How to choose your girth ?


The girth is an essential accessory to the saddle. Beyond maintaining the saddle on the horse’s back, the girth has a major role in its good balance. It sits behind your horse’s elbow and wraps around its belly. It is therefore in contact with different parts: the sternum, the ribs, the thoracic vertebrae and the different muscles that compose them. The strap has a direct impact on the movement. A bad riding girth could hamper your horse’s locomotion.
It is also essential that your equipment corresponds to your horse’s morphology, and its sensitivity. Indeed, some horses are more or less reactive during strapping. This is why we strive to create girths ensuring the best comfort for your equine.
Knowing that there are many models to choose from depending on your saddle and/or the discipline you practise, we offer you an overview of the different girths.

  1. What type of girth for my horse?
    Short girths
    Long girths
  2. What size for my horse?
  3. Which shape fits best?
    Straight girths
    Anatomic girths
    Belly guard girths
  4. What material should I choose?

1. Choose your right girth: what type of girth for my horse?

There are two types of girth: short and long. Depending on your make of riding saddle, you won’t need the same girth.

Short girths

Short girths are made for monoflap saddles that are attached much lower down than classic saddles. As such, short girths are mainly used for dressage and cross saddles.

Long girths

Long girths are for double flap saddles, which are mainly used for show jumping saddles. The girth is strapped to the horse under its leg, behind the flap. These are the most conventional types of girth.

2. Choose your right girth: what size for my horse?

You must measure the height of your horse’s withers to select the size of girth in centimetres. Click here to view our matching guide for short and long girths.

Girth size guide

Girth’s typeHeight at withers (hands)Girth’s size (inch)
Long girth13’1
Short girth13’3-14’3

3. Choose your right girth: which shape fits best?

Straight girths

Straight girths suit horses with no areas of sensitive skin or that tend to get injured when fitting the girth. It is very narrow and suits certain riding disciplines. The Hunter, for example, requires the lightest and simplest equipment, hence the need for a straight girth.

Straight girths come in short and long versions, with or without rings to attach the reins.

Anatomic girths

Anatomic girths hug the horse’s curves and better distribute pressure from the girth straps. They are shaped to relieve the horse’s shoulders and elbows. These girths give the horse more room, for greater flexibility and shoulder movement. They also prevent injuries from folds and rubbing on the skin. Anatomic girths are ideal for frequent use.

Anatomic girths also come in short and long versions.

Belly guard girths

Belly guard girths are mainly used for riding disciplines that require the horse to fold its front legs. They are especially needed for cross-country events, where horses are fitted with crampons and can seriously injure their abdomens. The width of the girth protects from hoof impacts. Our belly guard girths also have an anatomic shape, providing more space for the elbow and shoulder.

Belly guard girths come in short and long versions.

4. Choose your right girth: what material should I choose ?


Leather unquestionably offers the best performance. It’s hypoallergenic and provides unparalleled comfort for the horse. Even for the most sensitive of skins, the risk of irritation on contact with leather is virtually zero.

Leather is also a guarantee of quality and long life. Well maintained, it can retain all its properties for decades. Our girths are a careful combination of soft and grained leather. Grained leather is thicker and more rigid, providing robustness and better shock absorption.


Sheepskin girths protect horses with sensitive skin from frictions that may be caused by the material. Hypoallergenic and with a breathable lining, the synthetic sheep we use is suitable for all horses. Equipped with a Velcro lining, it is also very easy to maintain.

[Our advices to look after your sheepsking horse tack]

Our sheepskin girths come in short or long version, but also in belly guard model.

Antarès products mentioned in this article :

Short classic girth


Short classic girth

It’s sheepskin lining (product sold separately) makes it ideal for sensitive-skinned horses. But do remember that the girth has been designed to be used with the sheepskin lining. Its anatomic shape also gives the horse better locomotion.

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Long classic girth


Long classic girth

This long, anatomically-shaped girth is ideal for sensitive horses, providing more room for movement and a lining to protect from rubbing. The leather part of this girth must be paired with a synthetic sheepskin girth lining (sold separately).

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Long anatomic girth


Long anatomic girth

The long anatomic girth frees up your horse’s forelegs, providing more comfort than a classic straight girth. The calfskin lined padding also gives it additional flexibility. 

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Belly guard girth - leather part


Belly guard girth – leather part

The girth’s synthetic sheepskin lining combines comfort and support and prevents chafing. The girth must be paired with a synthetic sheepskin lining(sold separately) for proper use. It also features an Easy Clip fastening system covered with a leather flap to prevent any risk of snagging.

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Stud girth Easy Clip


Stud girth Easy Clip

The girth provides optimum comfort and gentle contact thanks to its calfskin lined padding. The Easy Clip fastening system is covered by a leather flap to prevent any risk of snagging when jumping.

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