You won’t find anything but neoprene girths in my tack room. I switched to neoprene several years ago and never looked back! When girth shopping you have three main choices – leather, fleece, or neoprene. I used to use leather, mainly because they are the most common and they do have that “classic” look. However, I always thought the leather girths just seemed uncomfortable, they looked stiff and the thin-skinned horses would usually be a bit fidgety during girthing even though I always make a point to go very slow.
My change to fleece girths was prompted by some rubbing issues that I encountered while training for endurance riding. I started off with buying a fleece cover, but that would just bunch up and it also seemed unnecessarily bulky. So I purchased a fleece girth and that did the job rather well – took care of the rubbing, and no more bunching up of the cheap fleece cover. However, what I did not like about the fleece girth was that it got really dirty really quick. The fleece would soon be caked with horse hair and sweat and the easiest way to clean it was to stick it in the washing machine, but as everyone knows, nasty horse girths in the washer tend to leave residual horse hair that proceeds to get on everything else that goes in that washer.
So my next step was to try out a neoprene girth. Now I have heard some complaints that neoprene can still cause rubs, but I have never had a horse rub with the soft neoprene that Professional’s Choice uses for their girths. So the neoprene girth from Pro-Choice became my fast favorite, and here are the top benefits that I have found with them– Pro-Choice Neoprene Girths are non-slip, comfortable for the horse, and easy to clean.
I have found neoprene girths to help reduce saddle slippage because of the slight “tackiness” of the neoprene. I also have several horses in my barn that will be girthy with a leather girth but not a neoprene one. Possibly the best part of neoprene girths is that they can be cleaned with a quick spray of the hose. If deep cleaning is necessary, soap, water, and a scrub brush do the job, and the neoprene comes apart from the nylon outer portion of the girth as well.
So give neoprene girths a try – you won’t regret it!