Girth...how tight and keeping in place

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Specialk

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How tight do you make the girth for driving? I have heard it is looser than riding. How loose?

My horses are fat. I'm working on it. The saddle keeps moving forward because that is the smallest circumference around them. Any tips on keeping it back. Do I need to shorten the back strap and crupper? If I lengthen the neck strap it comes off my saddle if I tighten it it pulls the saddle forward.

Trying to attach a pic.
 

Strangeaddiction

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Yes you want looser and further back than you would put a riding saddle, Try tightening the backstrap and crupper, I had this same issue with my guy when he was plump haha! Some people like it quite loose and the wrap straps tighter. I think its personal preference as to how loose to go.
 

jventresca

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I would be very cautious about making the wrap strap tighter than the girth. The two straps can work against each other and catch the horse's skin between them, making a sore. I learned this the "hard way" and don't want anyone else to injure their horse through ignorance.

I had a special pad made out of black sheep skin (It has more lanolin in it than white sheepskin.) and my pony wore it while working until her sore healed.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I've come home from a drive and the girth is very loose--whole hand between it and the body. I am thinking as long as the vehicle is balanced, the tightness is not that much of an issue. Breast collar and crupper keep everything pretty well centered.

My sulky harness only has thimbles for "brakes". I have seen the saddle ride up a little if he has to back up, but it never seems to cause any problems having the girth loose. I've looked at mule team hitches and the girth just sort of hangs there.
 

Cayuse

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I tighten my girth to "snug" but not tight. Looser than when riding. Hubby tends to over-tighten and I'm always going behind him loosening the girth, lol. Peanut moves much nicer with it slightly snug and the wrap straps not overly tight. It took forever to get it "just right" for him. He was like the The Bears and their Porridge.

My harness saddle does not have a tree in it and it stays nicely wherever it's put which is great cause both minis are built differently.

Shortening the backstrap might work, but when I tried it with an older harness that had a more rigged saddle, it pulled the saddle back at an odd angle because the girth could not get past the pot belly into position! He had a serious pot at the time, though.
 

MajorClementine

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I like mine snug. As tight as I can pull it without really getting into it like I do with my riding horse. I would say, for me, that's about one to two holes looser than I could tighten it if I really yanked. I also have a pad on mine so I can make it snug without it feeling really tight on her.
 

jeanniecogan

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funny thing,, many years ago i was riding my horse up a pretty steep hill to the trainer, no breast collar, when i got up there she saw us and her mouth came open, it seems that she could see between the girth and the horse's chest. english saddle no less. she said i was in the correct place and that the saddle was even straight. the look on her face was really funny.
 

Marsha Cassada

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funny thing,, many years ago i was riding my horse up a pretty steep hill to the trainer, no breast collar, when i got up there she saw us and her mouth came open, it seems that she could see between the girth and the horse's chest. english saddle no less. she said i was in the correct place and that the saddle was even straight. the look on her face was really funny.
funny thing,, many years ago i was riding my horse up a pretty steep hill to the trainer, no breast collar, when i got up there she saw us and her mouth came open, it seems that she could see between the girth and the horse's chest. english saddle no less. she said i was in the correct place and that the saddle was even straight. the look on her face was really funny.
you were obviously riding with excellent balance!
 

Strangeaddiction

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I would be very cautious about making the wrap strap tighter than the girth. The two straps can work against each other and catch the horse's skin between them, making a sore. I learned this the "hard way" and don't want anyone else to injure their horse through ignorance.

I had a special pad made out of black sheep skin (It has more lanolin in it than white sheepskin.) and my pony wore it while working until her sore healed.
I was always taught to have the wrap straps tighter because of this reason, if both are tight then the skin can get pinched (also wrap straps should always be behind the girth to prevent pinching, it will almost always pinch, no matter how lose or tight if it is in front). We always taught our minis to pull witht their center, ie. with the saddle/wrap straps. You could take the breast collar off of any of them and they pull the cart fine, we also drive for shows (AMHA, Ptha, AMHR), so setting up the harness saddle, wrap straps and breast collar are all done so in mind of getting the best range of motion through the horses shoulder, elbow and withers.

Like anything in the horse world there are 1000 ways to do one thing, and not just one is right! I love hearing on these boards all the different ways to do things! I learn something every time I am on here!
 

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