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Choosing the Best Girth

English girths and western cinches share the same basic and vital function – to keep the saddle securely on the horse. But they can also affect the horse’s comfort and gait. Improved research, technology and understanding of equine behaviour indicates the right girths and cinches can have a distinct bearing on comfort and performance. Girthing issues are a “huge” part of Lesley McGill’s Langley, B.C., saddle-fitting business, The Saddle Doctor. “I put on one of my saddles and the horse tries to bite me or I do up the girth and he collapses or he holds his breath or he hiccups. Then I realize the girth is cracked or lying in the wrong position,” said McGill. “If the saddle has sort of a mystery fit, I’ll grab a really nice, benign girth from the truck and you can often see the horse change, night and day.” Finding one, however, isn’t…

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