Why Does Your Saddle Slip On Your Horse

When the saddle slips on your horse it can be frustrating as well as dangerous!

If the saddle slips during the mounting maneuver the horse may spook from the slip and you’re stuck with one foot in the stirrup and the other foot flailing about!

If it slips when you’re out on a ride you could easily fall off, spook the horse or hurt yourself very badly by being kicked by the horses legs. There’s a multitude of dangerous scenario’s that can happen if the saddle slips.

The reason the saddle slips is the girth strap (The strap that runs under the horse) is not doing its job. There are, again, multiple reasons why it may not be doing its job. The are some more common reasons listed below:

Why The Saddle Slips
Reason:Result:Solution:
The girth strap was not pulled tight enough in the first place.Saddle slips at any point in time. IE: walking, riding, mounting.Pull girth strap tight when saddling.
Horse held breath during the moment girth strap was tightened (expands chest) then released breath.Saddle very loose. Saddle can be pushed sideways by hand.Saddle and tighten girth strap. Lounge horse for a minute or too, doesn’t take much. Re-tighten girth strap.
Old girth strap.An old girth strap builds up hair, oil and sweat on it from the horse. These are all slippery items making the girth strap slippery no matter how tight.Clean the girth strap well. Remove all hair build up and dirt. Or invest in a new girth strap.
Horse sweat.As you ride the horse sweats. This can make the cinch slip on the fur.Invest in a girth that does not absorb sweat.
Excess hair.This happens in Winter or Spring when the horse sheds. There is so much hair that the girth strap slides over the hair.Invest in a girth strap that grips.

The “strand” type girth strap I stay away from. I have found over my forty years of horse back riding that they are the most likely to allow the saddle to slip. They also have a problem of stretching while you’re riding! The material becomes moist from the horse sweating and it expands and that makes it loose! Another problem with the “strand” type of girth strap is that some of the strands are naturally tighter than the others. It reminds me of myself wearing a cheap bra. The straps dug into my flesh all day and it hurt. I couldn’t wait to get home and take it off. I can imagine the horse wearing a “strand” type girth would feel the same way!

The standard method for keeping the saddle in place has been to tighten the cinch strap as tight as you can possibly pull it. This bothers me a lot, it always has. Strap a piece of material around your chest and have someone tighten it has hard as they can. Can you breath now? Probably not very well!

I found, and invested, in a new type of girth strap and I love it! I don’t have to tighten it until my arms ache, it doesn’t slip around the horse when I ride, the horse is comfortable and can breath and it does NOT slip when I mount the horse!

Pictured below is my girth strap and some similar ones. These are girth straps AKA: cinch straps that won’t allow the saddle to slip on you and they have the easy buckle system. The roller on the strap makes the securing strap easy to tighten. Personally I picked up the Intrepid International Cinch pictured below. The price is reasonable and it fit my purpose, to stop the sliding of the saddle. I am totally happy with it. It’s easy to clean as well.

These girth straps are made with a material that grips the horse, so the whole strap is holding on for you. It’s not a sticky material, it’s a traction type of material that hangs on. It makes sense to me. Putting fur on fur with most cinch straps is going to slip, right? That’s what fur does, it’s slippery. Not what I want in a girth strap! I highly recommend investing in this grip type of cinch strap. You’ll love it.

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