What do people mean by a ‘girthy horse’?
A girthy horse is the term given to a horse that resists the girth being secured. This is often demonstrated by laying ears back, nipping and sometimes kicking at the girth.
For some it might be a constant issue – other horses might suddenly display this behaviour.
While sometimes this might be a result of improperly fitting equipment – the most common cause is pain in the hindgut of the horse.
Commonly this is a symptom of hindgut ulcers in horses. If you suspect this might be the issue – you can check for additional hindgut ulcer symptoms here.
Physical causes of a girthy horse
If hindgut ulcers are ruled out – There are several factors that can make girthing painful. Below are a few things to look out for:
- Poor positioning of the girth or saddle
- An improper fit-therefore pinching or rubbing against the horse
- Bad working condition-this means that there could be some unseen damage that brings about the pain or discomfort.
- Pain by association-A previous experience that involved pain when girthing. Could be from an injury or dubious training.
- A weak back
- An old/unhealed injury
The process of elimination helps arrive at the pain causing problem sooner. After all, when it’s about the safety of the horse and rider, precaution needs to be observed.
There is a Cure
With physical issues – you can solve these issues with the help of a ‘saddle fitter’ and training basics.
If the suspected cause is hindgut ulcers – these can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. The most effective treatment at the moment involves the use of Sucralfate to soothe they pain associated with hindgut ulcers – you can read all about using sucralfate to treat hindgut ulcers here.