Experience shows that mares are more sensitive around the belly than geldings or colts, so you can do your mare some good by using a padded girth for her. You can also use wider girths for better pressure distribution. A girth made of the flexible and soft material neoprene is also a good choice for sensitive horses. These girths have the added advantage that they are easy to clean. Leather girths are also well tolerated by most horses. However, they are quite time-consuming to care for.
For less sensitive horses, you can use the cheaper and easy-to-clean nylon girths. If you want to ride your horse in a jumping or eventing context, a girth with stud protection may be a good idea. It protects the underside of the horse's body from being injured by the studs if the horse pulls its legs strongly against its body when overcoming obstacles.
Once a horse has a girth problem, the only thing that can help is a lot of patience. It is better to prevent girth pressure from developing in the first place than to train it away later. It develops when the horse has unpleasant experiences with tightening the girth. This usually happens when the girth is tightened too quickly and too tightly. A first measure is therefore to tighten the girth slowly in several successive stages.
Today, you no longer have to settle for a model made of cord with a sheepskin cover. Nowadays, numerous variations of girths are produced which are designed to make saddling more comfortable for the horse by means of appropriate padding. These are, for example, leather girths with 10 mm thick foam padding or fully elastic girths made of several layers with a rubber band. Girths with extensions distribute the pressure over a larger area. In addition, they are often padded with a foam material or sheepskin.
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