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  • Clare Long

"Girth it up Slow"

Make sure everybody knows this: girth them up slow. It's so important that you girth them up slow. It keeps them from getting girthy, keeps them from getting cranky about being saddled up. When I first pull up the girth onto the billets, I'll make sure that the horse can't even feel the connection here with their stomach. And then very, very gradually girth them up a hole at a time. Second billet goes through, girth comes under. Make sure you pull it forward. You want a hands span behind the elbow.

Don't forget: the Dressage Saddle has got to be behind the shoulder blade.

Just a General Note:

I know this seems like a lot. You know it's like, gosh, does she really go through all of this every single time she puts a saddle on a horse? Well actually I do. Because it becomes very simple and straight forward. You just get good at it. Practice makes perfect. And you just get really good at it.

When you put the dressage saddle on, feel where the shoulder blade has ended, make sure it's behind the shoulder blade, and then pull the first billet forward. See how there's no way that it can go through the saddle pad girth strap? See all this space in between? And only go through the first hole, very, very loose. And then the 2nd billet you do pull through the strap, so it'll hold the pad in place. And at first, the girth just snug enough, so that if your horse was to run off, the saddle wouldn't fall off.

The billet closer to his elbow is usually one full hole shorter. And after you girth them up on both sides, the forward billet will end up one hole shorter on both sides.

And then after a bit more time, go ahead and ease the girth up a little bit more, and then before you take your horse out, ease the girth up a little more, and then you guys know, before you get on you make sure it's snugged up a little more than that.

Always tuck everything in. Always tuck the billets in.

Make sure your billets are always tucked in.






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