Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ovation Gel Body Form Dressage Girth

I never thought much about girths until a saddle fitter recommended using anatomic girths for Isabel. Very conveniently, Tack of the Day had gorgeous Pessoa anatomic leather girths that same week and I giddily snatched up a 46" for Isabel's jump saddle. 

'we do the dressage thing, yes?' - isabel

Unfortunately Isabel quite explicitly told me that it didn't work for her - she's too narrow through the chest and the anatomic curve doesn't quite fit between her elbows. So back to her owner's Lettia CoolMax fleece girth we went. (and for anyone interested - that lovely Pessoa girth is for sale here. It's currently on eBay, but I'm entertaining any and all offers).

But I revisited the anatomic girth idea after buying a dressage saddle and an inexpensive Wintec dressage girth that Isabel also thought was nooooo bueno (think, big puffed up belly, snippy snarky faces with curled up nostrils, pinned ears and tail swishes... I mean, yes she's a red mare but this was a bit excessive).

'no moar, plz! no moar dressage, k?!?' - isabel
Many other blogs are abuzz about the Total Saddle Fit but I was pretty hesitant to shell out those dollars on another big ticket girth after our first failure. So my saddle fitter stepped back in with another recommendation: the Ovation Gel Body Form Dressage Girth ($36.99 from Dover).

This girth isn't as extremely offset as many other anatomic girths on the market, but it's pretty flexible and the unique 'C' shape allows for clearance at the elbow. The widest part of the girth in the center has a gel insert that feels nicely squishy to the touch.

The girth has elastic at both ends and is made of a neoprene-y type material that the Dover rep (who owns one) said cleans up perfectly well with a hose and some soap. And there's just one big stretchy loop to keep the billets in place, rather than multiple smaller loops that can be annoying to thread the billets through if you're like me and adjust the girth after getting on. 


Really, it's a pretty simple non-leather girth with an interesting design that fits the horse well. The reason why I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about it? Isabel straight up did not notice when I put it on the first time (on the loosest hole). And proceeded to give zero fucks while I tightened it. 

poor princess got relegated to the cross ties for the first time EVER bc she could.not.stand.still
Um, that's actually pretty ground breaking in my world bc Isabel has an opinion about EVERYTHING - and especially anything that has to do with her belly region. So for her to not care at all about a girth when she's historically been very clear about what she doesn't like is saying something. 

still danced tho haha
So this girth is absolutely sticking around as our go-to. Reviewers say they've had the girth 2 years and counting and it's still in good shape. But at this cost, it's not exactly a big deal to pick up a second to be used exclusively for showing. 

I bought a 24" (the smallest size offered through Dover) and my saddle fitter recommended sizing down if you're in between sizes since the material may stretch. 

23 comments:

  1. I've also used that girth and love it! Unfortunately it was a loaner from a friend and i had to give it back lol. But i have another ovation girth that is slightly anatomical like this but leather and padded and love that too. and i bought a similar long girth for my jumping saddle. Ovation for the win!

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    1. seriously haha! you can't argue with the functionality and price point! esp bc my mare seems to dislike most leather girths, the stinker lol

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    2. my gelding isn't a big fan of leather either. im surprised he does so well in the leather ovation dressage girth

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    3. interesting! i love the idea of a leather girth and was bummed when my mare vetoed one i found... will have to keep ovation's leather options in mind too!

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  2. Oooh. I got all excited until I got to the end and you mentioned that it came in a 24" - and indeed, that's the smallest size it comes in at all. Drat! It looks lovely, though..

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    1. aw boo!! yea i probably would have gotten a smaller size too if it were available... that could just be for this specific girth tho - i'm pretty sure Ovation makes smaller dressage girths

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    2. They do - most dressage girths go no smaller than 24, a few go to 22, but I have one of the Ovation non-leather girths in an 18". Woohoo! That's part of why I was so optimistic about this one. It's *so hard* to find anything that small.

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  3. That girth sounds awesome, I will definitely be getting one for Mystic to match her dressage saddle when she's ready to be riding pony :) I love a good deal!

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    1. i love a good deal too haha. i mean, i don't mind spending $$ on tack that i love... unless the mare doesn't love it too. and this is literally the quietest she's ever been with any girth ever so... yea that's enough for me :)

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  4. One of my friends has an Intec brand gel jumping girth and I've been lusting over it. Stampede is insanely picky about girths, nevermind the fact that 58" and 60" girths are hard to find. He doesn't like plain synthetic and leather on his skin makes him swell up. Special child.

    Glad you found a dressage girth that makes your girl happy while staying in budget!

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    1. haha who knew horses could be so particular? luckily isabel isn't really a very odd size (at least, not for girths)... but all the same i definitely pounce when i find something she likes

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  5. Awesome! I haven't done much thinking about girths either but all these new ones make me want to experiment.

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    1. haha seriously! i mean, i'm already pretty susceptible to the 'must buy all the things' mentality... it's a problem really lol

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  6. I just bought this girth. We used it for the first time last night and I liked it. Only downside is I think I bought a size too big but oh well. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I have to get another in a smaller size

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    1. glad you like it! bummer about the sizing - and i hear it does actually stretch a little so you probably will have to size down... at least the pricing makes that no problemo!

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  7. Just made a dressage girth adjustment myself, tack changes are ridiculously exciting! No matter how small!

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    1. lol right? i can get seriously worked up about the tiniest of additions to my arsenal :D

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  8. Ahhh I have been wondering about girths. Thanks for the review!!!

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    1. you're very welcome - there are so many options on the market that it's impossible to try them all ourselves. blog reviews definitely help me out with that too :)

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  9. I ssoooo wanted to try this girth but i need a 22" *sigh* I already have a 24" Ovation, and although it works great, it's always running up into the saddle pad. So far Max hasn't minded, but would be nice to have a little space there!

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    1. aw bummer! and this particular girth is kinda stretchy too so i definitely wouldn't recommend going any bigger than you need... good luck finding one that fits better

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  10. Interesting! I've never heard of this type of girth. Thanks for the review!!

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    1. i hadn't either but i really like it!

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