Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A New Girth?

I bought a leather three fold girth the other day from Ebay and it arrived this morning. It's in fair condition as it has lots of wear but just wanted a cheap girth to tide me over until I decide what to do with Hattie's present girth.

The girth I currently have for Hattie, is a lovely soft leather 4" wide three fold girth (size 54") made by Robert Jenkins but I noticed that in December that it started to get a bit big for her as it was right up on the top holes on both sides of the saddle.

Hattie started out at the beginning of winter a bit fat (she is a good doer and gets fat just on air) but has now lost a bit of weight due to winter (she is about her correct size now, 480kg for a 15.3hh Thoroughbred) so I just know that when I get back into side saddling again (hopefully next month when the weather gets better and the days get longer) that the girth is going to be much too big.

The girth I bought on Ebay is 52" so it should fit but it's not really something that I wanted to use over a long period of time as it is quite worn (I'm going to take it to my saddler to have him check it over and sew a balance girth keeper on it). It's also narrow (about 3" wide) and made from sturdy hunting weight leather, not the lovely soft leather that my Robert Jenkins side saddle girth is made from.

Hattie has a tendency to girth galling as her conformation pushes the saddle forward which in turn, causes the girth to move forwards and rub. She has long withers, a wide barrel, built slightly downhill, has a forward girth groove and narrow shoulders so saddle fitting is a nightmare. The soft 4" Robert Jenkins girth helps to spread the pressure over a wider area and the soft leather prevents rubbing. With this narrow, sturdy hunting girth, I'll have to use my sheepskin cover on it as it will rub.

I think I'm going to have to see how her weight fluctuates throughout the year and maybe have a "winter" girth and a "summer" girth or if I can keep her weight stable (which is no easy feat since she gets fat just by looking at grass), I may have to have her Robert Jenkins girth cut down a little bit.


  1. Nice girth! That'll work. I got my 3 fold girth for $15 at a used tack store, it was soooo dry and ancient looking when I first got it. After lots of oiling and cleaning it looks really nice and I found a maker's mark, it's a well made girth made in English. It's too small though and I had to buy an extender! I wish we were closer, I'd trade you!

  2. Yeah, I'll ty oiling up this used one to see if I can't get the leather a bit softer than it is now. I'm pretty sure I'll have to get the buckles replaced on it though as three of the are nickle (yikes!).

    Even though you had to buy an extender, $15 for a 3 fold is cheap! LOL, I'm going to come with you tack shopping as you seem to find the bargains :-)