Total Saddle Fit - Shoulder Relief Girth
Product Review by April D. Ray, Canadian Horse Journal
Recently, Canadian Horse Journal received two Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Girths to test out. The girths are available in dressage or jumping/all-purpose and are designed to allow for a full range of shoulder motion, elbow comfort, and better saddle fit. I took the jumper girth and my co-worker Emily tested the dressage girth.
I was intrigued by the design because when jumping, I had noticed that my girth was consistently sliding back from my horse’s shoulder and causing the saddle to slip too. The Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief girth is one of those innovative items that makes you wonder: Why didn’t someone think of that sooner? It just makes sense when you consider the freedom and comfort the horse needs in its elbow and shoulder area for optimum performance.
Photo: Jumping Girth
Given the reasonable price point, I was impressed by the girth’s good quality leather. The girth fit true to size with elastic on both ends for added comfort. Although I normally school in a synthetic fleece girth, I found the Shoulder Relief Girth to be just as soft with the padded calfskin leather on the underside, and will continue to opt for this girth in place of the synthetic one.
I definitely noticed a marked improvement in my horse’s movement as soon as we picked up the trot. He is an older, larger horse, and always takes some time to warm up and feel his best. With this girth it didn’t seem to take as long as usual to get that quality movement I was striving for. I noticed more freedom in his shoulder and better movement overall, especially in a lengthened stride in the trot and canter. Emily noticed this too with her horse in the dressage girth; earlier in the warmup he moved more freely from the shoulder, eliminating the need for a longer warmup.
When I dismounted, I found my saddle still in the same place as when I mounted up. It usually slips no matter what type of pad or breastplate I use, but with the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief girth, my saddle stayed in the intended position on my horses’ back.
With exceptional customer service, a money back guarantee, and a very reasonable price point, if you’ve been toying with the idea of trying a shoulder relief girth, you can’t go wrong with this one. Find more details at www.TotalSaddleFit.com.
Main photo: Dressage girth