To suggest Eli is “girthy” would be an understatement. I have been using the Lettia Coolmax nylon girth with elastic on both sides on him since, like, the second time I rode him because his girth area is sensitive. I actually hated these girths (I tried one on a different jumper I owned and felt completely unstable), right up until I had to tack up Eli regularly. He just minded this type of girth a lot less than a leather girth.
I noticed that Lettia also made a memory foam nylon double elastic girth. $79.99 later, and I had one in Eli’s typical Lettia girth size, 50″.
There are a lot of things to like about this girth. One is that Eli seems to be comfortable in it, and isn’t any more girthier that he is with the Lettia Coolmax girth. Two, it’s memory foam. So squish. Want for pillow. Want for car seat. Want for desk chair. Want for feet. Pretty cool that it comes in girths, though!
Two more features of the girth that make it appealing to me and very useful are the buckles and the center dee ring. The buckles are Lettia’s Clik design, that have springs that make tightening the girth while you’re in the saddle a snap because they hold the prongs of the buckles in position. While I do try to tighten the girth from the ground before I get on, I may need to bring it up another hole after trotting around. Without these springs on the buckles, it would be a struggle, partly because getting Eli to stand still for longer than 7 seconds under saddle is not currently possible, so I am usually trying to tighten the girth while he’s walking.
The girth also has a center dee, handy for training aids and other equipment, like breastplates with clips, draw reins, or martingales with clips. Or neck-stretchers, but I don’t use those, although I think they do have clips for attaching to a girth dee.
There are a couple downsides to this girth. The memory foam side that rests against the horse is not especially grippy the way sheepskin or synthetic fleece is, so I have experienced a great potential for the saddle to slip out of place a bit. I know if I get the girth tight enough, this isn’t an issue. However, the mounting block I use is at the base of a hill and the arena is at the top of the hill. It’s a short hill, but if I haven’t tightened my girth up to that last hole that I like it on, my saddle can shift while I’m walking up the hill, and I do not experience that with the Lettia Coolmax girth that has synthetic fleece.
The other downside is a small one now, but may be a bigger deal over time, and that is that the elastic is stretchier than the elastic on other girths I’ve used. By kind of a lot. Enough that I could go down a girth size, maybe even two sizes, and probably still get the girth on without a lot of difficulty. This makes me wonder if the elastic might wear out more quickly than on other girths.
Overall, I am pleased with the girth and would be willing to buy a second to keep nice for shows, although I would probably go down a size. I am reaching for it about as often as I am still reaching for the Lettia Coolmax girth. While the Coolmax girth is still my “favorite” (as favorite as a not-leather girth can be for me), this memory foam girth is a close second and Eli doesn’t protest when I tighten it from the saddle. This is a well made girth and for under $100 I think it is a good value.