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Girth design has come a long way from the traditional string and webbing models of yesteryear. The introduction of synthetic materials, combined with the use of elastic, has helped make life more comfortable for the horse, but a totally new design by Eric Le Tixerant looks set to take equine comfort levels a step further.

Launched by Barnsby at the BETA International trade fair earlier this year, the Ergonomic Girth has an elasticated panel in the centre, which is designed to allow the horse’s ribs to expand and contract without restriction. This allows the horse to breathe more freely, preventing any unnecessary tightening of the chest muscles, which in turn can impinge on the shoulders and impair movement.

The panel is shaped to spread pressure across the horse’s sternum and reduce any risk of pinching the soft skin behind the horse’s elbows. It is lined with natural non-slip alveolar rubber to prevent the saddle from slipping, removing the temptation to over tighten the girth.

The rest of the girth is made from soft, yet durable, gently padded leather, while in the dressage version, the buckles are enclosed by hook and loop fastening covers to prevent them from coming into contact with the horse.

Suitable for all types and levels of competition, Barnsby believes that the improved mobility of the chest that the girth allows can result in an increase in the horse’s respiratory capacity, leading to improved energy and stamina levels.

The girths cost around £150 for the standard ergonomic girth and £115 for the dressage style and are available from Barnsby stockists nationwide. For more details contact (tel: 01922 621676) or email: saddlery@barnsby.com