We all know how exciting it is to find a new product which we absolutely adore, especially if we can justify it on the grounds of it helping our beloved horses, right?
So you can all relate to how excited I was to discover that the blurb i’ve seen doing the rounds about the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief StretchTec girth is actually not just blurb at all. It really does what it says on the tin!
I first became interested in this girth as an option for my large shouldered mare, who was disliking her current girth. She has a girth groove that is too far forward for the lay of the girth points once the saddle is comfortably behind her shoulder. As a result I was constantly trying to get the girth points adjusted to minimise the pull into the back of her scapula that was being created. Traditional anatomical girths are renowned for having issues with uneven pressure along the front and back edges of the girth and while they can provide a degree of elbow relief, they really don’t do a great job of addressing the issue created by a significantly forward girth groove/large shoulder. I also have really struggled with the way the elastic functions on girths, often being negated by over-tightening, or creating unevenness by being one sided.
So, enter stage right, the TSF Shoulder Relief Girth with StretchTec. This girth is shaped in such a way that the pressure stays as even as possible through the whole girth, keeping the sternal aspect in the girth groove, while also clearing the elbow with room to spare. Even better, the addition of the StretchTec design allows for movement at the sternum, one of the two places the ribs articulate during respiration. This feature really piqued my interest. After much deliberation, and the quandary of not being able to try one to see if it looked as good as it sounded, I took the plunge and bought one for my mare. The difference is huge. She’s far more happy to be girthed up (a relatively recent bout of ulcers has made her finicky about such things!), she’s stepping out beautifully in front and the saddle feels much more balanced on her back under my seat. I have also found it requires far less tightening than most to feel stable when working. Having since placed it on several other horses who have had trouble with saddle or girth issues, I have found they almost without fail immediately feel more comfortable in their movement and the riders have felt the clear difference.
The workmanship on the girth has also been a really strong positive. Beautiful leather and with the removable liners it’s easy to switch between leather or fleece, or even white fleece to black fleece if that’s your thing!
The StretchTec girths are currently available in dressage sizes, however the AP/Jump style is anticipated to be ready for shipping from the factory in USA during June 2020. Western cinches are also available in the standard Shoulder Relief design.
I have not yet trialled any of their other products, however again, they appear to be very well thought out and have very positive reviews wherever I search.
I am hoping to have an initial delivery during the month of June, so if there are any products you would like to place a pre-order for, including specific sizing or style requests, please get in touch. Pricing will be as close to an exact conversion of the US prices as possible taking into account shipping as required. These prices will be confirmed when the initial order is completed.
For the first 10 customers I will throw in a free consultation to ensure the girth is doing exactly what it’s designed to do for your individual horse and we aren’t fitting something inappropriately. I truly believe this girth has the capacity to make many horses much more comfortable and that is my ultimate goal in stocking them.