placement of girth? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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placement of girth?

Where exactly does the front girth go??? Imediately behind the front lets on the barrel of the horse (an inch or so back from where the front legs connect to the barrel)?

I have a saddle that is great, EXCEPT.... it has a girth placement on it that wants to go back about 7-10 inches from where the leg connects. (does this make sense??) The place I have always put the front girth is a few inches behind the front legs, but this saddle sits further back and the girth is actually made to go further back. so when I put the saddle on in the correct spot behind the whithers, the girth is 7-10 inches back. If I put the girth on correctly, it eventually slides the saddle forward. Is there anything I can do to the current girth to make it want to stay more forward?? I am either doing something wrong or my ideas of where a girth goes is wrong.

I hope you can understand what I'm asking.

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 11:25 AM
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It sounds like the saddle doesn't fit very well.

I am no expert but I am curious what others say. My saddle has a habit of riding forward an inch or so after a few minutes of walking, and then it is too loose!
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 01:57 PM
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I owned one of those horses. No matter what saddle you put on the dang horse or what saddle fitter was standing beside you the girth pulled the saddle up to her ears... >.<

I ended up in a custom, forward V-billet saddle with an offset girth (Prestige makes one). 'Spensive but it got the job done. And then when I sold the horse the saddle/girth fit no other horse on the planet.

Now - with a slight sliding and no visible girth-not-lining-up issues, the issue is probably the tree shape of the saddle. The horse probably has steeply sloping withers while the saddle tree has a shallower slope to it, and the saddle is sliding forward to meet up the balance point at the base of the withers. Reflocking and adding a gusset to the back panels or getting a shim pad can help, along with an offset or shaped girth.

Good luck!

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 02:23 PM
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I always put my saddle quite far back and my girth sits properly out of the way.

Horses cant move thier elbow properly if the girth is underneath it! admittedly 10 inches is probably too far back but mine normaly sits a good 4 inches behind his elbow

Admittedly my saddle was custom made for stan so would probably have stayed in place even without a girth!

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 02:40 PM
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Rhonda Lynn,

You said front girth, so I get the impression that this is a Western saddle you are talking about, no? If so, then the rigging of that particular saddle may require the front girth to be pretty far back. That would be a 3/4 or 5/6 or center fire rigged saddle. Do you also use a flank cinch with it?
Before I go on much farther, I should verify that it is indeed a western saddle.

Also, be sure you have it in the correct location. Put it on way far forward and then kindof tap it with the edge of your hand to make it slide into place . When it kind of stops, so that tapping it causes no more schooching backward, then it is where it will naturally want to sit. The cinch should then go whereever it naturally goes. Dont try to force it into the so-called girth groove behind the elbow. Just let it hand down and then girth it up.
Post a picture, if you will.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-19-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all who have posted comments...

Tinyliny- the saddle is odd, it is an Amish made Miller saddle. It does have that Center fire rigged girth(see below). It is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in and my knees DON'T hurt... it looks more like a australian/endurance sorta cross. it has english stirrup leathers. My mare does have odd withers, she is very wide backed but has low and narrow withers, I have to put a special made pad in the wither pocket otherwise this and any other saddle slides forward on her shoulders. When I put the saddle on her with or without the pads it rests further back and the girth wants to go back further than I really feel is comfortable for the horse. If you know, can you tell me why they make the center fire girth, (I am assuming it is a center fire girth because is is totally different from any western/english saddle that I have ever seen and seems to fit that description). It does not have a place for a back cinch.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Green Broke
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When positioning a saddle on a horse, the main thing to look at is the front of the tree in relation to your horse's shoulder blades. For a western saddle, the front edge of the front concho should be about 2" behind the back edge of the horse's shoulder blade. For an English saddle, the front d-ring, where it attaches to the saddle, should be about 2" behind the back edge of the shoulder balde.

The girth should hang straight down from wherever it is on the saddle. Some saddles have forward, mid, or center rigged girths or billets. It all depends on the saddle.

Now, the saddle girth placement may not match up well with your horse's shape. If your horse has a rotund belly or a forward/narrow girth groove, then a saddle with mid or center rigging is not going to work for you. For western saddles, most good saddle shops should be able to move the rigging if it's attached to the tree. If it's in-skirt or dropped rigging, then you'll need to sell the saddle and buy one that works better for your horse.
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