Proper girthing is an important factor in the comfort of your horse and the security of your saddle. Yet, finding girths that are too loose, too tight, too far forward, too far back, or that create pressure points and sores is all to common.
As a rider you know the importance of keeping your saddle securely in place. After all, a loose or slipping saddle not only distracts you from your ride and can create a safety hazard, but can also create severe discomfort for your horse. Girths are an essential piece of tack that are the main component ensuring a well-fitted saddle stays in place. As long as it’s fitted properly, a girth should not have any impact on your horse’s ability to breath, so choosing the right one is incredibly important!
Here is a good way to measure for a proper girth fit:
Have a helper hold a fabric tape measure with inch increments on approximately the middle billet hole on one side of the saddle, while you stretch the tape under the horse, one hand's width away from the back of the elbow, to the corresponding billet hole on the other side of the saddle. The inch measurement you obtain translates to the girth size you require. For shaped, ergonomic girths, particularly dressage girths, make sure that the curves are behind the horse's shoulder/elbow area, so that the wider part of the girth doesn't interfere or rub