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Stubben Equi-Soft Girth Review

Don’t judge a book by its cover...

The Equi Soft girth looks very different to anything else on the market. But looks aside, is it easy to use and does it work?

The padding is butter soft with flexible straps that won’t require pre oiling and cleaning the girth itself is very easy and quick. The buckles are large which makes threading the straps through very easy, we thought we might struggle without rollers on the buckles (especially with horses that like to breathe out!) but these are specifically designed without rollers and are extremely functional. The keepers could be a smidge bigger; although it was great the straps they didn’t come loose and pop out during a session. Unless you’ve seen this girth on a horse it’s not immediately obvious which is the front and which is the back, so a stamp in the leather would clarify this. There is a very discreetly placed loop for those who use schooling aids, this also makes sure the girth is facing the correct way.

Minor details aside, both horses showed a great deal of improvement.

Goofy: 4year old recently broken KWPN

  • Can be cold backed and tricky to saddle/girth up.

Goofy

First impressions were positive; when tightening the girth resulted in no reaction at all, despite the trial girth being a size too small. It could be easy to over tighten the girth due to the elastic rings so checking the tension under the central pad rather than the side is a must.

Goofy has an excellent walk and canter but can be reluctant to use himself fully and swing along in the trot, however there was an instantaneous difference by the end of the first session he was covering more ground in the trot and showing much clearer gear changes. I was also thrilled to discover that his saddle did not budge at all (it normally creeps forward in the canter work).

The second ride only confirmed to me that he much preferred this girth as the trot work improved again and from start to finish he was consistently showing a more uphill and elastic trot with barely and effort from me.

 

Fig: 12 year old Thoroughbred who finished racing as a 7 year old.

 

  • Very narrow between the front legs, suffers with ulcers.
  • He can be a little grumpy to girth up, but there was no reaction and a distinct lack of mean faces.

Under saddle, tension is held through the shoulder and forearm. Whilst working through a standard warm up, I noticed he was producing a rounder movement through the shoulders in the canter and when we dropped into trot he was tracking up and swinging through straight away.

During more advanced exercises, it was easier than normal for him to maintain the cadence and elasticity in his trot and stay soft and relaxed in the canter. A third and fourth ride only further validated the impression that he was much more comfortable in this girth."

From Left to Right: Fig, Nic, Fran and Goofy.

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