How to Fit for a Dressage Girth
Dressage girths are attached on each side of a dressage saddle with long billets that go underneath your horse's belly. They are used primarily to keep the dressage saddle firmly on your horse. A right size girth that fits properly is essential for any serious rider. If your horse has a properly fitted girth it will allow the horse some breathing room, the ability to move much more freely, and it will ensure that you will experience a more confident, comfortable ride. On the other hand, a badly fitting girth may chafe and rub your horse, and cause various skin problems and irritations.
Dressage girths are most commonly made of leather, but there are also fleece and neoprene girths available. If you are searching for high-quality leather dressage girths, or girths made of other materials, you have come to the right place. Equestrian Collections has a wonderful selection of dressage girths for sale, from top brands such as Stubben, HorZe, and Ovation. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. As part of that guarantee, we want to make sure that your dressage girth is fitted correctly. With that goal in mind, here are a list of six steps that will show you how to fit dressage girths correctly.
Set your saddle and any saddle pads on your horse before attaching the girth.
Locate the heart girth of the horse (this is approximately four inches behind the horse's elbow). Find the slight curve located at the side of your horse's stomach area.
Take your measuring tape and hold the tip on the next to last hole away from the bottom part of the billets. If you are changing your saddle, remember that a different saddle will most probably use other billet strap lengths, meaning that you might have to change girth size once you've changed your saddle. Remember also that if you're measuring a girth that has been used to find out what length you'll need in a new girth, it's more than likely that the old girth has been stretched out.
Take hold of the measuring tape's loose end and wrap it underneath the horse where their heart girth is situated, and stretch it up to either the 2nd or 3rd billet hole located on the near side of the saddle.
You'll need to read the inches measured and calculate the size of the girth. Divide the heart girth of your horse by 2, followed by a subtraction by 3. Round up any odd numbers, since the vast majority of English girth styles are available only in even-numbered sizes. A girth sizing chart is available here.
While fitting, make certain that there's enough space between your horse's body and the girth to be able to fit 3-4 fingers. The girth should feel snug enough but not excessively tight against the horse's body. Make sure that it's also tight enough so that its saddle won't move or slip.