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Complete Guide to Anatomical Girths for your Saddle - Saddles Direct

Complete Guide to Anatomical Girths for your Saddle

As the market leading supplier of new and used saddles in the UK, we get questions about girths, a lot. We also work with the best and most prestigious brand, so we can offer impartial advice for what style and type of girth will suite your horse. Anatomical girths are an excellent choice if you are buying a used saddles.

We believe in the concept of the anatomical girths, not to mention most of at Team Saddles Direct have used one and can vouch for their credibility and the truth is, they really do work.

The world of equestrian equipment is full of incredible innovation, but sometimes it's filled with jargon and can be overwhelming to navigate. So let us guide you through the anatomical girth!

What is an Anatomical Girth?

Traditional straight girths can sometimes slip forward to an incorrect position, causing discomfort and altering your horses gait. Anatomical girths comfortably sit further back on the horse's belly, providing a snug and secure fit.

One of the standout features of an anatomical girth is a special support curve that sits right underneath your horse, between the front legs and near the sternum (that's the part joining the left and right sides of the ribcage). This curve keeps the girth perfectly in place and ensures no excess pressure is being caused.

When you secure the saddle with an anatomical girth in just the right spot, you're giving your horse's scapula (shoulder) maximum freedom. No more saddle obstructions, and the elbow can move effortlessly without being blocked or rubbing on the girth as it might with a traditional girth. Plus, the saddle stays put, avoiding any unwanted slippage.

So there you have it, with a well-fitting saddle, an anatomical girth will hug your horse and fit like a glove, making their riding experience as delightful as can be. 

Does my horse need an anatomical girth?

An anatomical girth can truly be a game-changer for your horse, giving them greater comfort and freedom of movement. Anatomical girths allow your horse's shoulders to move with ease and keep your saddle perfectly positioned to maintain an even stride. Investing in one can be a wise choice, especially since they come in a wide range of sizes and styles, ready to fit most breeds, disciplines, and workloads.

And what about our lovable, deep-barreled or broader-bellied horses? They'll love anatomical girths too! The design helps to keep pressure away from their elbows, evenly distributing it around the girth and saddle for maximum comfort. No more sore spots.

So, does your horse need an anatomical girth? It's quite likely that they'll appreciate it! Especially if your horse has impressive shoulder movements, an anatomical girth will ensure the saddle stays put and far from their scapula.

How should an Anatomical Girth fit?

Most Anatomical girths are measured in the standard way - buckle end to buckle end. ProLite also make a narrow gauge version of their anatomical girth, designed specifically to fit horses (and ponies) with a narrower rib cage. 

If your horse has a forward girth grove, or has wrinkly skin behind his elbows you might want to opt for a narrow gauge anatomical girth.

Which way does an anatomical girth go on? Make sure you fit the girth with the curved section facing forward (towards the forelimbs). 

For a short anatomical girth (to fit a dressage or event saddle) fit the longest length possible so the buckles fasten away from the pressure-sensitive area behind the elbow. When the girth is fully tightened, the top edge of the girth should be as close to the bottom edge of the saddlecloth as possible. On a dressage saddle, aim to have two girth holes remaining on both sides.

On a long girth, the buckles should fasten on the sweat flap, away from the horse's skin, just like a traditional long girth would.

Finally, as usual, always girth up evenly on both sides.  

The Best Anatomical Girths

Popular amongst customer old and new, the anatomical girth remains to be a top seller. We have a range of girth options here at Saddles Direct, so we thought we would share our tried and tested favourites to help you find the best anatomical girth for your saddle.

  1. Best Anatomical Allrounder: Standard Anatomical Girth
  2. Best Anatomical Dressage Girth: Affinity Dressage Girth
  3. Best Anatomical Narrow Fit Girth: Prolite Narrow Gauge
  4. Most Technical Anatomical Girth: Wintec Anatomic Short Girth with CAIR technology

The Standard Anatomnical Girth and Affinity Girth are the two best-sellers of all the girths we stock. The Standard Anatomical Girth incorporates soft padded backing with a hard leather front, D ring the centre and elasticated at both ends. The Affinity Dressage Girth, featuring double calfskin and extra padding, for a softer, more luxurious feel. These are also elasticated at both ends too.

We hope that this guide has helped shed light on the topic of anatomical girths and how they can benefit your horse. In summary, an anatomical girth is designed to provide a more comfortable and secure fit for your horse by conforming to their anatomy.

It is important to note that not all horses require an anatomical girth, but if your horse is experiencing discomfort or rubbing with their current girth, it may be worth considering a switch.

When selecting an anatomical girth, be sure to take accurate measurements and try on several options to ensure the best fit for your horse. Remember, a properly fitting girth is essential for your horse's comfort and performance and will not compensate for a poorly-fitting saddle.

At Saddles Direct, our goal is to help you make informed decisions for the health and happiness of your horse. We are confident that with the knowledge and tips provided in this guide, you will be able to select the best anatomical girth for your horse. If you still need help or haven't had your saddle checked in the last 12 months, we strongly advise you reach out to your local saddle fitter or speak to our friendly team for some free advice.

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