From Endurance to Dressage
Dressage horses are big. Even compared to Sydney's 16 hand frame, dressage horses are big. Speedy G is not. He's generously sized for an Arabian, but compared to most dressage horses, he's little. I've complained about the absence of Arabian sized tack before, but not today. I finally found a dressage girth that fits my smaller-than-average dressage horse.
Stock photo of each end of the girth.
I bought the Ovation Dri-Lex Dressage Equalizer Girth from Dover Saddlery. Here's the product description: This Ovation™ dressage girth features a synthetic fleece lining enhanced with Dri-Lex technology for even moisture management. Stainless steel roller buckles with elastic at both ends.
I think I may be the only dressage rider who doesn't use a leather girth. It's not that I don't like leather, but Speedy G can be really "girthy." I have found that the thicker and more plush the girth, the less he objects. For my endurance saddle I use a top quality Toklat, fleece girth. For my Wintec Isabell, I bought a 24" SMX Fleece Girth that is is very soft and plush. With my "new" Custom Saddlery Revolution, the billets hang differently which make my 24" girth too long. It's been working, but the girth comes to the bottom edge of my pad. The 24 inch girth works well for Sydney, but I needed something slightly smaller for Speedy G. Not to mention that it's kind of icky putting a wet girth on horse number two.
I have been looking for a 22 inch, or even smaller, fleece girth for quite some time. They're not exactly easy to find. The ones that I have found have been cheapos without good billet keepers. I know because I bought one of those cheapos a year or so ago and was pretty disappointed. So when I saw the Ovation girth, I was skeptical. Really? $39.90 and in a size that will fit my boy? I ordered it and figured I could always ship it back.
I won't need to return it. It fits Speedy G perfectly and he never flinched when I pulled the billets through the roller buckles. There are actually too many keeper straps so I simply tucked my billet ends into the bottom keepers. For showing I'll slide my billets through all three keepers for a neater appearance.
Need an inexpensive, but nicely made dressage girth? This may be it!
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(*) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: