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Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Girths

Tried & Tested
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Buying Guides

From basic buys to top-of-the-line technical options, H&R takes the guesswork out of girth shopping

Our testers: These girths were put to the test on carefully matched horses to suit their design. They have been used over three months, on hot days and cold, with lots of cleaning in-between.

The products

Childéric Anatomical girth
RRP
£265

Childéric Anatomical girth

Elasticated at both ends with an integrated clip.

Made to order, bespoke colours, sizes from 125cm

The verdict:“An investment, but will last for a lifetime of use.”

“Although expensive, the quality of the materials is outstanding. It has become more supple with use and although hairs sometimes get stuck in the stitching, they are easy to remove. The wide clip is easy to use and the shaping allows freedom of movement.”

Prestige A52 RP Jump girth
RRP
£253

Prestige A52 RP Jump girth

Features a sliding, padded panel to distribute pressure.

Black or tobacco

100–150cm

The verdict: “An alternative design to a conventional girth.”

“The padded ring in the centre 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.”

Saddle Exchange Comfort Elite Reflex girth
RRP
£239.95

Saddle Exchange Comfort Elite Reflex girth

Extends laterally and medially.

Black or rich dark brown

40–56in

The verdict: “Offers extra protection, smart for competitions.”

“I really liked the theory behind this girth and it certainly suited my horse well, holding his saddle in place while keeping him comfortable. The leather is soft and the shape was almost like a stud girth, perfect for extra protection.”

Voltaire Design Long Anatomic girth
RRP
£210

Voltaire Design Long Anatomic girth

Shaped, with memory foam.

Brown or black

105–155

The verdict: “High-quality girth with exceptional fit and function.”

“I loved the quality of the leather and the softness of the memory foam pad. The fit was fantastic and true to size, and the elastic was strong so there was no danger of over-tightening. It had plenty of D-rings, was easy to clean and looked really smart.”

Stübben Equisoft girth
RRP
£210

Stübben Equisoft girth

Elasticated straps to allow pressure distribution.

Black, ebony or tobacco

45–140cm

The verdict: “Alternative design for sensitive horses, but may need a size up from normal.”

“My horse is quite sensitive to girth up, but was much happier with this design. I liked how lightweight it is and the space it allows behind the elbow. However, this meant it was difficult to judge the tightness. The pad is quite thick, so made the fit tighter.”

Harry Dabbs Platinum girth
RRP
£189

Harry Dabbs Platinum girth

Full grain English leather, triple crossover elastic at both ends.

Black or havana

40–56in

The verdict: “Quite pricey but good-quality materials.”

“I really liked the softness of the padding. Together with the cutaway design, this suited my sensitive mare very well. The elastic was tough enough to prevent any over-tightening, and held the saddle firmly in place. It’s pricey, but performs very well.”

Butet jumping girth
RRP
£180

Butet jumping girth

Calfskin-lined, with elastic ends and shaped style.

Gold or cachou

120–140cm

The verdict: “Expensive, but soft, supple leather.”

“The leather was soft and easy to clean, and the cut-away style allowed for more movement. It stopped any slipping without needing to be over-tightened and didn’t cause any rubs or excessive sweating. A high price tag, but with quality to match.”

Ideal Affinity F2 girth
RRP
£158

Ideal Affinity F2 girth

Ergonomic shape for a forward girth groove.

Black, brown, ranch or military

34–58in

The verdict: “Soft padding and quality leather, but no D-rings.”

“The padding is really soft and the quality of the leather is fantastic. The buckles are easy to adjust one-handed and the ergonomic shape suited my horse. I would prefer if it had side or centre D-rings, but the quality of the materials make the price tag worth it.”

Passier broad centre girth
RRP
£125

Passier broad centre girth

Broad centre for comfort, elasticated at both ends.

Black, havana or teak

110–145cm (teak from 125cm)

The verdict: “Good quality, but D-rings and clips a bit fiddly.”

“I really liked the fit and feel of this girth. The leather is soft and wide over the sternum, while the elasticated ends are strong. The side D-rings are protected by elastic, which made them a bit fiddly to use, and I found the central clip wasn’t big enough for my martingale strap.”

Total Saddle Fit shoulder relief girth
RRP
£119.95

Total Saddle Fit shoulder relief girth

Designed to redirect the billet line for ease of movement.

Black or brown

40–60in

The verdict: “Good for freedom of movement, but quite hot.”

“The quality of the leather is lovely and the padding is soft, but this makes it quite heavy and thick so my horse got hot. However, he moved very freely, as it gave a lot of space behind the elbow, and was comfortable with the wide sternum pad.”

Kieffer Comfort girth
RRP
£117

Kieffer Comfort girth

Roller buckles with elastomer band for ease of adjustment.

Black or brown

110–150cm

The verdict: “Easy to clean, tough outer but  soft inner.”

“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.”

Jeffries Atherstone girth
RRP
£106.46

Jeffries Atherstone girth

Soft, padded leather, shaped for a narrow girth groove.

Black or havana

34–60in

The verdict: “Soft leather, but generous in length.”

“I liked the narrow style of this girth, which suited my mare and allowed her to move more freely through the shoulder. The leather was soft and easy to clean, and it still looks very smart with no marks. The sizing is generous, so take that into account when buying – you may need a size down.”

Wintec Anatomic elastic with CAIR girth
RRP
£99.99

Wintec Anatomic elastic with CAIR girth

Elasticated with CAIR cushion, stainless steel roller buckles and central D-ring.

Black or brown

22–60in

The verdict: “Cushioned comfort, but choose a size up.”

“I liked the central cushion, which my horse found very comfortable. Because it’s quite a thick pad it made the girth come up a bit small, so I’d recommend a size up. It was easy to clean and the D-ring clip was really convenient.”

Acavallo Gel & PVC anatomic girth
RRP
£89.95

Acavallo Gel & PVC anatomic girth

Soft leather and shock-absorbing gel pad with airflow to reduce sweat build up.

115–140cm

The verdict: “Lightweight and pressure-relieving, plastic feel to some of the materials.”

“This girth was lightweight and the contoured shape suited my horse. 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.”

Fylde Anatomic girth
RRP
£85

Fylde Anatomic girth

Designed for a forward girth groove to prevent slipping.

Black or brown

32–54in

The verdict: “Soft, anatomical design, but no side or centre D-rings.”

“I liked the softness of the padding and the anatomical shape fitted my horse well. Hairs tended to get stuck in the stitching, but it cleaned up well and fairly easily. I’d prefer if it had some D-ring attachments, which I would expect for the price.”

Bucas Optima Jump girth
RRP
£85

Bucas Optima Jump girth

Synthetic, anatomically shaped with a non-slip lining.

Black or brown

38–60in

The verdict: “Good for preventing any slipping, but not very breathable.”

“My horse went well in this girth and was comfortable. The lining worked well and stopped any slipping, but it wasn’t very breathable so she sweated up. I couldn’t use my looped martingale, as the girth is too wide and there’s only a ring for a clip.”

Mark Todd Deluxe Leather girth
RRP
£83.95

Mark Todd Deluxe Leather girth

Elasticated at both ends.

Black or havana

44–54in

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 rounded edges stopped any rubbing and the leather was soft with neat stitching. Even after lots of use, it still cleans up very well and looks like new.”

BR Fairford girth
RRP
£82.95

BR Fairford girth

Leather, anatomically shaped, and elasticated at one end.

Black or tobacco

41–57in

The verdict: Slim, contoured design, would benefit from elastic at both ends.”

“The slim, contoured style of this girth suited my mare and allowed her good freedom of movement. I liked that it has three D-rings so I could attach a breastplate. However, I would prefer the elastic to be at both ends so the pressure is distributed more evenly.”

Claridge House Naira girth
RRP
£44.90

Claridge House Naira girth

Soft, padded leather with an ergonomic shape.

Black or brown

44–56in

The verdict: “Excellent value for a soft, ergonomic leather girth.”

“I loved the softness of the leather and padding, which didn’t cause any rubs on my sensitive horse. It was quite generous in length. The design allowed for freedom through the shoulder and I noticed an improvement in her work.”

Fouganza Romeo girth
RRP
£39.99

Fouganza Romeo girth

Buffalo leather with a memory foam inner.

Black or brown

115–145cm

The verdict: “A good value girth, but no additional D-rings.”

“I thought this was very good value for money for a leather girth. The leather isn’t as soft as other, more expensive alternatives, but it fitted well and was great for everyday use. I would prefer it if there were additional D-rings on the sides and if it was a bit wider under the sternum.”

Shires Fleece-lined Contour girth
RRP
£36.99

Shires Fleece-lined Contour girth

Synthetic lining for airflow.

Black or brown

30–60in

The verdict: “Soft and smart, but needs a lot of washing.”

“This girth looked really smart on, and the lining was soft and comfortable. 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. It washed well and was dry by the next day.”

Stübben Cord girth
RRP
£36

Stübben Cord girth

 Soft, synthetic fibres in a broad style to distribute pressure and prevent rubs.

Black, brown or white

50–150cm

The verdict: “Excellent value for money, good for sensitive horses.”

“I was very impressed with this girth – my horse is quite girthy, but she had no problems with this one. Even on the hottest days there was almost no sweat. It stretched a little bit after lots of use, but after washing it went back to the original size.”

Elico Memory Foam girth
RRP
£34.95

Elico Memory Foam girth

Soft, memory foam inner and elasticated at both ends.

Black or brown

38–54in

The verdict: “Soft and easy to fit, but difficult to keep clean.”

“It looked very smart and the padding was soft. 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.”

Horze Dakota girth
RRP
£32.99

Horze Dakota girth

Horze Dakota

Contoured, webbed design with elastic at both ends.

Black or brown

90–140cm

The verdict: “Soft material, but prone to bunching.”

“I liked the softness of the synthetic material. The ends tended to bunch up a bit underneath the elasticated straps, although this didn’t cause any rubs or problems. It cleaned up well and the contoured design suited my horse.”

HyComfort waffle girth
RRP
£25.99

 HyComfort waffle girth

Shaped material, textured for airflow with elasticated ends.

Black or brown

36–60in

The verdict: “Good value but not the highest quality.”

“I was pleased with the overall performance – it was a good fit, prevented any slipping and didn’t chafe my horse. It was quick and easy to clean with a damp sponge, and although the material felt a bit cheap, it has lasted well and still looks like new.”

Cottage Craft shaped PVC girth
RRP
£25.99

Cottage Craft shaped PVC girth

Elasticated on both ends for an even distribution of pressure.

Black or brown

80–145cm

The verdict: “An everyday girth at a good price.”

“I liked the soft, contoured design and the elastic ends kept the pressure even. It was easy to clean, just requiring a rinse, so was great for muddy days. My horse didn’t sweat any more than I expected with a synthetic girth.”

JHL Air Mesh Anti-Gall girth
RRP
£23.99

JHL Air Mesh Anti-Gall girth

Sweat-reducing and anti-rub properties, with triple-layered elastic at both ends.

42–54in

The verdict: “A good value girth, but lacking in colour options.”

“I was impressed with the quality, especially as it has such a reasonable price tag. It fitted my horse well, didn’t rub and was easy to clean. The elastic is strong and my saddle didn’t budge. It’s a shame black is the only colour option.”

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