Girth itch is a nasty little infection similar to ringworm that occurs typically this time of year when it is hot, sweaty, and humid. It typically affects younger horses or those who are immuno-suppressed, and can be spread by dirty tack or using brushes on multiple horses. It’s a pain… It starts as dandruff-like raised flakes in the girth area, then spreads, and eventually can turn into open wounds.
This can be treated medically, but it is typically caused/worsened by an ill-fitting girth that chafes. You may try different types of girths to see if there is any positive effect, but this can happen to you regardless if you use a $250 leather girth or a $30 synthetic girth. It could possibly be a reaction to either the tanning process or cleaner used, or perhaps because of ‘dirt’ (sand or the like) getting in between the girth and your horse’s skin, but in reality part of the problem might simply be the shape and design of the girth you’re using.
We have found the best girth to be one that is shaped like the image at right It is about 5” to 8″ wide in the middle, slightly cut out in the elbow area, and is super soft and totally smooth on the bottom so no dirt gets in. Read the full article here.
~ Jochen Schleese CMS, CSFT, CSE, courtesy of Saddlefit 4 Life