Top 11 Recommended Comfort Girths for Horses [Review]

Finding the right girth for horses can make or break your riding experience.

While the saddle and saddle pads are essential, girths are equally vital since they help keep everything in place as you ride.

02/21/2024 04:52 pm GMT

Are you looking for a new girth or want to replace some worn-out ones? Strength, comfort, and durability are some of the qualities you should be looking for.

In this article, I will discuss some of the best girths for horses and detail what you should look for in a girth.

Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

Girth for Horse Top Picks at a Glance

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

Top 11 Girths for Horses (Buyer’s Guide)

Now let’s take a closer look at the complete list, along with in-depth reviews.

#1 Weaver Leather Felt Lined Smart Cinch (WINNER)

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If you ride western and you’re into trail riding and are looking for a girth your horse will wear all day, this Weaver Leather girth will be excellent for you.

Physical Attributes

While the wording suggests it’s made of leather, it’s not. Weaver Leather is just the name of the manufacturer.

This cinch is actually made of synthetic materials (polyester webbing), with a felt lining for comfort.

Another unique feature of this girth is the patented Roll Snug buckle design. This design ensures a proper fit of the girth for all types of applications without causing sores.

Quantitative Measurements

24-inch to 36-inch

BenefitsDrawbacks
Very Durable – Polyester is great since it doesn’t accumulate dirt or mold, and it’s pretty easy to clean. Unlike Leather, polyester doesn’t shrink, and it withstands high temperatures, which makes it great for trail riding. It also comes in two styles; straight and roper. The buckle is also made of stainless steel for strength and durability.The naming is a bit misleading since this cinch isn’t made of leather.
Comfortable – All components of this cinch are designed to ensure comfort for the horse.When riding in tall vegetation, a lot of it sticks to the cinch, and you end up spending a lot of time cleaning them.
Versatile – The polyester material, felt lining, and unique buckle is useful for both professional and hobby riders.

How It Compares to Others and Why

These girths didn’t become a best seller by chance. They’re that good. What I love most is the Roll Snug that makes pulling easier.

Even kids can pull it on their own. The price, straight and roper versions, and durable build are other reasons this cinch made it to the top of the list.

How They Have Evolved

Since 1973, Weaver Leather has been perfecting its craft in manufacturing various nylon and leather products. They also use natural products such as Alpaca wool and Mohair.

Their Roll Snug tech came in 2002, and it is the best thing that could have happened to horse owners.

What Other Horse Parents Say

Multiple horse parents love how this girth works well for their sensitive horse, that it is easy to tighten, is durable and has a great price.

Don’t forget to also check out our article about which way a dressage girth goes.

#2 OVSELLERIE Unisex-Adult Airform Chafeless Girth (Best Adjustable)

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If you’re looking for a girth with an elastic to accommodate your horse (more on this later), you’ll love the OVSELLERIE chafeless girth. This is a popular budget girth for English saddles that many horses find comfortable.

Physical Attributes

This Ovation girth is made of synthetic materials that are textured and cushioned to ensure proper airflow and prevent excessive sweating.

It also comes with an elastic one end, providing enough stretch and making it easy to adjust based on your horse’s conformation.

The buckles are also made of stainless steel, which allows them to withstand the horse’s sweat and other unfavorable conditions both indoors and outdoors.

You can get this girth in brown or black to match the leather color of your saddle.

Quantitative Measurements

This girth comes in many sizes ranging from 34 inches to 60 inches.

BenefitsDrawbacks
It’s very soft and comfortable.Some users complained that this girth was short, even after they got the correct size.
Very easy to clean. All you need is a sponge and water, no need to use a washing machine.
The elastic makes it adjustable.

Expert Tips

To solve the size issue, buy a larger girth. For instance, if you measured your horse to be 38 inches by a 40 inches girth.

If you get the exact size, you may also realize the elastics are hard to pull. Another option is to get two sizes and compare how they fit.

This only applies to this girth. You should handle each girth from different manufacturers independently.

What Other Horse Parents Say

Horse parents find this girth good value for money, easy to clean, and causes less rubbing.

#3 Professionals Choice SMX English Girth (Best for Comfort)

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02/21/2024 04:48 pm GMT

This is the best all-purpose girth for horses you can have. From training to competitions to leisure riding, it’s designed to offer the best saddle stability for all of these activities.

I really like the smooth padded interior as it has no grooves that can accidentally cause pressure points on your horse.

Physical Attributes

Featuring a combination of neoprene and nylon, this girth has all it takes for horse riding. Neoprene stays dry even when it’s humid or even when the horse sweats too much.

It’s also designed not to slip and absorb most of the shock as you ride.

On the other hand, the nylon webbing and double reinforced stitching offer strength and prevent tears or breakages. Better yet, this girth is self-lubricating, preventing chaffing and cinch sores.

Another fascinating feature is the four-way stretching.

The elastics at the edges make it suitable for most horses, while the stainless-steel buckles ensure a firm grip and longevity. And to crown it all, it has a stylish look and comes in black and brown colors.

Quantitative Measurements

This girth’s sizes range from 36 inches to 56 inches.

BenefitsDrawbacks
The non-slip feature is convenient and valuable for vigorous activities.Some users had some trouble fitting the girth since the elastics tend to be rigid.
It’s easy to clean.
It doesn’t absorb moisture, nor does it offer a breeding ground for bacteria.

How It Compares to Others and Why

I’ve seen several girths that promise to be versatile, but this model surely stands up to the test of time. If the user reviews are anything to go by, it has 92% 5-star reviews out of the total reviews at the time of writing this.

What Other Horse Parents Say

One thing many horse parents have to say about this girth is that it doesn’t slip. Users also comment on how it lasts for a long time.

#4 Weaver Leather Mohair Western Cinch (Best for Sensitive Horses)

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02/21/2024 04:52 pm GMT

If you have sensitive horses, using girths made of purely natural materials is a good idea. And Weaver leather has got you covered with this cinch. As this girth is softer, many cinchy horses prefer it.

Physical Attributes

As the name suggests, this girth is made of Mohair, a fabric made from Angora’s goat wool. Weaver leather also has another version that’s made from Alpaca’s wool.

These cinches feature three rows of weaving to enhance their durability and breathability.

Woven cinches have been around since the cowboy error since horses shed in them, creating a more comfortable layer between the girth and the horse.

One thing I love about these cinches is they come in straight versions and roper versions. Straight cinches are regular cinches that offer stability for everyday riding.

On the other hand, the roper has a leather centerpiece that helps distribute the pressure around the horse to prevent excessive pressure on some sections.

You also get the patented Roll Snug buckle for a safe and proper fit with minimal effort on your side.

Quantitative Measurements

This girth’s sizes range from 22 to 36 inches.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Super comfortable, thanks to the three layers.It’s a bit small. You may not find one that fits larger horses.
It’s easy to install on the horse.

How It Compares to Others and Why

This is more of a traditional girth that shows how cowboys used to keep the saddles in place back in the day.

And guess what, it still stands up to the modern design, which explains why some horse owners still prefer them.

Expert Tips

For great tips on how to find your horse’s cinch size, check out this video.

#5 INTREPID INTERNATIONAL Fleece Girth with Double Elastic (Best Elastic Girth)

This is another excellent horse girth for sensitive horses. But instead of being made from Mohair or Alpaca wool, it is made of fleece, which is equally good.

Physical Attributes

While it looks like sheep’s wool, fleece is a synthetic material that offers the same warmth and comfort as natural wool but is still easy to clean.

The manufacturer combines fleece and nylon for more comfort and durability. To accommodate various horse conformations, this girth also features elastics on both ends.

Quantitative Measurements

The sizes range from 32 inches to 52 inches.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Works great for older horses and horses prone to rubs and sores.The fleece accumulates dirt quickly.
Easy to clean and maintain.Its cushioning deteriorates after using and washing it for some time.
Very versatile.
Very comfortable.

How It Compares to Others and Why

Fleece acts as a suitable replacement for wool. It’s lighter and pretty comfortable too. And when you add nylon and elastics to the equation, things get even better.

Did I mention it has a great price too? It offers everything the Mohair girth I just reviewed lacks.

#6 Total Saddle Fit – Shoulder Relief Cinch (Best Anatomical Girth)

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02/21/2024 05:19 pm GMT

There are many different horse body types and conformations.

While most of them have a standard body that you can fit any standard girth, some have unique features. That’s why manufacturers have come up with anatomic girths for horses.

However, I’m a big fan of anatomical girths for all horses. The shape is much more suited to giving any horse a more comfortable fit. If I rode western, I’d love to have this girth in my tack room.

Physical Attributes

An anatomic girth is a shaped girth designed to conform to a specific horse shape.

For instance, a horse with very long shoulders or a girth groove that’s too far or too close to the elbows may feel uncomfortable wearing a standard girth.

A girth like this total Saddle Fit model curves to reach the girth groove and bends a little at the elbows to allow free elbow movement.

Besides having an accommodating design, it’s also made of high-quality leather for durability and breathability.

Better yet, you get a removable neoprene liner and the option to purchase wool felt or fleece liner based on your preference.

Quantitative Measurements

Sizes range between 24 and 36 inches. They also come in western and dressage versions.

BenefitsDrawbacks
The anatomic shape accommodates horses of different conformations.It’s a bit stiff and lacks any elastics.
It’s pretty durable, thanks to the high-quality leather.
Excellent value for money.

How It Compares to Others and Why

If the other girths I just reviewed are regular clothes brands, the Total Saddle fit is the Gucci of girths. You got to love this model, from the high-quality build to the anatomic design that’s gaining popularity.

It’s also quite expensive, but user testimonials show it’s worth it if you get one that fits your horse.

#7 Tough 1 Performers Miniature Neoprene Girth (Best for Tiny Ponies)

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02/21/2024 05:24 pm GMT

If you have a smaller horse or horses with smaller girth measurements, Tough 1 had you in mind when manufacturing this miniature girth. It’s also one of the most affordable options on this list.

Physical Attributes

Tough 1 utilized nylon’s strength and ease of cleaning and neoprene’s non-slip and breathability features when designing this girth.

Better yet, you can remove the nylon top to clean it or replace it if it gets damaged. The buckles are also made of steel to enhance their durability regardless of environmental conditions.

Quantitative Measurements

The sizes range from 18 inches to 24 inches.

BenefitsDrawbacks
It’s affordable.Some users complained that these girths ran small.
It comes in suitable sizes for smaller horses.
It works great for smaller ponies.
Easy to clean.

Expert Tips

Due to its small and narrow size this girth, I recommend it for smaller ponies. Those who tried them on larger horses experienced rubbing and sores, which you wouldn’t want on your horse.

How They Compare

Unlike some girths where you have to buy a slightly larger size to find a perfect fit, most users managed to get a proper fit by going for the exact measurements of their horses.

The considerably low price makes it an even better bargain.

#8 Collegiate Anatomic Girth (Best for Dressage)

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02/21/2024 04:59 pm GMT

This is another excellent anatomical girth that comes in standard and dressage versions.

Physical Attributes

As mentioned earlier, anatomical girths are shaped to offer more comfort and flexibility. But Collegiate goes a step further by adding an elastic within the girth.

This elastic insert enhances the saddle’s stability without exerting excess pressure on the horse.

It’s also made of synthetic materials that are easy to maintain, not forgetting the steel buckles that are best suited for all horse disciplines.

Quantitative Measurements

Standard version – 46 to 54 Inches

Dressage Version – 24 to 36 inches

BenefitsDrawbacks
Very durable.Due to its shape, it may not fit most horses.
It delivers the utmost stability and flexibility.
It comes in various sizes.

How It Compares to Others and Why

Being an anatomical girth and having an elastic inserted sets this girth apart from the rest.

It’s also not that expensive either, so you can buy one that’s the appropriate size, and one larger one in case the other one doesn’t fit.

Expert Tips

Anatomical girths are very customized, so make sure you measure your horse accurately and know its shape to make sure the girth will fit.

After reading several of the standard and dressage girth reviews, you’ll realize horses are more likely to feel uncomfortable with an anatomic girth than with a “normal” girth.

To learn how to correctly measure for a dressage girth, check out this video.

#9 Derby Professional Air Tech Breathable English Girth (Best Breathable Girth)

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And last but not least is the Derby Professional girth, a high-quality girth designed to offer utmost comfort for your horse.

Physical Attributes

For starters, you get padded leather for comfort when the girth comes into contact with the horse’s skin. The nylon webbing makes the girth even stronger, while the elastic makes it more adjustable.

Better yet, you also get a removable fleece padding that offers more comfort, and you can remove it when the horse doesn’t want it.

You don’t have to worry about too much sweating since this girth has a unique Air Tech technology that ensures ample air circulation.

Quantitative Measurements

42 inches and 46 inches

BenefitsDrawbacks
Convenient and easy to adjust, thanks to the buckle and elastic.It’s only available in two sizes.
Very durable.
Easy to clean.
It’s comfortable for your horse thanks to the leather padding, removable fleece padding, and AIR TECH design.

How it Compares to Others and Why

Nylon, leather, and fleece are all good girth materials when used individually and even better when combined.

#10 ExionPro Thick Lined Fancy Girth – Best Belly Guard Girth

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02/21/2024 05:38 pm GMT

Many riders who jump regularly use a belly guard girth or what’s called a stud girth. These girths have a larger piece of leather that sits directly under the horse.

They are designed to protect that sensitive area from knocks from the horse’s hooves when jumping, particularly if they are wearing studs in their shoes.

This isn’t my favorite type of girth but that is just personal preference. They are a good options for horses that tend to tuck their feet right up under them when jumping.

Physical Attributes

This has triple layer elastic straps on both sides, making them extra strong and thus safer. It has thick removable fleece lining, which makes it much more comfortable for your horse and easy to wash.

In the center, there is a clip to attach your martingale.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great for horses that bang their chest when jumpingExpensive
Easy to wash fleece liningReally only suitable for jumping
High-quality and durable

How It Compares to Others and Why

This girth is different from all the others, and it’s only for English jumping. If just ring on the flat, it is best to use a standard English girth. It is also pretty expensive in comparison, but is good quality and will last a long time.

Expert Tips

One issue that can happen with this girth is that when in the air over a jump, the horse can catch its shoe in the clip underneath. This is a disaster that can cause the horse to fall.

Thankfully, it is rare, but it does happen. A simple fix is to tape duct tape over the area to prevent this from happening.

This video, shows you some tips on how to correctly store a stud guard girth.

#11 Professional’s Choice VenTech Contoured Equestrian Jump Girth – Best Jumping Girth

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02/21/2024 05:44 pm GMT

When jumping, it is best to use a girth that gives the horse’s front end the most freedom of movement. This anatomical style girth allows this freedom.

It also has a TPU outer shell which makes it extra durable and easier to clean. Plus, one of my favorite features is its fleece lining.

Physical Attributes

I love the anatomic design as it provides maximum comfort and freedom of movement.

The cozy fleece lining makes it softer against your horse’s skin and helps prevent rubs; something I always try to consider when choosing a girth.

BenefitsDrawbacks
DurableA little expensive
ComfortableMost suited to jumping saddles only
Ideal shape for jumping

How It Compares to Others and Why

This is a more specialized girth designed for jumping saddles or horses that prefer more freedom in their front end. It is also one of the more expensive options.

What Other Horse Parents Say

This video gives you a peak and a bit more information about this girth and others in the same range, which includes dressage girths.

How to Choose Comfort Girths for Horses

Below are some factors to consider when choosing a girth for your horse.

Size

This is one of the most critical aspects. A girth has to be of the right size. Otherwise, it will cause rubbing or chaffing and even injuries to the horse. And if it’s very loose, it will not serve its purpose.

So, what does a good fit look like? You should be able to fit your palm between the girth and the horse’s skin. The fitting should feel firm, not too loose or too right.

To make it easier for you and your horse, you should measure the horse’s girth. Below is how to make accurate horse girth measurements.

  • Ensure the horse is standing on flat ground.
  • Place the saddle and saddle pad on the horse.
  • Get a fabric tape measure.
  • Have a friend stand on the other side of the horse.
  • Place one of the edges of the tape measure on the middle hole of the saddle’s billet straps.
  • Run the tape down to the heart girth (a palm’s length or 4 inches from the horse’s elbow) and let your friend pick it from there.
  • Your friend should measure up to the corresponding hole on the other side of the saddle.

What It’s Made Of

Girths can be made of leather, synthetic materials, neoprene, and fabric. Below is how each material fairs.

  • Leather – Leather is the most preferred material for girths, as well as other horse gear. It’s durable, comfortable, and can be customized to look fancy. Leather needs occasional conditioning with a leather conditioner. With proper care, leather girths can last several years. The only drawback with leather is it sometimes shrinks, and its form deteriorates.
  • Synthetic Materials – Synthetic girths are also popular for being easy to clean durable, and some are designed to be waterproof. They are easier to maintain compared to leather girths.
  • Neoprene – This material is the best for horses with sensitive skin and are more susceptible to rubs and sores.
  • Fabric – If you’re looking for a girth that’s strong but can also be machine-washed, then you’ll love those made of fabric such as cotton.

Type Of Saddles

Saddles come in different types that differ in lengths and billet straps lengths. For instance, the girths you use with western saddles differ from those used for English saddles.

Dressage girths are also different. Whichever saddle you use, make sure you get the appropriate girth size.

Elastic Vs. Non-Elastic

A girth passes through the ribcage. And as we all know, the rib cage expands and contracts as the horse breathes. A good girth has to fit well and allow for rib cage movement.

Girths that aren’t elastic are more stable since they will not slip easily, but they may also exert too much pressure on the ribcage.

On the other hand, elastic girths allow rib cage movement, but they don’t last long and are not that stable. To be on the safer side, get a girth with elastics on one side, both sides, or in the middle.

FAQs

How Do You Use a Girth?

a men measuring horse girth

A girth is attached to the saddle to prevent it from sliding as you ride. A girth is designed to utilize the billet straps and run through the horse’s girth groove to ensure its effectiveness.

What Is a Good Girth Size?

To get the girth size, have the horse stand on level ground and measure the circumference from the base of the withers, down to the heart girth, and up to where you started from the other side. You should be able to fit your palm between the girth and the horse’s skin. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.

How Much Does a Girth Cost?

Girths cost between $20 and $400 depending on the type, quality, and materials it’s made from.

Final Recommendations

Finding a girth that will fit your horse can be quite challenging. But when you do, it can serve you for years.

It doesn’t stop at finding the right size, the horse has to love the girth, and the girth has to be comfortable and safe for the horse.

I know horses are different, but if I were to swear by one girth, I would recommend the Weaver Leather Felt Lined Smart Cinch.

They have everything you would want in girth, from adjustability, comfort, cleaning, and ease of use.

equestrian lady putting girth to her horse

What girth for horses have you used? Please share with us below!

References

  • COCQ, P., P. R. WEEREN, and W. BACK. 2010. “Effects of Girth, Saddle and Weight on Movements of the Horse.” Equine Veterinary Journal 36 (8): 758–63. https://doi.org/10.2746/0425164044848000.
  • “Do I Need an Anatomical Girth?” 2018. WHOLE HORSE SADDLE FIT. 2018. http://www.georgiasaddlefitter.com/calendar/do-i-need-an-anatomical-girth#:~:text=The%20girth%20groove%20is%20an,little%20groove%20and%20hang%20out.
  • “How to Measure, Size, and Fit a Dressage Girth for Horseback Riding.” 2020. Ridingwarehouse.com. Riding Warehouse. 2020. https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/lc/training/tack/how-to-measure-fit-a-dressage-girth.html.
  • Riding Warehouse. 2020. “How to Measure and Fit for a Dressage Girth.” YouTube Video. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTMXJMr6cB0.
Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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