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Girthing the SMART™ saddle

The SMART™ saddles incorporate the patented self-tensioning W-girthing system to ensure saddle stability. Maintaining an even girth tension allows complete freedom of movement of the back and shoulder and reduces peak girthing pressures. The W-girthing system accommodates and improves even the most difficult and awkward conformation comfortably and improves saddle stability for all back shapes.

Solution Saddles recommend using short (dressage style) girths buckled as close to the bottom of the saddle flap as possible; this increases comfort for the horse, as the buckle does not lie behind the elbow or close to the costochondral (rib) joints. Rider comfort is also improved by removing the buckle from under the leg, allowing better contact, as well as making it easier for the rider to reach the buckle for adjustment whilst mounted.

The unique features of our recommended girths (Professionals Choice, VenTech/Contoured/Wool Lined dressage girths)allows the user to employ a non-irritant method for girthing the horse, particularly in retraining a horse who has suffered discomfort in the past from tack or insensitive saddling methods.

Try this graduated girthing method:

  1. After positioning the saddle, make sure that the horse is standing squarely and not tucking his foreleg under his body. Buckle the girth loosely so that it is just touching the skin, positioning it over the sternum and behind the elbow.

  2. Hold a girth strap and, standing squarely balanced yourself, lean backwards allowing your bodyweight to gradually pull the girth towards you. The horse will naturally brace himself against this pull, and the elastic in the girth will start to engage.

    Graduated Girthing Method

  3. Whilst holding the strap taught with one hand, slide the roller buckle up into the next hole and gradually release the strap. Because this method does not pinch, the horse will not notice the tightening. Repeat alternately with each strap until the girth is tight enough to mount.

    Graduated Girthing Method

  4. As soon as the rider is mounted, the girth should be tightened again using the technique below, this is not because you need the girth tighter with a SMART™ saddle, but because the saddle will open and drop around the barrel with the riders weight, having the effect of loosening the girth.

    Graduated Girthing Method

It is a good idea to loosen the girth slightly before dismounting as when the weight of the rider is removed from the saddle it will spring up, having the effect of tightening the girth and making it more difficult to loosen from the ground.


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