Are Neoprene Girths Good

James Smith
• Monday, 28 December, 2020
• 8 min read

The name ‘girth’ is actually derived from the Proto-Germanic source “Get” which also makes up the basis of words like “Girdle” and “Gird”. Western riders use the term ‘Cinch’ which also describes the action of tightening the apparatus around the horse’s stomach.

(Source: m.singlefootfarms.com)


Everything from a basic rope or mohair construction to the latest lightweight water resistant materials. In the same way that Horse Boots started to be mass-produced in the 1960s and 1970s, so girths also followed the same pattern.

This was a material that held up well, was cheap and readily available and used by most of the Asian factories churning out girths by the thousands. But, just as neoprene is no longer the ideal material to wrap around your horse’s legs.

These girths are made to be used with an Purpose or Jumping Saddle and usually come in lengths between 42-54 inches. AP girths can be made in lots of different outer materials with fixed or roller buckles.

With an English girth, the important thing is to have something lightweight and breathable, with roller buckles so that you can adjust from your saddle if you need to. The more modern girths have an ergonomic shape to clear the horse’s shoulder when jumping.

Heat under the girth is a real issue so look for a non neoprene liner with breathable construction. We have even coined the term ‘girth’ for horses that may back up, kick or show even more extreme reactions to being birthed.

(Source: www.joseywesternstore.com)

Sometimes this reaction is from a memory of harsh handling in the past, but sometimes it may be your horse’s way of telling you that its uncomfortable. For everyday schooling and jumping you need a lightweight girth that will not interfere with your horse’s movement.

Many events favor our monoflap girths for their extremely lightweight construction. These girths have an extra large stud guard ‘belly’ plate to protect the horse as it tucks over a jump.

Neoprene Free (especially important if you have a sensitive horse) Lightweight and Breathable (to avoid heat build up and heaviness) Ergonomic Fit (For a comfortable ride) Strong and flexible closures Medical Grade Elastic (Cheaper elastics may overstretch and cause the girth to get looser over time) There are 3 types of English Shoulder Relief Girths : Traditional, Stretched and Synthetic.

Shoulder freedom from the saddle via the girth redirecting the billet line. It contours to your horse’s sternum shape and allows for proportional give while breathing (thanks to the triangular elastic center).

It has the moisture wicking and heat dispersion qualities of wool while being easier to keep clean than a fleece liner. Written by Katherine Blockader An English girth comes in many shapes, materials, and lengths.

australian neoprene girth outrider
(Source: www.ponyhorsetack.com)

If you're standing in front of a large display, you can easily be left scratching your head trying to pick the one that is right for you and your horse. There are two fundamental styles of English girths to choose from, and these are designed to accommodate the length of the billet straps on your saddle.

If you have a dressage saddle, you'll likely have very long billet straps that extend beyond the bottom of the flaps. If you have a forward seat, all-purpose, close contact or almost any other variation of an English saddle, the billet straps are much shorter and likely don't extend beyond the bottom of the flaps.

This will allow the girth to reach the short billet straps on these types of saddles. Whether you need a dressage or regular length girth for your saddle, you'll find they come in a variety of materials as well.

Deciding on the material your girth is made from is a matter of preference. Functional quality leather girths are the most expensive, and with proper care can last a very long time.

You'll also find girths made of cotton or synthetic string, neoprene, webbing and felt, and other high tech materials. This elastic tends to wear out over time (it is replaceable on good quality girths), but can be more comfortable for the horse.

cinch ring cashel tack western master custom buckle ringmaster cinches protectors protector quick cinchas horse saddle straps woven tied handmade
(Source: northerntack.com)

Also called 'chaffless,' these girths are shaped so that the width behind the horse's elbow is narrower. The Atherton is a leather girth that is shaped similarly, but is all one piece, or may have a single strap to which a thicker, shaped and padded length of leather is sewn.

I thought mine was the answer, my horse stopped being cinchy, and it felt really soft and comfy to the touch. I unsaddled only to find about 4 big fluid filled lumps(about 2-3 in” in diameter and 1/2” thick) located symmetrically on each side of her 2 higher up and 2 lower.

Was my saddle placed too far back(have to place it about 2 hand widths back to get my saddle in the correct position and off of her scapula)and on tender skin? Plus we can't even go riding, it has been a week of rest for her and the welts are fading, but still there, and I don't want to saddle up and cause more damage.

The place I got it from said cut an old tube sock and cover my girth with it. The one that has the webbing as the main body and the sheepskin type fleece inside.

A lot of pros use the mohair cinches, I believe they are expensive, but they do not sore a horse. Profit also has reactions to DSO, and most ligaments, so if your horse has the same tendencies be careful what you rub on him.

western english girth saddle billets slip ring converters farms welcome become designed through
(Source: www.singlefootfarms.com)

09-30-2006, 05:59 PM We had a problem with this on Max and tried Preparation H to reduce the swelling. They also make a real sheepskin cover, but they are not as washable and cost many $$$$$.

09-30-2006, 07:13 PM Parrot, Did you use the soft touch or was it a neoprene thing in general? 09-30-2006, 07:47 PM Two things you have to watch... neoprene over nylon girths have no give to them.

However, if you are using a nylon off-billet & tie strap, there will be NO give at all, & the saddle could easily end up being cinched WAY too tight, resulting in soreness & bumps. Rope girts, such as mohair, will have some give to them, and you can use nylon billets & tie straps with these.

Blood will rush into areas of pressure & cause swellings. This will lessen any swelling, which, in turn, will help to prevent the horse from being sore when you ride the next day.

Another thing...which I am sure does not apply in Z Rider's case, but may in others...if a horse is out of shape & has not been ridden for some time, & is then taken out on a long ride...well, that is just asking for trouble. No matter what type of cinch is used, any out-of-shape horse is likely to become sore if all of a sudden taken on a long & difficult trail ride.

girth enforcer sleeve neoprene girths
(Source: glenmia.com.au)

Maybe it did get cinched too tight, and it is possible that although I ride a lot, Zen's belly areas need toughening, too. I have only just figured out where to place this new saddle to avoid dry spots, and it is farther back than previously.

Strong double elastic at both ends provides a comfortable, secure fit and ease of handling. Another convenient girth from Tucker Features 1.5” buckles for Endurance double tie rigging Neoprene zips off for easy...

Fleece cinches provide plush comfort against the horse and are ideal for sensitive skin Removable liners for easy... The Six Western Cinch sets the standard for the comfort of your horse.

Six Vented Girths are the new standard for equine comfort and technology with... This flank cinch set is hand-tooled to match the Copper Mine saddle.

The Essential fleece cinch is made from heavy-duty nylon webbing, stainless... Circle Y 3" Plain Double Ply Flank Cinch Plain cinch Double ply leather for durability Billets attach easily...

Plain cinch from Circle Y with double ply leather for durability. Royal King Nylon Web Tie Strap Heavy single ply premium nylon tie strap 6' long Black or Brown...

Great girth made from Tucker Features 1" buckles, and stainless hardware Neoprene is removable for easy cleaning Elastic...

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