Klein in her Duett Fidelio and her Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Dressage Girth.
I've heard about the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Girth for a while now. A couple blogs I read have posted about them and being very happy customers, and every now and then a review of them will pop up on Eventing Nation. Recently a friend in the local area got one and loved hers too. I started thinking about it again and started reading reviews. Overall, I would say 99% of the reviews I read were nothing less than raving about how great the girth is. There were a few that said the leather wasn't as great of quality as they had hoped, but those all were the first version that was put out and company exchanged them for the second, improved, version to ensure happy customers. Some reviews said they had tried other high end anatomical girths but the TSF Shoulder Relief Girth was superior. The reviews talked about instantly more free-moving, stretchy horses. How can a girth be so magical?
Klein's Duett Fidelio fits her fine, and I have never had any issues with soreness, etc... After reading the reviews though, I couldn't resist. Total Saddle Fit makes both dressage and jumping Shoulder Relief Girths. I chose to go with the dressage girth first because we need any bit of dressage help we can get, and if I liked it I'd buy the jumping girth from them next.
The shipping was $10 and I didn't even realize it was 2nd Day Air until the tracking number was emailed to me the same night I ordered it. There was no other option for shipping, $10 gets you 2nd Day Air, awesome!
I chased the mail lady down on my lunch on Friday because I didn't know if it would require a signature and we were going to the Mecum Auto Auction in Orlando the next day. I had to hurry back to work for a meeting so I ran upstairs with it and opened it with two minutes to spare. I was immediately impressed by the quality. Beautiful quality and craftsmanship. The side that goes against the horse is buttery soft as well.
Taking a picture of it on my office floor and one co-worker walks in and says "What the hell is...oh it's a horse thing, isn't it?"
I went straight to the barn from work, I couldn't wait to try it out.
The significant difference between my SmartPak Breathable Girth and the TSF Shoulder Relief Girth.
I didn't take comparison pics because I was in a hurry to just ride with it. I will take some more pics this weekend when I have more time and have someone to take some video of Klein moving in it. As I tacked up I still was wondering what is so magical about this thing, obviously there was a drastic difference between it and my previous dressage girth, but again, I never have had any issues with Klein being sore, pinched, rubbed, grouchy, tense, reluctant, etc, etc, etc... As soon as I got on and started walking around to warm up I IMMEDIATELY noticed what the difference was. When I looked down at the pommel of my saddle I could see a huge difference in the movement of her shoulders. This sounds weird, but this is the only way I can explain it, it looked like the pommel was actually moving around more allowing her shoulders more range of motion. I will see if a video of us walking in the SmartPak girth vs. in the TSF girth catches what I am trying to say. I know it's because the saddle was sitting slightly in a different spot. I also felt like I was sitting in a different spot in my saddle. My saddle just got more comfortable, believe it or not. Sold. I am DEFINITELY buying the jumping girth. I'll post a review about that too.
Klein seemed to come a little more through as well during our ride. During that ride we rode 1st Level test 2, worked on shoulder-in, travers, and lengthening at the trot and canter. She also was slobbering all over.
This pic doesn't really do it justice. I actually saw slobber drip a couple times as we were working and she had it on her chest.
Hopefully you can tell somewhat from the picture how soft the underside is.
TSF Shoulder Relief Girth - Klein tested, Klein approved.