I am normally one of the first to dismiss expensive faddy products as normally they don’t actually work any better than the cheaper versions. So at first I wasn’t sure whether to believe all the hype surrounding the new Fairfax performance girth. I was given a golden oppourtunity to get my hands on one of the long girths so how better to pass judgement than to try it myself.
My mare has always been very sensitive to girth so I already used an anatomically shaped leather girth so I was questionning just how much of a difference the fairfax girth could make for her.
On arrival I was firstly impressed on the quality and also the softness of the leather although to be fair for the price I would expect no less!
So on to the real test trying it on my mare. A difference was immediately noticeable she was freer through her shoulder and just felt more relaxed. Downwards transistions lost their trade mark tension and changes of bend were fluent with an overall more consistent outline. Also notably when tacking up there after although still prompting a minor reaction it is now minimal which illustrates it is obviously far more comfortable for her.
It almost pained me to say it at first but the girth really does work and now I am an utter convert.
It isn’t going to make my horse into a world beater but it is making things that bit ‘easier’ which should hopefully result in our dressage percentages creeping up.
For me a great analogy is you wouldn’t go running in a pair of trainers the wrong size as they would be uncomfortable although you would still be able to run, therefore you should make sure that your girth (and all other tack) fits your horse to the best of its ability if you want to get the best performance from your horse.
My only negative points for the girth are that currently the range of sizes available is fairly limited. The reason being that the shaping round the elbows means it is only suitable for horses with at least a 22cm gap between the front legs. More sizes are though currently in development so watch this space. Also when using a 5 point breatplate my normal personal prefernce is to go behind the first girth strap and around the second but the small gap between the straps means it has to go round both straps. There are D rings each side but these are too low for attaching the breast plate.
Ultimately it is an expensive piece of kit but I do think it is worth the price tag both for the humane and performance enhancing reasons. For those not convinced I have heard some saddlers are offering customers the option to hire a girth first for a fee and then purchase it if happy or return if they are not. I don’t believe they have had many returned at all!
For more information on the girth visit the Fairfax site.