October 29, 2013

County Logic Girth

“love the life you live.
live the life you love.”
- Bob Marley
4 years ago (or almost anyway) I was barely even able to get Gem to move. If she did it was usually in a small circle. Or at warp speed. Or crow hopping. Or any other number of tricks to get out of doing anything at all. So while Saturday may not seem like such a big deal in the grander scheme of things, it really was for us. But....before I get to that I have two other things to mention. You will have to wait a couple days before I get to it. Consider it a cliff hanger.
First, the girth. My quick judgment was wrong, as is usual with quick judgments. It is very different than my current girth. For starters it lacks any elastic. The entire thing is leather. I have read that elastic makes the forward motion worse, so this is in theory a good idea. The leather is soft and somewhat pliable. The edges are rounded and soft unlike the knife like edges to my current girth. It is padded in the correct places as well.
I was a little confused though with it. All the girths I have ever seen/used have had the buckles at the end of the girth. Which seems odd to me in general. I have had 2 issues with this set up: 1) with it tightened the buckles are placed up by your leg and 2) there leaves very little material between the buckle and the horse's hair/flesh and what little there is always seems to get shifted to one side or another placing the buckle directly on the horse. Not with this girth! The buckles are several inches into the body of the girth almost guaranteeing lots of leather protection for Gem.  I am a happy camper with this design.
Did it stop the forward motion of the saddle? I have no clue.
I tacked Gemmiecakes up and grabbed the brand new County Girth with butterflies in my tummy. Could this really end 4 years worth of saddle fitting woes? Would I hear bells ringing and see glitter in the air? I thought I would be smart and use the very first billet hole on her left. This would allow me to slowly tighten it on both sides to see where it would lay. I did the left side and then, with a big grin, walked over to buckle the right. And noticed something was not right. The girth was looking awfully small. I reached waaaay under her and grabbed hold of the girth and pulled it over to the billets. And this is what I got...
No where close to fitting!! I couldn't even get the billets to reach on the very longest hole! Sigh.
But now I'm even more confused than ever. I understand that this is a different girth than my current one, but shouldn't the sizing be similar? 20 inches should be 20 inches regardless of the brand name on the girth. Right? But if my current girth is 20 inches and goes all the way up to the top of the billet (two holes past what you see here in the picture) and is too big, why is the 16 no where close to fitting at all? It should at least attach, shouldn't it? I had originally ordered an 18, but it wasn't in stock so they sent me the 16 to try. Do I even try an 18? Doesn't it look like 2 more inches still won't be enough? I know Gem is the Queen of blowing out her tummy to avoid letting me tighten the girth, but really?
So....after much debate and self induced stress over this, I ordered both an 18 and a 20. I'm still worried that maybe she needs a 22? Or larger? Really? The 18 will arrive Thursday, but the 20 is slated to come in tomorrow. I really, really, really hope for my sanity (and health of my marriage) that one of these fits her. I think you may hear my screams of frustration around the globe if they don't. The annoying part is that no self proclaimed professional is able to help me. I asked the County representative about sizing and she had nothing to offer. My saddle fitter just said to eyeball it and see if 2 inches will be enough. Shouldn't there be a measuring system to know exactly what length of girth you need? AHHHHH!!
Well, anyway. I will await the next two to arrive and see what works. I will get it right eventually. There are only so many sizes to try. Of course, I have to pay return shipping so more $ wasted. Tomorrow is more bad-ish news on the Gem front, but then Thursday will be a fun post. Stay tuned.

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