Girths are a dime a dozen, right? Wrong. Here, I take the SmartPak Air+ Neoprene Girth for a test-drive.
Girths are important.
And yet for many riders the girth ends up being a mere tack afterthought–which doesn’t make sense.
We put all this time and energy and expense into finding the perfect saddle, and then we’re OK with just strapping it on with… whatever? That’s like putting on a fancy dress and curling your hair and having your makeup done and then walking out of the house in a pair of Crocs because you forgot to think about shoes.
Our horses deserve better than that. That’s why I was excited to learn about the SmartPak Air+ Neoprene Girth.
Concern #1: Does my horse love it?
All signs point to yes. It’s got double-end elastic, which is sweet, and it widens in the middle beneath their belly to distribute the pressure over a broader area. If you ever bought into the skinny-belt-over-a-shirt trend (guilty as charged) you understand why this is a good thing. The sensation of having your ribcage strangled by a narrow band of leather isn’t pleasant.
My horse has super-sensitive thoroughbred skin, but this girth passed his no-rub test with flying colors. And thanks to the no-slip neoprene backing, it stayed anchored instead of slipping back like some girths. Don’t want to end up like that guy in the photo.
Best of all, the perforated removable neoprene lining allows for excellent air circulation through the girth, keeper your horse cooler while you ride. One thing I won’t miss about my old girth: nasty sweat-drenched fleece. Eww.
Which brings me to…
Concern #2: Do I love it?
Here’s something you should know about me: Taking care of stuff isn’t my forte. I don’t have time for that crap. Therefore, I require tack that is as low-maintenance as possible.
This girth fits the bill, big-time. You can just hose it off after every ride, let it drip dry, and it’s good to go. And–wait for it–when you’re ready to give it a deep clean, simply detach the neoprene backing and toss it in the wash. No more clanging buckles rattling around in the drier, annoying everyone within earshot to death.
Also, I love the price: $49.95, or $47.45 with your 5% USEF discount. And, of course, if you get it and it turns out not to fit your horse, just use the pre-paid return label included in your order to ship it back for free! You can’t beat that.
So yeah, I’m giving the SmartPak Air+ Neoprene Girth two thumbs up–and at least 32 other SmartPak customers would wholeheartedly concur.
Check it out online here.
Go SmartPak, and Go Riding!