True confessions: this is the first horse thing I've ever purchased at full price. I've wanted one for about a year now, but until last month they only had Dressage girths. It's one of those things you're not going to find on sale.
I've known two things for a while:
1. Connor prefers that the saddle flap not touch his shoulder. He moves much freer through his shoulder in a Dressage saddle vs. a jump saddle.
2. With a straight girth, his conformation means that I can either put the jump saddle appropriately far back and deal with the girth pulling the saddle forward, or I can put it where the girth wants the saddle to be and know the flap is hitting him in the shoulder.
Quality and construction:
My first impression is that this is a high-quality leather product. The leather is soft and supple out of the box, and it is well-constructed and hefty. It's wider than I thought it would be judging from the pictures, but that's not a bad thing.
|On Connor last weekend|
I got the smallest jump girth they had (44"), and it's several holes up on my short billets for Connor. If your pony is smaller than a Cob, you're out of luck, at least for now. They do have brown (and black) Dressage girths if your pony can swing a 30" or smaller.
You can see in the photo above how the girth goes straight down from the saddle before angling forward into Connor's very forward girth groove. Imagine a straight girth going from the saddle into that girth groove - it just wasn't working.
|Usually I have roughed up hair here after a ride, but not anymore,.|
|Angled sweat marks from the girth|
The girth in action last weekend:
I ordered it on a Sunday and it arrived on Friday. Also, on the CoTH forums, someone started a thread asking about them, and one of the commenters said she had one and liked it but the leather is stiff. Justin from Total Saddle Fit created an account, responded to her and told her she had one of the first generation girths, and to please message him with her address and girth size so he could send her a second generation girth, free of charge. Now that's customer service I can get behind!
Is it better than any other anatomic girth? I don't know, although it's cheaper than most anatomic girths, and the company says the offset is greater. They also claim to have extensively researched the relationship of saddle fit and shoulders, and this is what came from it.
What I do know, is that Connor doesn't swivel his ears back and fidget when I tighten the girth anymore, my saddle pads don't move anymore, and the hair under the pads isn't roughed up after my rides anymore. Calling it a success!