Katie has already reported on this, but I thought I’d finally share my findings too. I bought a Fairfax Girth on the same Horse and Hound co-buy last year as Katie, and was fully prepared to be underwhelmed by it, and to sell it on (possibly at a profit!) unless my mares absolutely loved it, and it made a really obvious difference.
They did, and it did. They are definitely happier to be tacked up (especially Daisy, who is often tetchy about being saddled, rugged, unrugged, and even about having front boots put on, in spite of lots of treatments etc. It’s just the way she is, she has an opinion on everything even though I do everything I can to make her comfortable, and this is a big part of that effort!)
The difference was pronounced enough that I decided to upgrade to a Fairfax Stud Girth when I bought a new jump saddle this summer. I had to order it specially, since I gather the company can hardly keep up with demand, which is very impressive.
Again, it definitely makes a difference. They have done the science, in association with Centaur Biomechanics, thoroughly testing to prove that it increases the horses’ length of stride, and freedom in front etc.
I hate to admit it, because they are horribly expensive, but these things really do work! And, like all good quality tack, if you look after it well, it will last for decades.
I don’t regret buying mine for a second, even though it was eye-wateringly expensive. Some saddlers offer a trial facility, which is definitely worth a go if you would like to see if your horse feels the benefit.