Could your girth be irritating your horse?

Print this page    
When it comes to horseback riding, your girth is an essential piece of equipment. It’s important that your girth fit your horse well and function correctly; if a girth irritates your horse, he won’t be able to physically perform to the best of his ability, and he may even misbehave under saddle. The following are signs that your girth is irritating your horse, and that you may need to start looking at horse tack for sale.

Bald Spots or Discolored Hair

Any time that you find bald spots on your horse, you should be suspicious of poorly fitting tack. If you find bald spots in the area where your girth lies, this could signify that the girth is too old, too dirty, or has been regularly tightened up too much. An old girth, especially an old leather girth, can become hardened, rubbing at your horse’s sides. If a girth is left too dirty and is used on a horse, the dirt can irritate his skin and can rub away hair. Overtightening a girth can also result in excessive rubbing.

Overtightening a girth or using a girth that fits poorly can also result in patches of discolored hair. Hair that is normally dark, such as on a chestnut, bay, or black horse, can actually turn white. If you find discolored hair along your horse’s girth line that occurs in patches, this is a sign that the girth you are using is causing physical damage to your horse. Stop using the girth immediately and purchase a new girth.

Resistance to Girthing

Horses that are bothered by their girth may react strongly when the girth is being tightened by kicking or trying to bite the rider. Such behavior can indicate physical discomfort, so trying a different girth to see if the problem goes away is recommended. This behavior can also indicate a number of physical issues like ulcers; calling a vet is also a good idea.

Horse’s Behavior Under Saddle

If a girth irritates a horse, he may be hesitant to fully stride out under saddle. He may also resist bending or traveling in circles. If a girth truly irritates a horse then the horse may show behavioral issues, such as bucking when ridden. This can also occur with a poorly fitting saddle, so carefully evaluate all potential causes of your horse’s discomfort.

Flaws in the Girth

Girths don’t last forever, and it is important to keep an eye out for flaws that they may develop. Rope girths can become worn and frayed, and the elastic ends of traditional girths can become weakened. Leather girths may crack and the edges may roll, all of which can irritate your horse. Be sure that your girth is in good condition to keep your horse comfortable.

If you find that your horse’s girth may be causing him discomfort, it is best to start looking at horse tack for sale to buy your horse a new girth. You may notice a large difference between girth styles, too, since not every style works with every horse.

TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

Share |