A horse girth, also called a ” Western Cinch”, is a piece of equipment used to keep the horse’s well-fitting saddle in place comfortably on the horse. The girth’s broad strap is attached by buckles to the billet straps of the saddle on both sides.
A girth’s main function is to keep the saddle firmly in place and from shifting around. A horse’s girth is made from a range of different materials such as leather or cotton. They are also available in different lengths and widths and have adjustable straps for a proper fit.
Choosing a comfortable girth for your horse can seem like a tough decision. One major factor to consider before making a choice is to realize that a girth’s length and width should precisely match its accompanying saddle for optimized comfort. It should also permit ease of movement.
Other aspects that affect which girth to buy are the shape of your horse’s physique, the type of movement required, and your riding style in order to choose the perfect fit.
There are several girth options available on the market today, so choosing the right one can seem daunting. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the best girth for horse comfort that is currently available on the market.
Overall Best Girth For Horse Comfort
Professional’s Choice Merino Wool English Girth is a perfect blend of quality, functionality, and comfort. Made with 100% moisture-wicking merino wool, this girth guarantees absolute comfort for your horse and its skin.
This style was ideally made for horses that are particularly uncomfortable with cinching or a horse that appears very sensitive to the wrong fit.
This breathable soft wool is easy to clean. The hook and liner on this girth mean you can easily remove the wool lining for hand wash cleaning.
Elastic on both ends allows you to stretch this girth to fit perfectly on the saddle without giving your horse any discomfort.
The addition of roller buckles makes it easier to fasten this girth tightly to the saddle. A center D ring makes attaching a martingale tack to the saddle a very easy task.
- 100% Natural Merino wool
- Removable liner
- Elastic ends with lower buckles
- Moisture-wicking, breathable material
- High-quality nylon material
- Hand-wash only; can be inconvenient to clean
Best Stretchy Girth For Horse Comfort
This horse girth is suitable for long-term use as there is a zero risk of possible skin irritation or infection from it.
The buckles on this cinch are designed to be long-lasting and are of a superior quality. They are made from durable stainless steel. Adjustable buckles mean that regardless of the type of saddle used or your horse’s size, your girth will fit perfectly with zero risk of saddle slip.
This girth’s buckles are easy to attach, which means that they don’t pose a risk of injury to the horse or its rider.
Double elastics on both ends allow for extra stretch and fit. This cinch is not only well made with maximum comfort in mind, but it is also reasonably priced.
Washing your girth when necessary isn’t a problem with this brand, as the fleece and girth are both easily washable.
- High-quality nylon
- Soft and non-irritable fleece
- Easily adjustable
- Gets dirty quickly
Best Budget Girth For Horse Comfort
The Dover Saddlery Everyday Fleece Girth is an everyday-use cinch produced by one of the leading horse equipment companies. This horse girth is not only absolutely easy to use, but it is pleasingly soft to the touch.
This machine-washable everyday girth is made from quality nylon with a soft synthetic covering. The girth was designed for maximum chaffless comfort when it comes in contact with your horse’s skin.
Lined with soft and high-quality equifleece, Dover’s girth will ensure that there is zero irritation or skin issues for your horse. The inner padding is also mildew-proof, which is a bonus.
Sturdy and durable buckles guarantee that the fit is secure and remains in place. This girth has elastic on both sides to ease its stretching for a perfect fit.
The elastic is also equalized on both sides of the girth and distributed evenly when attached to the saddle. The inclusion of a center D ring allows for flexibility with other training equipment.
What We Like:
- Easy to use
- Machine washable
- Double-end elastic
- Quality materials
- Thick fleece
What We Don’t Like:
- Can be a little too stretchy, losing its original fight fit
Best Anti-Bacterial Girth For Horse Comfort
Extra reinforcement of its nylon webbing provides an extra touch of protection, thereby increasing this girth’s durability.
The ends have heavy-duty elastic features that allow for appropriate stretch and pressure distribution on both sides of the girth. The stainless steel roller buckles attached to the girth can be securely fastened without worries of slippage.
This machine-washable horse girth is made from quick-dry breathable material that is easily washable. It comes with anti-static coverings that reduce the collection of dust. The careful production of this cinch equips it with an anti-bacterial and mold-free feature.
- Anti-bacterial and mold-free features
- Machine washable
- Quick-dry material
- 100% breathable quality material
- Some customers complain of sizing/fit issues
Best Girth For Excessive Moisture
The Ovation Dri-Lex Equalizer Girth is a fleece girth that was designed mainly with the maximum comfort of the horse in mind. The Dri-Lex fabric is combined with a fleece layer to excellently absorb any excess moisture on the horse’s skin.
This girth features 3D rings that can comfortably be attached to the Snap N Go side reins. Elastic on both ends of the girth are coupled with stainless roller buckles for secure attachment. Training aids like side reins and neck stretchers can be seamlessly added to work with this girth.
- Dri-Lex center and fleece lining
- Elastic straps
- Stainless roller buckles
- Machine washable
- D-rings for training aids attachment
- Only sold in one single color
Types Of Girth Materials
Cinches are made from a variety of materials, all of which serve their own unique purposes. It is important that you choose the most suitable girth type for your horse’s particular skin needs and comfortability. The different types of cinches materials include:
Fleece girths sometimes come with removable liners used for this same purpose. There are 2 types of fleece material: natural wool and synthetic wool.
Natural wool is a perfect option for horses with skin sensitivity because of its effective tendency to mop up sweat. This wool is also very soft and gentle on the skin.
Synthetic fleece can be detached from the girth and washed easily. It is suitable for both machine and hand-washing, and dries quickly.
Fleece girths are commonly attached with hooks and loops which allow for easy manipulation. They can also be attached to girths made from leather for extra comfort.
Leather girths are perfect options for horses that are bred to fulfill traditional or royal needs. They are available in brown and black exquisite shades that are often matched to the horse’s own hair color.
Leather girths are usually available in 2 different leather tones. They feature exquisite stitching and overlays with a variety of designs. They are available in different shapes and sizes, and most have elastic attached to both ends for easy fittings.
Modern-day quality leather girths are sometimes conditioned into premium soft quality for a better level of comfort. Leather girths are usually easy to care for and become better over time with proper care and luxurious conditioning.
Synthetic girths are very popular on the girth market because of the catchy features they offer. They are easy to use and clean; all you need is a bowl of fresh, clean water and some soap.
Mostly available in black and brown colors, synthetic girths are affordable and durable, providing great value for money. You can also choose between the contoured or straight style according to your horse’s needs.
These girths are made from wool, cotton, mohair, or nylon string. This type of girth is a popular and preferable choice to prevent slippage on the horse’s skin. It is also suitable for horses that typically suffer from irritated or sensitive skin in the girth area.
Some horse riders prefer this type of girth for summer riding. If you choose a cotton string girth, it should always be hand-washed in cold water and hung to dry.
Warm and hot water have been noted to cause shrinkage of this material. Nylon string girth, on the other hand, can be machine washed without worries.
This type of girth can either be machine or hand-washed in cold or cool water and hung out to dry. Webbing is the perfect choice for horse owners who are looking for a durable and super affordable modern girth.
Neoprene is a breathable material that is durable and permits excellent air circulation with the benefit of anti-slip features. They are also easy to care for, requiring just mild soap and water to clean. Note: some horses have been found to be allergic to neoprene.
Features To Look For When Choosing The Best Girth For Your Horse
Elastic Vs. Non-Elastic Features
A girth can put a large amount of pressure on your horse’s muscular structures. For this reason, you should focus on how to distribute this pressure evenly across your horse’s girth area.
Horse girths can come with elastic on both sides to help ensure that the girth evenly distributes pressure across the horse. They can also be bought without elastic fixtures.
For a short girth, the elastic should be a maximum of 1” on a short girth while stretched. On a long girth, a maximum of 2.5” can be achieved by stretching. This gives your horse’s ribcage room to move while also keeping the saddle stable.
A girth without elastic definitely provides more stability, especially for riders that have slipping problems. A non-elastic girth can also help with this issue, but only if your measurements are correct.
An ill-fitting girth can also contribute to saddle sores and other injuries that horses may develop.
The downside to this style is that an elastic girth has a tendency to wear quicker. This is due to the stretching or fraying of the elastic over time. This could in turn compromise the fit and safety of your saddle.
Lined girths consist of anti-chafe, synthetic, and wool linings. This adds to the comfort level of the girth and is especially helpful for horses with sensitive skin as it helps to absorb sweat from the skin. This prevents the chances of rubbing and friction against your horse’s skin.
Caring For Your Girth
The first and most important step in caring for your horse’s girth is to keep it clean. A dirty girth can rub against skin and cause friction, making it quite uncomfortable for your horse. This can also cause irritations or infections for horses that experience skin sensitivity.
Keeping a girth clean depends on the type of material it is made from. Leather will naturally need more care than some other fabric girths.
Leather requires premium cleaning and conditioning with leather conditioner, whereas some fabrics can just be machine-washed in cool temperatures. Some require gentle soap and clean water for easy cleaning.
Choosing The Best Girth For Horse Comfort: An Important Aspect Of Horse Ownership
There are many types of horse girths available for purchase, and it can initially be confusing to know which option is the very best girth for horse comfort. In this guide, we have outlined the significant features that need to be considered when buying one, and have offered our top girth choices for consideration.
The best way to determine perfect girth fit is by trying it on your horse. Make sure your girth is clean before every use to prevent complications or injuries. The right fit can make all the difference for your ride!
If we had to choose one from our reviewed products to be the best girth for horse comfort, then it would be the Professional’s Choice Merino Wool English Girth because it is comfortable, affordable, and high-quality.
Don’t forget to look through our collection of articles for more horse grooming tips.