From Endurance to Dressage
I ordered two new girths last week, one for each horse. Like I mentioned in that blog post, girths are like underwear; you just don't know for sure that you'll like them until you wear 'em. Or in this case, until my horses wear them. I have to say, I am quite pleased with both of them.
I bought Izzy the Collegiate Shaped Memory Foam Dressage Girth, and I wasn't disappointed. It worked as well or better than I was hoping. I can't say that he noticed much of a difference, but I felt a lot better about using it. I like the construction. All of the stitching is neat and even, and the edges are smooth without any stray strings or roughness. I gave the memory foam a solid poke, and was pleased to see the hole fill in immediately.
As I was hoping, this girth is a bit wider than the Ovation that I had been using, but it isn't too wide. Some of the dressage girths simply look too wide for my tastes. Neither of my horses has a particularly wide heart girth, so I just wanted something slightly wider that would still give Izzy room at the elbow. I really like the shape of this girth as it is slightly contoured without getting too narrow. But like I said, Izzy wasn't complaining about his Ovation, I just thought I could find something that was a little more comfortable.
I've used the girth a number of times over the past week, and no weird sores or irritations have popped up. When I take the girth off, his sweat pattern is clean and even. I've hosed the girth off to see how quickly it will dry, and that is the one thing I wish I could change. The Ovation girth doesn't absorb any water, so it is dry immediately. With the memory foam on the Collegiate, it does absorb water like a sponge, so if I wash it in the winter time, it might not dry all the way before its next use. I can live with that though.
I bought Speedy the same girth he's been going in for several years, except it's a newer model. The Ovation Coolmax Shaped Dressage Equalizer Girth is perfect for him and checks off all the boxes. I knew I would like it as the old one was working just fine.
One of the things I most like about this girth is that the elastic at the buckles extends all the way from end to end. It is stitched down after the keepers, but this girth allows for some expansion when Speedy takes deep breaths.
When I went to buckle this girth for the first time, it took me a minute to figure out why it was tight on the fifth hole. Speedy goes on the sixth hole in his old girth. I realized that over time, the elastic on his old girth had slowly stretched out. I am good with that. If he needs more room, I love that the girth will give just that little bit.
With Speedy's wooly winter coat already growing in combined with the fluffy edges of the girth, it's hard to see that he has enough elbow room. This girth is slightly less contoured than Izzy's, but Speedy has plenty of clearance. While Izzy doesn't seem to care about most things, Speedy is quick to let me know that he doesn't like something. He's the epitome of a snowflake. I tightened this girth up just like I did the older version, and he worked in it over the course of a week with zero complaints.
Not long ago I purchased new reins. Last week, it was two new girths. My next purchase is that brow band I've been hankering for. I have some extra cash coming my way. Once it's here ...
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: