The limited edition package by Antares is a unique offer with a long belly protection girth, an Antares waterproof girth carry bag and a 250mL leather oil bottle. This long belly protection girth is a limited edition only sold with this package, and available while stocks last.
It was an informative article on saddle fitting, and I found it helpful enough to pass along here on EN. The post received over two thousand views on EN, so apparently many readers found it interesting as well.
The next day, I received a surprising email from Justin of Total Saddle Fit LLC. He thanked me for linking to his site, and offered to let me try his saddle fit-enhancing Shoulder Relief girths.
I was impressed with the company’s reputation and customer service, so I was excited to try the product and see how it measured up. And true to form, the girths did have an anatomical squiggle shape to contour forward and around the horse’s elbows, while allowing the billets to sit farther back.
On some horses with large shoulders, a normal straight girth will tend to pull the saddle forward, as the girth wants to lie in a sweet spot directly below the horse’s withers. A saddle that sits too far forward can dig the three points into the horse’s shoulders, making him sore.
Her shoulder sits very far back, and it can be a struggle to put the saddle in the proper position without a normal girth fitting around her middle like a western rear flank cinch. Aero can be a bit sensitive with his tack, and he definitely seemed more relaxed and happier wearing the Shoulder Relief Girth.
He is naturally short-backed and no matter where you put the saddle, any girth will always be in its proper “zone.” There’s simply not enough room on his anatomy to slide things back too far, it all ends up in the right spot. I honestly could not notice a significant difference in his performance, but the girths seemed to fit well and did not rub him in any way.
Both the short and long girth ran true to size (24 and 48 in my case) and are made to last a long time. Plus, the company provides excellent customer service, and offers a 110% money-back satisfaction guarantee if you return the girth within 30 days.
The wide clip is easy to use and the shaping allows freedom of movement.” “The padded ring in the center was hard to place initially, but my horse felt freer in his stride while wearing it.
It’s tricky to check the tightness as it doesn’t touch his sides, but once I’d worked out which holes it needed to be on it wasn’t a problem.” “I really liked the theory behind this girth, and it certainly suited my horse well, holding his saddle in place while keeping him comfortable.
Full grain English leather, triple crossover elastic at both ends. It stopped any slipping without needing to be over-tightened and didn’t cause any rubs or excessive sweating.
“I liked the shape and the spring buckles made it very easy to adjust when mounted. I also liked that the stitching is very small, so hairs didn’t get stuck in it, and it was easy to clean.
The outer leather is quite hard and tough, but the inner is very soft and didn’t cause any rubs or problems.” “I liked the narrow style of this girth, which suited my mare and allowed her to move more freely through the shoulder.
Elasticated with AIR cushion, stainless steel roller buckles and central D-ring. Because it’s quite a thick pad it made the girth come up a bit small, so I’d recommend a size up.
Soft leather and shock-absorbing gel pad with airflow to reduce sweat build up. I was concerned that the gel pad would attract hairs and dirt, but it was surprisingly easy to keep clean and not as sweaty as I expected, either.
I didn’t like the plastic feel of the PVC material, but it wasn’t noticeable when in use.” Hairs tended to get stuck in the stitching, but it cleaned up well and fairly easily.
The verdict: “Good design with rounded edges to prevent rubbing.” “I liked the design of narrower sides and wider over the sternum, which fitted my large hunter-type well.
“The slim, contoured style of this girth suited my mare and allowed her good freedom of movement. “I loved the softness of the leather and padding, which didn’t cause any rubs on my sensitive horse.
The design allowed for freedom through the shoulder and I noticed an improvement in her work.” The leather isn’t as soft as other, more expensive alternatives, but it fitted well and was great for everyday use.
It wasn’t easy to keep clean, and it needed a lot of washing, but absorbed sweat very well, so I was surprised to find that it actually kept my horse cooler despite the thick lining. Soft, synthetic fibers in a broad style to distribute pressure and prevent rubs.
The verdict: “Soft and easy to fit, but difficult to keep clean.” The fit was a bit tighter than normal because of the added padding, but the spring-loaded buckles made it easy to adjust.
It was tricky to keep clean, as the hairs stuck to it, and it was quite hot, but no more than some other synthetic girths.” The ends tended to bunch up a bit underneath the elasticated straps, although this didn’t cause any rubs or problems.