Society of Master Saddlers’ Master Saddler, Master Bridle Maker, Master Harness Maker, Registered Master Saddle Fitter and Registered Qualified Bridle Fitter, Helen Reader, provides advice on girths.
Q: I see there are leather girths with one side elastic or both what would you recommend?
Elastic in a girth will allow stretch and therefore if it is only on one side it can cause the saddle to twist or pull over to one side, usually to the opposite side to the one that the elastic is done up on.
A girth without elastic will stabilise the saddle, especially on a more rounded type of horse or pony.
If you are using a girth with elastic then it should be on both sides as this gives an even pull. However, caution should be applied when using an elastic girth, the elastic is there to allow the horse uninhibited movement during exercise by moving with the horse’s breathing.
The elastic should not be pulled at full stretch when it is done up. If the girth is over tightened with the elastic pulled at full stretch it will actually do the opposite and be continually contracting tighter on the horse.
For more information visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642.