Poised for Performance – Freedman’s Stabil-Flex Girth is Ingenuity that Increases Comfort

Articles & Blogs Poised for Performance – Freedman’s Stabil-Flex Girth is Ingenuity that Increases Comfort

Your horse needs to be able to breathe!

You may think, a girth is just a girth. We’ve been strapping saddles into place with girths for decades, why would we need to be selective about the type of girth we use? Then again, we all know those common girth problems: they pinch, they rub, they wear out, they stretch. Multi-pad strategies to fit a horse’s back cause over-tightening of girths to keep everything in place, making the girth so uncomfortable they may require a fleece cover. Girths, while potentially seen as just a tool for keeping a saddle in place, can have a large effect on a horse’s performance.

How do horses breathe? Remember, horses are obligatory nasal breathers, meaning they cannot choose to switch to breathing through their mouths during exercise to increase their oxygen consumption. A horse’s only way to breathe is through their nasal passages. As they inhale at the height of exertion, some horses’ lungs can expand all the way to the 16th rib. This means that their ribs, connected to their sternum bone, must be able to expand accordingly to allow for maximum air and oxygen intake. It is important to give our horses ‘room’ to breathe, so to speak. Therefore, a proper fitting and comfortable girth is necessary and important for maximum performance. Overly tightened, uncomfortable girths could cause performance-related issues by minimizing a horse’s ability to inhale properly.

So, what’s so special about Freedman’s Stabil-Flex Girth?

The Stabil-Flex Girth is a by-product of five years of testing and research. Allowing the horse to expand their ribs from the sternum as they breathe, this girth flexes on an independent elastic system that is positioned over the center-point of the sternum, not on one end or the other. The expansion and contraction of the elastic works best at the flat walk and canter. There is less expansion at the trot, as this gait is more rhythmic in motion, and therefore breathing.

The elastic placed in the center also means that the girth can be tightened evenly, spreading light pressure over the sternum bone. It doesn’t need to be overly tightened or ‘cranked up’ to keep the saddle from slipping. A secure fit is still necessary, but overtightening any girth could cause rubbing.

Essential to the correct function and comfort of the Stabil-Flex Girth is a non-slip assembly. This means that the chosen saddle pad and saddle need to fit the horse correctly and stay in place on the horse’s back. Freedman’s recommend the Freedman Acavallo Memory Foam Gel/Silicone Pad for saddle seat and the Freedman Hunter Acavallo Memory Foam/Silicone Pad for hunt seat, combined with a Freedman’s saddle and Stabil-Flex Girth. Other non-slip Acavallo pads can also be used in addition to the aforementioned pads to aid with pad/saddle fit. The key to the Stabil-Flex Girth’s comfort is that the pad and saddle do not slip; hence avoiding the need to overtighten the girth.

Made from durable and soft leather, the Stabil-Flex Girth must be cleaned and cared for properly. It is also anatomically shaped to fit comfortably behind the horses’ elbow and is padded with soft cow hide for ultimate smoothness against the skin. Sweat and build up on the girth could cause pressure points and discomfort for the horse, so proper care is important. Other features include the two, center d-rings for a martingale or brace cord. Offered in white patent, black, and brown leather.

What the real experts have to say!

"There is no other girth like the Stabil-Flex Girth on the market. The range of motion, the freedom of movement and the comfort that it allows can only enhance every horse's performance."
Chuck Herbert, Cedarwood Farm

“I love to use the Stabil-Flex Girth; it provides a clean, classy look and I can imagine it is really comfortable for the horses. I love the way it is cut out; it gives their elbow a little more room… I like that it has the elastic in the middle because it’s pretty sturdy, so it doesn’t make your girth loose, but it lets your horse breath…”

-Josh Shino, Shino Training Center

More information on the Freedman’s Stabil-Flex Girth is available here.