I’ve had my Total Saddle Fit girth for approximately a month now, and though I haven’t gotten to ride as much as I’d like in that time, I feel that I’ve used it enough to give a review.
First of all, out of the box I was a little disappointed with the color. I ordered a brown and was really hoping it would be darker. Especially since the leather doesn’t soak in conditioner well and would be difficult to darker. The billet keepers were also a bit lighter than the rest of the girth, though the picture below doesn’t show it well.
Now the underside of this girth is super cushy. It also soaked up conditioner without any issues. This is one place that I have absolutely no complaints.
Inara has a forward girth groove, I have no arguments there.
An anatomical girth is definitely the way to go for her. The TSF girth sat better and didn’t try to pull my saddle forward. The cut out area also gave her elbows room. All in all, I liked the placement of the girth and felt it really allowed the saddle to sit properly, rather than dragging it up onto her shoulders.
I can’t say I really noticed a difference in the way she moved. A lot of people have said that their horses have moved more freely with the TSF girth vs a normal straight girth. However, Inara is fairly green still and has had maybe 20 rides off the track, so she is still learning to relax and move out under saddle. She’s also still learning that this is her new job and she needs to focus.
Also, I felt that each time I tucked the billets into the keepers, that I might accidentally rip them off. It would have been nice if the end of the keepers were tucked between the padding and the top piece of leather, then stitched in. I feel this would give them more stability.
Unfortunately, I have taken advantage of Total Saddle Fit’s 110% return policy and the girth is on it’s way back. It gaped ever so slightly in the front and the pressure from front to back was uneven.
While, the gaping was fairly mild on my girl, I have seen where it was extremely obvious. If you horse doesn’t have a forward girth groove, don’t waste your money. More than likely it with gape quite a bit. On the other hand, if your horse does have a forward girth groove, the TSF girth may be worth a try.
I was a little disappointed with TSF’s response, or lack thereof to the reason I was sending it back. However, they are taking it back and the refund I will be getting will cover the purchase price and the cost to ship it back (110% of the purchase price is refunded), so I won’t complain too much.
Overall, if you have a horse with the proper conformation for their dressage girth, it’s a great piece of tack for the price point.