Top 7 Picks of the Best Dressage Girth for Horses

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When it comes to choosing a dressage girth, your horse’s comfort is paramount.

I have tried several girths and many traditional ones ended up rubbing my horse and causing sores.

That is why I consider myself an expert when it comes to selecting dressage girths!

So if you are in the market for the best dressage girths, then these 7 tried and tested dressage girths are all great choices.

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Best Dressage Girth Top Picks at a Glance

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Preview
Editor's Choice
Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth (28")
Best Budget
Ovation Airform Chafeless Girth - Color:Black Size:24, (FBA_402014BLK 24)
Best Overall
Professionals Choice Equine Ventech Dressage Girth (Size 26-Inch, Black)
Best Versatile
LeMieux Unisex's Merino+ Integrated Mono Girth Dressage, Black/Black, 65cm
Best Anatomical Girth
Passier Anatomic Dressage Girth Black 28
Top Benefit
Amazing quality at a bargain price
Budget-friendly
Great design features
Premium, high-quality materials
Allows greater freedom of motion due to the shape
Editor's Choice
Preview
Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth (28")
Top Benefit
Amazing quality at a bargain price
Check Latest Price
Best Budget
Preview
Ovation Airform Chafeless Girth - Color:Black Size:24, (FBA_402014BLK 24)
Top Benefit
Budget-friendly
Check Latest Price
Best Overall
Preview
Professionals Choice Equine Ventech Dressage Girth (Size 26-Inch, Black)
Top Benefit
Great design features
Check Latest Price
Best Versatile
Preview
LeMieux Unisex's Merino+ Integrated Mono Girth Dressage, Black/Black, 65cm
Top Benefit
Premium, high-quality materials
Check Latest Price
Best Anatomical Girth
Preview
Passier Anatomic Dressage Girth Black 28
Top Benefit
Allows greater freedom of motion due to the shape
Check Latest Price

7 Best Dressage Girth (With Reviews)

1. Winner: Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth

Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth

I loved Derby’s Air Tech Breathable dressage girth because, unlike many leather girths, this did not rub my horse sore. Its Air Tech texture ensures airflow and prevents sweating, chafing, and rubbing.

Features

  • 24-inch, stretchy elastic material (measured buckle to buckle)
  • Contoured shape
  • Textured, breathable Air Tech material
  • Adjustable thanks to stainless steel buckles
  • Traditional black color for dressage
BenefitsDrawbacks
Easy to clean Mostly runs true to size but some horse owners had to drill extra holes.
Amazing quality at a bargain price

How it compares

I’ve used this girth personally and compared to many others, it fits my horse snugly. Most girths are either too short or too large- but not Derby Originals.

Its breathable and soft material is perfect for preventing sores and keeping your horse comfortable. The additional billet keeper straps are also a thoughtful addition.

The girth is very easy to clean and remains to look good as new for a long time.

Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth (28")
  • ULTIMATE COMFORT- features Derby Originals Air Tech textured material to ensure constant air flow during riding and prevent rubs and sores associated with traditional leather girths.
  • CUSTOM FIT- contoured shape of the girth and innovative sponge like material adapts to the shape of your horses girth area to not only keep it in place, but to prevent painful pinching.
  • HEAVY DUTY HARDWARE- durable elastic featured on both ends for a comfortable, snug girth fit and stainless steel roller buckles for easy adjustment.
  • TRADITIONAL BLACK- comes in a traditional black color suitable for dressage, and billet keepers for a smooth, seamless look.
  • CLEANS EASY- Can be cleaned with damp towel quickly and efficiently.

2. Best Budget: Ovation OVSELLERIE Cushioned Dressage Girth

OVSELLERIE

Most high-quality dressage girths can cost more than $100. If you are on a tight budget or need girth for one-time use for kids, etc. then Ovation OVSELLERIE cushioned girth won’t hurt your pocket.

Features

  • Soft, cushioned, padded neoprene material. Ensures airflow to prevent chafing.
  • Available in many sizes
  • The brand also makes girths with gel inserts, belly guards or equalizer style
  • Sturdy stainless steel buckles one-inch wide.
BenefitsDrawbacks
SturdySizing is slightly off.
Budget-friendlySome feel it doesn’t last long enough
Thick buckles resist wear
Best girth for sensitive skin
Easy to clean

How it compares

Most horses did not experience any chafing with OVSELLERIE dressage girth. Some horses did sweat in it but the girth itself is easy to clean and did not cause sores on horses. The size could be an issue but the price is very attractive.

Sale
Ovation Airform Chafeless Girth - Color:Black Size:24, (FBA_402014BLK 24)
  • Cushioned and textured for air flow. Features elastic at both ends.
  • Stays incredibly soft no matter how much use it gets.
  • It can be sponged clean in seconds
  • Made with stainless steel roller buckles to extend the use of the girth straps and your hands.
  • Keeps hold the dressage girth neatly in place.

3. Best Overall: Professionals Choice Equine Ventech Dressage Girth

Professionals Choice Equine Ventech Dressage Girth

My friend went through a lot of dressage girths before he zeroed in on this one. (His mare made the choice for him – she suffered sores from other girths but not this one!).

Professionals’ Choice Ventech girth is comfortable and the fact that it is available in small sizes for smaller horses is definitely a plus point.

Features

  • Ventilated, no-slip neoprene material
  • Detachable for easy washing
  • Available in brown and black and multiple sizes
BenefitsDrawbacks
Great for small horses as the sizes start from 16-inchFit is slightly longer than normal.
The easy-to-wash, detachable neoprene is a great design feature that keeps the girth looking as good as new for a long time

How they compare

As the name indicates, the girth is the choice of professional riders. It is available in brown which sets it apart from other dressage girths. Ventech girth is stretchy and its detachable neoprene part is easy to clean.

Price-wise, it is comparable to most entries here.

Professionals Choice Equine Ventech Dressage Girth (Size 26-Inch, Black)
  • Ventilated, non-slip neoprene liner
  • Allows heat and moisture to escape
  • Detachable neoprene liner
  • Elastic at each end

4. Best Versatile: LeMieux Merino+ Integrated Mono Girth Dressage

LeMieux Merino+ Integrated Mono Girth Dressage

Many a dressage rider is known to love the LeMieux versatile dressage girth for its Merino wool lining. Sure, it is on the expensive side, but it is totally worth it.

The fact that one can use it with several different types of saddles makes it very versatile too.

Features

  • Can be used with mono flap saddles, jumping saddle, and dressage.
  • Has flexible webbing construction
  • Comes with (optional) attachments for schooling.
  • Lined with Merino sheepskin
BenefitsDrawbacks
Designed with horse’s comfort in mind – no more rub marksHigh price
Premium, high-quality materials.

How it compares

LeMieux integrated girth is strong, versatile, and designed with your horse’s comfort in mind. It allows freedom of movement and prevents chafing thanks to the soft sheepskin lining.

On the downside, it is slightly expensive, especially compared to the other entries here.

LeMieux Unisex's Merino+ Integrated Mono Girth Dressage, Black/Black, 65cm
  • Suitable for Dressage and Mono Flap Saddles
  • Flexible Webbing Construction
  • Merino Wool Lining

5. Best Anatomical Girth: Passier – Anatomical Girth in Leather

Passier Anatomic Dressage Girth Black 28

Passier is a premium German brand; they have been in the leather industry since 1867 and their anatomically formed dressage girths are designed with the horse’s ultimate comfort in mind.

Features

  • Made with high-quality leather
  • Available in two colors and several sizes
  • Anatomically shaped and designed to allow freedom of movement, prevent chafing, and provide more elbow room.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Allows greater freedom of motion due to the shapeNeeds a special leather cleaner to maintain. Also needs regular conditioning.
Best suited for round horses with a wide barrel – the anatomical shape helps keep the saddle in place.
Soft padding on the inside for extra breathability
Holds well against wear and tear

How it compares

Price-wise it is on the higher side compared to most entries here. However, if you have difficulty with the saddle flipping or moving, this is the best fitting girth to buy.

The anatomic girth shape really works extremely well and the higher price is totally justified due to its high-end leather material.

6. Easy to Attach Dressage Girth: Collegiate Memory Foam Dressage Girth

Collegiate Memory Foam Dressage Girth

Compared to other girths, Collegiate memory foam dressage girth comes with a center D-ring that helps you attach it easily to the saddle.

Moreover, it has a super stretchy material as well as a contoured design to ensure a snug fit.

Features

  • Anti-chafe memory foam girth with elastic sides for ‘give’
  • Roller buckles and center D-ring made of sturdy, rustproof metal.
  • Has pockets to tuck in the billets for a neat look.
  • Available in brown color and 5 sizes
BenefitsDrawbacks
Easy to attachTakes a long time to dry after washing
Keeps saddle from slipping
Contoured shape prevents chafing
Value for money

How it compares

The thick memory foam girth with its contoured shape fits snugly around the horse as long as you’ve taken the measurements properly. All in all, this is a great dressage girth without the high price tag.

Collegiate Memory Foam Dressage Girth Brown 32"
  • Anti-Chafe: This shaped neoprene girth prevents excessive rubbing and chafing
  • Comfort: Features memory foam padding to offer the optimal comfort
  • Elastic: Both ends of this girth are stretchy and come with roller buckles for ease of use
  • Attachment: Comes with a center dee ring for easy attachment to training equipment
  • Comes in black and brown

7. Best Design: Total Saddle Fit StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth – Dressage

Total Saddle Fit - StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth - Dressage

Total Saddle Fit StretchTec Girth has several design features that make it the best-designed entry as far as dressage girths go.

Features

  • High-end English saddlery leather
  • Stretchable center for easy give
  • Triangular elastic rear to conform to horse’s chest shape
  • Cutback for elbow comfort
  • Deep-offset redirects the billets to keep the saddle from chafing the horse’s shoulders.
  • Comes with removable interchangeable liners to use with different riding disciplines.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Flexible, versatile, extremely well-designedA few sizing issues reported
Long-lastingHigher price
Value for money
Comfortable

How it compares

The best part about Total Saddle Fit StretchTec Girth is the interchangeable liners in leather and neoprene that help you use them for multiple disciplines.

This versatility is definitely a great advantage over other girths. The price of about $200 is justified.

Total Saddle Fit - StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth - Dressage
  • Shoulder freedom from saddle tree with cutback design.
  • Triangular center elastic allows girth to stretch in proportion to horse's chest while breathing (patent pending).
  • Stretches in an anatomically friendly way to contour to a horse’s barrel and provide even contact through the sternum area.
  • Interchangeable leather or neoprene liners (covers) for easier cleaning and so one girth can be used for multiple needs.
  • Intelligent looped billet keepers which remain low profile and are virtually indestructible.

How to Choose the Best Dressage Girth

Girths are an important piece of tack and dressage discipline needs special girths. Below are some of the factors to consider when selecting dressage girths:

lady putting a dressage girth to the horse

Size

Dressage girths come in short or long sizes. For keeping the under-the-thighs-and-knees bulk-free, it is recommended to buy a short girth.

Remember that short girths are complementary to long billets – which is what most dressage saddles have.

 Here are some more tips to help you with size selection:

  • If your horse uses a regular girth of about 40-44” then the dressage girth would ideally measure about 24”.
  • The girth should be 4-6 inches from the bottom of the saddle flap.
  • When you tighten the girth optimally, girth pressure should still allow you to move your hand comfortably under the girth and your horse.

READ MORE: Do You Measure a Girth From Buckle to Buckle?

Shape

Dressage girths can be straight or with a contoured girth groove. Many dressage riders prefer contoured shape because it allows greater freedom of movement and provides extra elbow room.

This also keeps your horse more comfortable and prevents chafing.

I recommend choosing a girth that has elastic on both sides. This helps maintain mobility of the sternum and there is less impact on your horse’s breathing.

Avoid girths having elastic on only one end as it negatively impacts the mechanics of the rib cage.

Material

Dressage girths are available in a variety of materials – leather, neoprene girth, fleece girth, string, cotton webbing, or cotton synthetic materials blend.

While leather is definitely the softest and most comfortable outer material for dressage girth, it is difficult to maintain and needs special cleaning. 

Remember: a dirt-crusted leather girth will do more harm than good to your horse.

Neoprene girths allow greater airflow, are more breathable and are also easy to clean. You simply wipe the girth down with a damp cloth.

Padded Girth Straps

Select a dressage girth having padding under its billet strap buckles.

This could be memory foam/gel/sheepskin padding as it helps prevent hair loss, chafing, skin irritation, and friction and keeps your horse comfortable.

FAQs

How high should a dressage girth come up?

horse with dressage girth

An optimally fitted dressage girth should be one hand’s width from the horse’s elbow.

Can you use a normal girth on a dressage saddle?

No, you cannot use normal girth on dressage saddles because dressage saddles need short girths whereas normal girths are longer and not designed for the longer billets present on dressage saddles.

Conclusion & Final Recommendation

The best dressage girths are designed with your horse’s maximum comfort in mind.

They are padded, soft, and contoured and allow freedom of movement. They won’t cause hair loss or chafing and also enhances airflow to keep your horse sweat-free.

With these qualities in mind, we recommend Derby’s Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth as its neoprene material, has an ergonomic shape for horses’ elbows, and its AirTech technology keeps horses pain-free.

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

Derby Originals Air Tech Breathable Dressage Girth (28")
  • ULTIMATE COMFORT- features Derby Originals Air Tech textured material to ensure constant air flow during riding and prevent rubs and sores associated with traditional leather girths.
  • CUSTOM FIT- contoured shape of the girth and innovative sponge like material adapts to the shape of your horses girth area to not only keep it in place, but to prevent painful pinching.
  • HEAVY DUTY HARDWARE- durable elastic featured on both ends for a comfortable, snug girth fit and stainless steel roller buckles for easy adjustment.
  • TRADITIONAL BLACK- comes in a traditional black color suitable for dressage, and billet keepers for a smooth, seamless look.
  • CLEANS EASY- Can be cleaned with damp towel quickly and efficiently.
horse dressage girth

For you, what is the best dressage girth? Let us know in the comments below!

Andreea J.
Andreea J.

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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