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Girth Tightness

>>I was trying to ride with a looser cinch because as I 
> get> older I don't spring into the saddle too lightly any more (more
like > drag)> and I have found that I am increasingly tightening my
cinches more to compensate. 

There's an article in this month's copy of "The Horse" about girth
tightness in relation to performance.  According to the article,
overtightening the girth reduced performance in racehorses by causing
earlier fatigue.  They found that the average racehorse groom was
tightening the girth to 29 lb. pressure. (13 kg)  They worked 10 horses
on a treadmill with girth pressures of 11,22, 33, and 44 lbs.  They said
11 lbs. was a little too loose, anything over 33lbs. was very tight.  44
lbs made it difficult to get your fingers under the girth and would leave
an imprint when removed.  In their study they claimed that a tight girth
cost nearly 20% of a horse's performance during what *they* called a
"long run".  These were horses exercised at 80% of their max heart rate
so I don't know how it would convert to a horse working aerobically...but
according to them on average, for each kilogram of increased girth
tention over 5kg (11lbs) the horses fatigued 88 yards sooner.  Wonder if
that's enough to add up to Val beating me by 10 miles over a 100 mile
course? >g<

In reference to the pad slipping out from under your OF... I have two
Express Lites...almost identical except one has vinyl covers over the
panels and the other doesn't. When we ride with identical Toklat pads,
the one with the vinyl covers eats the pad up into the chanel and out the
back.  The other never moves.  I'm just going to put the booties back on
the one with vinyl.

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