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Horse Guides – Ask the Expert
I have a Bates Innova Dressage saddle which is wonderful but it does tend to move forward when I girth it up. So it does push against his sh...
I have a Bates Innova Dressage saddle which is wonderful but it does tend to move forward when I girth it up. So it does push against his shoulder, which I feel restricts his shoulder movement. I have had a couple of fittings with the saddle but can not seem to resolve this problem. ( it is a problem I had with my previous saddle too!) Skippy is a 16.2hh Warm blood and he does have a “fairly” large stomach, I have wondered if that is my problem because it seems that it is the girth that actually pulls the saddle forward. I use a wintec dressage girth at the moment. Bates have brought out a new girth that I understand is shaped, it also has cair in it which is wonderful and skippy loves the cair in his saddle. I was hoping that the shaping of the girth could solve all my problems? Is this why the girth is shaped?
We are delighted that you are so happy with your new Bates Innova Saddle. It is, however a concern that you have not achieved an optimal fit for your horse and are experiencing movement of the saddle in use. What you have described sounds as though the horse has a forward girth groove, which can indeed make it difficult to keep the saddle from slipping forward. Unfortunately, without the opportunity to see horse, rider and saddle, we can not responsibly comment, however we do believe that the shaping of either the Bates
or Wintec Elastic girth with CAIR will help the saddle stay in a better position and is certainly worth trialling.
First and foremost, you need to be confident that the saddle is in balance and also fits as close to the horse as possible, whilst still providing clearance through the length of the chamber. The Bates Innova saddle features the world’s leading systems for equine comfort and performance, the CAIR® Cushion System and EASYCHANGE Gullet System. Together these systems offer unprecedented flexibility for achieving an optimal fit. You are also able to utilise the adjustable Y-Girthing system to ensure that there is equal pull, or pressure from both the front and rear of the saddle, which will effectively stabilise the saddle and reduce
movement. Once you have girthed the saddle up, slide your fingers under the front and rear girth points to feel that the tension is even, should you feel that the rear girth point has greater tension, release
the girth and then the Velcro on the back girth strap to lengthen that girth point and reduce the amount of pull on this rear girth point. Tighten the girth and check that the pressure is even and then make the same
adjustment to the Velcro on the other side. This girthing system is a great feature of the saddle and is absolutely critical for optimal performance of your saddle. Whilst it is difficult to comment on any
fitting concerns without opportunity to assess horse, rider and saddle, we hope that we have been of some help with the above information. With correct saddle fit, adjustment of the Y-Girthing System and the new Elastic Girth with CAIR® you should be able to limit any saddle movement caused by your horse’s girth groove.
All answers and advices given in this section should only be taken as mere indications. To get a diagnosis always consult a professional on the specific area. Any health related issue should be treated by a veterinarian. Check out our Directory to find out one near you.
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