Being a type A dressage rider, I am always in search of any piece of tack that will make my horse more comfortable. If it results in even the tiniest improvement in performance then that is a bonus. With this in mind in 2018 I decided to make the switch to a fleece lined girth. While Nonie loved the first girth we trialled, it developed a hole in the fleece in about 8 months. And so my search resumed for an alternative.
I put the call out for an alternative to my Insta-fam and the lovely Ash from Foxtrot Horsewear suggested the Total Saddle Fit girth. I had heard good things about these girths, and the fact that the girth and fleece liner were totally separate had me sold. If the liner fell apart at least I would still have a leather girth!
About 18months on and Nonie and I could not love our Total Saddle Fit girth more. So heres the full download…
The girth is anatomical in shape with a forward set base. The rationale is that it allows the girth to sit in the horses natural girth groove whilst allowing the billets to sit straight down the horses barrel. The aim of this is to prevent the saddle from being pulled forward onto the shoulders.
Given the shape of the girth I was slightly concerned about how well the sheepskin liner would stay in place. However, due to the design of the liner which velcro’s securely around the middle and both ends of the girth, I’ve never had any issues with the girth moving.
Both the sheepskin liner and girth have worn exceptionally well. After 18 months of use at least 5 times per week the liner is in near perfect condition with no wear or loss of wool that I am able to see. Best of all because the liner does not contain any leather (as many sheepskin products do) you can simply throw it in your washing machine on a delicate cycle with wool-wash. I have noticed that the Velcro that sits at the top of the girth is not as grippy as it originally was. That being said it hasn’t effected the way the liner sits.
The leather girth is in equally good condition, aside from a few scratches thanks to my boots whilst mounting. There are also a few minor wear marks from where the Velcro of the liner sits behind the girth buckles. These are however completely cosmetic.
I opted for a longer girth, so that there is minimal ‘space’ between the bottom of the saddle and the top of the girth. Minimising this gap is meant to aid with stability of the saddle. At a minimum you want the girth to sit higher than the point of the horses elbow. Additionally, Total Saddle fit recommend allowing 4 inches between the bottom of the saddle and the top of the girth. You can read more about the principles of girth fitting here.
The girth lengths are measured buckle-end to buckle-end, so it’s fairly easy to figure out what size you need. On the English style girths, take into consideration that there is approcimately an inch of leather above the buckles.
For me, these products represent great value. When you take into account the durability they are an absolute steal at just under $125 for the girth liner and just under $200 for the leather girth.
The website also has a handy tool which allows you to toggle between USD, AUD, CAD, GBP and EUR so that there are no surprises at the checkout.
The Total Saddle Fit girth tops of its functionality with a professional and polished look. And with options from leather to synthetic and the sheepskin liners, there is a something to suit everyone, whatever your taste.
During the Black Friday sales last year I purchased a white sheepskin liner for competition days and I could not love that crisp white finish more!
There aren’t many retailers for Total Saddle Fit here in Australia, luckily you can purchase directly through the website. Better yet they offer FREE postage internationally!
Total Saddle fit also has a great returns policy that allows you to ride in your new girth for 30days to make sure you are happy with it.