Product Review: Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Girth

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.

Backstory: 
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

Sizing:
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.

Saddle fit:

Connor approved.

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:


Customer service: 
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!

Final verdict: 
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!

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I've been eyeballing these for a while. I'll have to hold off for a bit, but there may be one in my future!

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    1. Cool! I think you'll be happy with it.

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  2. Cool! I have always looked at the Logic Girths, but they are expensive. How much are these ones? Comrade might benefit from one of these and maybe even Rosemary.

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    1. Dressage is $120, jump is $149, and if you buy two the second one is $99. Most anatomic girths are way more expensive than that, so I was pleased.

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  3. Sounds like a winner. I'd like to try one or something like it someday just not enough in the budget right now.

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    1. Word. I'm catching up on all the things I put off buying when Nick was unemployed.

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  4. I wondered if you got this girth! Its definitely on the list for me too. Seems to work really well for our short backed guys!

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    1. YOUR short backed guy! Haha. Connor is a long back guy. I can see it helping either way though, probably moreso on a short backed guy - less wiggle room as far as where to place the saddle.

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  5. I have been interested in these for a while now. There has been a few too many "gimic" girths out there and it's nice to hear that this one seems to do what it says. Thanks for doing the review!

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    1. You're welcome! Yeah, it's hard to weed through the hype, but I did my research on this one and they seem to be genuine.

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  6. Ooh, that's tempting, I hate having the saddle hiked up just for the girth to lay in the right spot, but was never sure if those anatomical girths are worth it or gimmicky.

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    1. Worth it, I think. The shape of a straight girth just doesn't make sense for horses that don't have straight shoulders, in my opinion.

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  7. Interesting! Mind sharing the price point? I think my similarly-conformed pony might benefit from that girth as well!

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    1. It's $149 for jump, $120 for Dressage and if you buy two the second one is $99. Way cheaper than most of the anatomics out there.

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  8. Very nice! Definitely worth the money.

    Can I just say that I love your saddle on Connor? It's just so symmetrical and pleasing to look at in that confo type shot.

    Maybe it's a tack 'ho thing?

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    1. Oh man, thank you so much for saying that. It means so much. Sometimes the tack ho in me goes "Ugh...I have a Toulouse," and I have to be like "Shut up, brain, this fits both of us way better than the Beval/Stackhouse/County did." Good to be reminded of what really matters - fit.

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  9. Interesting! I've never used an anatomical girth of any kind.

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    1. I hadn't either, this is my first one. They are very interesting for sure. They're across the board pretty expensive, until I found this one, which was what held me back for so long.

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  10. I need dis. William will love. Thanks

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  11. Does that girth have elastic on both ends? I'm also thinking about an anatomic girth, Annie's girths all end up right behind her elbow but I can't find anything in my price range and with elastic on both ends.

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    1. It does have elastic on both ends, big thick heavy-duty elastic. I was just noticing yesterday how the girth perfectly conforms to the range of Connor's elbow motion, i.e., it doesn't interfere at all because of the way it's shaped.

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