Jumping and All Purpose saddles have short flaps and the billet straps are up inside the flap, requiring a long English girth.
Many dressage saddles, as well as treeless saddles (see photo below), have longer straighter flaps, and the billet straps come out the bottom of the flaps. This means you need a much shorter length girth for these saddles than for the jumping/AP styles. And it's these short girths that ALSO work for our bareback pads.
Please choose a style with elastic at both ends, because that allows the horse to be more comfortable as he breathes in and expands his lungs. A girth without any "give" can constrict a horse's breathing (especially with saddles, since they are not very flexible). These cloth bareback pads are quite flexible already but elastic on the girths helps add to the horse's overall comfort and best fit.
Please do NOT over-tighten the girth as you may rip the cloth pad. It needs to be snug enough to not slip, but not too tight that it causes pressure across the back or rips the material.
We have a few girths in OUR ONLINE STORE, but you can also search some of these other online sources:
-Facebook Horse-Tack Groups
If you need more suggestions please feel free to send us a message! We are always happy to help make sure you and your horse are comfortable.
To measure a horse's heart girth line, measure from the base of the withers down to just behind the horse's elbow, under the belly, then up the other side back to the withers where you started. It will be a complete circle - the circumference of your horse.
Notice your tape measure may run at a slight angle which is perfectly normal. The idea is that you are measuring the "path" or line of where the front of the pad AND the girth will sit on the horse's body.
Photo Source: The Horse
Our bareback pad size is APPROXIMATE due to how flexible the cloth is. If you stretch it even a little, it can easily add an inch to the overall measurement.
A total of approximately 48" is taken up by the entire pad and little sliding sections at the flap base. (24" each side.) Then you want to add another 4-6" of "wiggle room" (2-3" per side) to allow for cloth movement when you tighten the girth, as well as your horse's weight fluctuations throughout each riding season. So 48+6 = 54."
Let's say your horse's heart-girth measurement is 80" (total circumference of his/her body).
80" (entire circumference of horse) - 54" (pad & wiggle room allowance), gives you 26." This is your girth size. Keep in mind it will be a significantly smaller size than what you use on your jumping or all purpose saddle because the billet straps on a jumping/AP are up inside the flaps and for these bareback pads (as well as dressage saddles and treeless) the billet straps are long and come out the bottom of the flaps.
Again this 26" girth size is an approximation given that the pad material is cloth and somewhat stretchy, so please err on having the girth be smaller rather than larger, especially if you end up with an odd number and can only find girths in even number sizes. (ie. if you decide your horse needs a 27" girth, try a 26" rather than a 28.")
If the girth is too big, it will touch the pad (see photo) and you may not be able to get it snug enough especially if your horse becomes more fit or loses any weight.
This great testimonial is for a customer's Percheron who is a large chunky boy, 16.1hh, and uses a 28" girth for our bareback pad. Most draft breeds and draft crosses would need at least a 50" girth for AP/jumping saddles but for these pads, the proper girth length is significantly shorter.
This Percheron is using a 28" girth.