Signs the girth is too tight?
 
 

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Signs the girth is too tight?

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  • Girthing too tight
  • Girth to tight on a horse

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    04-18-2014, 02:39 PM
  #1
Foal
Signs the girth is too tight?

I was browsing the internet and read a post by someone who said their horse frequently looked round at their foot when they were mounted, and their trainer suggested their girth was too tight. I've noticed my horse doing this and think this may be the cause. What would be some signs that the girth is too tight? I can get two fingers under, but it's still quite snug...
     
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    04-18-2014, 02:55 PM
  #2
Trained
Your girth (English) or cinch (Western) needs to be snug enough for you to mount the horse without the saddle slipping to the near side of the horse. I always (30 years+) tighten to adjust and fit 1st, lead to where I am to mount, tighten again, check tack, then tighten a 3rd time before mounting.
I teach my horses to hold their breath, so that it is really snug when I mount, but after schooling, I generally dismount and can get my fist in between the girth and the horse.
Positioning is really important. The girth or cinch needs to be at least 4 fingers width behind the elbow. If you girth is too far forward so is your saddle and THAT could be your horse's discomfort. Some Western saddles--I own one of these--cinches further backwards, and our CW McClellans girth up many inches further back than that.
Sometimes people with sensitive skinned horses will also take the time to pull each leg forward before mounting to make sure that nothing is uncomfortable.
http://www.schleese.com/documents/In...%20Problem.pdf
If you ride English, you should tighten higher initially on the off side, then tighten alternately until it is tight. Many English riders use an elastic end girth (that buckles to the billets) to help you get it tight without "cutting the horse in two."
Btw, we all kinda glance through these posts. I want to repeat this:
I teach my horses to hold their breath, so that it is really snug when I mount, but after schooling, I generally dismount and I can get my fist in between the girth and the horse.
Hope this helps you. =D
     
    04-19-2014, 03:21 AM
  #3
Foal
I have kind of a funny cinch story! A few years ago I was attending a local show. I was having a good time watching everyone compete. Their was this one chestnut paint mare that really caught my eye during the western pleasure class. She was beautifully put together, and moved with such nice flow. Graceful and balanced as one would say. I happened to be siting within ear shot of the owners mother and her coach. During the lineup after the class the mare started to act colicky. Kicking at her belly trying to go down the works! Both the mother and the coach hollered at the young lady to hop off and excuse herself from the class. They get the mare out of the arena quickly. They go to take the saddle off the mare only to find out that the cinch was so tight that you couldn't get a finger under their. The poor mare did that entire class literally cinched in two! By the time that they lined up she couldn't take it any more! Hence the colic. When they got her unsaddled she took a huge gasp and was fine for the rest of the day.

Every cense that day I have always been careful not to over tighten my cinch!
Ray MacDonald and unclearthur like this.
     
    04-20-2014, 05:52 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
I want to repeat this:
I teach my horses to hold their breath, so that it is really snug when I mount, but after schooling, I generally dismount and I can get my fist in between the girth and the horse.


First, how do you teach a horse to hold their breath?

Second, I don't think teaching them to hold their breath does anything, as per this article.

“Blowing Up” a Girthing Myth from EQUUS | Equisearch
Wallaby likes this.
     
    04-20-2014, 06:14 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
If your horse has THIS expression on his face.....your girth might be too tight!


     
    04-20-2014, 06:52 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by updownrider    
First, how do you teach a horse to hold their breath?

Second, I don't think teaching them to hold their breath does anything, as per this article.

“Blowing Up” a Girthing Myth from EQUUS | Equisearch
A horses girth area behaves a lot like ours - hold your hand on your stomach and breath in - fasten a belt around it when you're breathing in and it will fit OK - then breath out and the belt will feel tighter
If you give a horse a sharp poke or slap on the side it will breath in and the girth will go up at least another hole - whether its fair to the horse or not to do it is another question.
Wallaby likes this.
     
    04-20-2014, 08:01 PM
  #7
Started
The girth doesn't go around the "stomach." It goes where the band of a bra would sit on a human. That area doesn't expand/contract nearly as much.
     
    04-20-2014, 08:07 PM
  #8
Showing
Here's one I couldn't figure out. The horse is snug cinched, walk, cinched a little more than final tightening. My arab, seemed to need the cinch tightened every time he took a dump when on a trail ride. After the third one, I dismounted and checked the cinch. There was room for my fist, never mind 4 fingers. I snugged it up, mounted and after two more dumps we arrived home with a loose cinch. The poop department has nothing to do with the cinch area so how do we account for that?
     
    04-20-2014, 08:20 PM
  #9
Started
Check the girth tightness after you're already mounted. You should be able to slide your hand under easily. I like girths with a little elastic in them, or that are slightly stretchy themselves. Horse looking at your foot may not be a girth issue. Playful and curious horses like to do that sort of stuff - sniff your foot, try to play with your riding crop, grab their own breast plate etc.
     
    04-20-2014, 09:28 PM
  #10
Weanling
Jaydee- I believe you missed the point of my post.
     

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