at least serious injury. It kept the saddle on the side of the horse and so it never rolled completely under. If you are worried about rolling under the horse, ride with a breast collar. They are like a seat belt. Saves your life and saddle in case of a wreck.
     
    11-16-2011, 07:05 PM
  #25
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I tighten my cinch exactly like the lady in the video. I kept waiting to see what she was doing wrong and never saw it. So if she's wrong, I'm wrong too.

I will tighten it about like she does when I first saddle. Then tighten another notch or so before I mount. Then reach down and feel the cinch ring after I mount. Normally I can snug it up yet another notch.

My friends do say I ride a bit loose, but if I use what I call a strategic mounting area, such as a downed tree, cinder block, rut in the road, etc, I normally can get on just fine. Often on the flat I have trouble getting on my Mustang from the ground even though he is short because he is also very round. I think the shape of the horse's back has a lot to do with how secure the saddle is. My Fox trotter has great withers for holding a saddle. The Mustang, not so much! Saddle fit and the shape of the back has a lot to do with it.

I have had the saddle roll with me on at least two occasions. One was a spook n' spin, the other was when I ducked out to the side to miss a tree limb. Both times I think the breast collar saved my life, or at least serious injury. It kept the saddle on the side of the horse and so it never rolled completely under. If you are worried about rolling under the horse, ride with a breast collar. They are like a seat belt. Saves your life and saddle in case of a wreck.
A breast collar will not save you from serious injury in 99 percent of saddle slipping accidents. It is made to provide a little extra security and stability and not designed as back up girth, nor should it be used as one. You would be much safer with a properly tightened girth and IMO 2 saddle slipping accidents is 2 too many and an unnecessary safety risk.
     

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