These girths were designed by Dr Gerry Van Oosseen after she noticed horses were attending her veterinary practice with sore and damaged pectoral muscles. The elbow cutaway design offers increased comfort for the horse. The rolling buckles and small elastic attachment points means it is harder to over tighten the girth – often a cause of reduced performance.
How to Estimate Girth Length
You can estimate the girth length you will need by placing your saddle and saddle pad (along with any special padding you’ll use under the saddle) on your horse. 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.
Remember that different saddles will have different billet strap lengths, so you may have to change your girth size if you change your saddle. Also, if you measure a used girth to obtain the desired length for a new girth, remember that the old girth has probably stretched.
Converting Between Long and Dressage Girth Lengths
If you know your horse’s girth size and you need to switch between a long and a short girth, add or subtract 20 inches. For example, if you use a 48 inch girth with your jumping saddle, you should try a 28 inch girth with your dressage saddle.