How Many Girths is Too Many?

Eli does not know the answer to the post title question. And neither do I. But APPARENTLY Eli does not have enough girths. Let’s go over what girths he does have.

  1. The Professional’s Choice Merino Wool girth – by far Eli’s favorite. But not ideal for summer.
  2. The Professional’s Choice Ventech girth – Eli was loving this girth right up until a few days ago. So this girth is also not ideal for summer? Boo. He got a rub đŸ˜¦
  3. Lettia Coolmax Clik girth – Eli kind of hated the fake fleece out of nowhere this spring & I hate the Clik buckles as they snap down rather painfully on my fingers when I am adjusting the girth from the ground. But this is the one I plan to use in the interim.
  4. Lettia Coolmax girth – see above, but without the Clik buckles. I like it. Will probably use this one in the interim, too.
  5. Lettia Memory Foam girth – this girth is weird, because it is hard as a rock if it is cold outside. Some times Eli has liked it, sometimes he has not. The elastic on the buckles is too stretchy, in my opinion. My saddle tends to slip from side to side a bit with this girth.
  6. Random fake fleece girth from Dover – um, not a fan. I should probably just accidentally on purpose lose this girth. The horse I had it for is long gone.

So things had been going very well with the Professional’s Choice Ventech girth right up until a few days ago, when Eli got a rub behind his elbow from it. I think we he is not so sweaty and his hair is not so fine, this girth probably still works, because he seemed otherwise comfortable in it. But for a Texas summer it is not working. He was pretty negative about the fake fleece on the Lettia Coolmax girths this spring, but he was also in the midst of ulcer treatment so maybe that will not be a problem now? I am skeptical.

So my next question to you, dear readers, is which girths do you like? I have a short list of contenders. Eli has strongly communicated to me in the past that leather is not an option.

  1. The Professional Choice Ventech Combo girth – This is my top contender. It has the vented neoprene but is bordered by the wool that Eli likes. I don’t think the rub he got was from the neoprene itself, but from the border seam of the girth/liner (based on where the rub is). Does anyone have any experience with this girth? It looks like the best option based on Eli’s preferences, price, and ease of care and use.
  2. The Equifit Essential schooling girth – I am still curious as to people’s experiences with this one. I like that the liners are swappable. I kind of wonder if I can buy the Prof Choice Combo liner alone, whether the wool is part of the liner or stitched to the girth webbing? I have not been able to find that as an option for the Prof Choice, so this is why the Equifit is still in contention. The reviews I have found, however, do not look promising.
  3. Majyk Equipe “Hi-Efficiency” Breathable Girth – this girth came out shortly after I bought the Professional’s Choice Ventech girth and I was like , oh, damn. Maybe I need THAT one. It’s neoprene free! I know, we all hate neoprene because it doesn’t breathe and yet it persists as a common material for sport horse tack. Does anybody have this girth? What are the border seams on the liner made out of? Is it soft and squishy and flexible? DOES ELI NEED IT???

Really, HELP. I don’t see Eli tolerating the Lettia girths again for very long. Are there other non-leather options I am missing that work for sensitive, thin-skinned TBs?

And on a completely different note, I have a few pairs of breeches I am selling because they do not fit right.

Trophy Hunters in black olive, 32R. Worn twice. Way too big for me everywhere but the waist. I just need to do some sit ups, I guess? Blog reader price of $75 shipped via usps priority, paypal or venmo.

Equine Couture Beatta full seat breeches in berry, 30. Actually fit like a 30. Maybe even a roomy 30 (weird for EC, I know). Again, too big for me. $25 shipped usps priority, paypal or venmo.

Lettia Memory Foam Clik Girth: Review

leftsideTo 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″.

rightsideThere 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!

blingbuckleThe third and overwhelmingly important feature for me is that the girth is machine washable. I have already washed it once, hung it to dry, and it came out basically looking like new.

foamyThe memory foam is along the entire length of the girth and is thick and squishy without being bulky. It is not as thick as, say, an Ogilvy jumper half pad.

nylonTwo 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.