After the 2012 Olympics it seems all anyone horsey could talk about was Fairfax girths, our Team GB secret weapon! Intrigued about their effect, but also way too broke to buy one in order to find out for myself what they were like I carried on with my regular shaped leather girth. As luck would have it one of the ladies at my yard won a Fairfax girth in a competition (lucky devil!) so when it arrived I got to speak to her first hand about how she felt it helped her horse and if she thought it was worth the investment.
She very kindly let me borrow her girth to try it on Dustry and the difference was noticeable straight away. He felt much more free and forwards, especially with his fore limbs, and those little moments of resistance that we had been trying to iron out of our transitions were suddenly much easier to eliminate. Now I’m no Olympic hopeful (I would have to do a whole lot of hoping!) but I do appreciate that some advancements in tack technology can benefit any horse no matter what their standard.
I am fairly sceptical of gadgets in general, but I always think that trying it on the horse at least once is the best litmus test, after all they don’t lie, so if they don’t like something they’ll soon let you know!
Convinced by his altered way of going I saved up and splashed out on a girth of my own, and have used it every day since. Having believed in the girth from first hand experience I am pleased to see that Fairfax’s claims of improved performance and comfort have now been independently reviewed and validated. The girth has now been scientifically proven to be ground-breaking and Fairfax’s claims that it improves performance are real and not just their opinion.
The results of the independent testing have been published in a scientific paper in the Equestrian Veterinary Journal. Click here to read it.
If you don’t want to read the whole paper here are a few key points:
In standard girths, peak pressures were located over the musculature behind the elbow. The FF Girth reduced peak pressures under the girth, and improved limb protraction and carpal/tarsal flexion, which may reflect improved posture and comfort.
Max girth force recorded in a regular girth was up to 22% more than the FF Girth
Peak pressures recorded in a regular girth were up to 98% more than the FF Girth
About the FF Girth design (from their website)
Lined with Prolite – known for its ability to distribute pressure, absorb impact and prevent rubbing.
New construction method allows the Prolite edge “to float” so the horse’s muscles can move underneath rather than bang against
Combination of the contour and the cushioning creates a buffer zone and prevents a “hard” edge
With some many new products flooding the equestrian sector each year I find that there is a bamboozling array of ‘innovative new products’ that are actually just old classics or utter rubbish watered down, re-packaged, or pimped up. It’s reassuring to be able to invest in a product like this, and make a buying decision based on first hand experience and scientific proof.
Top job Fairfax! and please keep the science coming, I love to ‘get my geek on’