​ Measuring for Girths and Cinches

​ Measuring for Girths and Cinches

Posted by Green Mountain Horse and Tack on 3rd Jun 2022

Fitting an English Girth

To get ready to measure your horse for the proper size English girth, place your pad and saddle onto your horse. If you have more than one pad, use the one that you use most often. Be aware that a thicker sheepskin pad may require a slightly longer firth than a thinner quilted pad. Use a seamstress measuring tape for the measuring process. Hold the measuring tape on the middle holes of the billets on one side and pass the tape under your horse’s belly at the path where the firth will sit. Pass the other end of the tape to a friend on the other side of the horse and have them hold the tape to the middle holes of the billets on the other side and take note of the measurement. This measurement will give you a good starting point of the appropriate girth size.

Girth lengths run in two-inch increments and sizes range from 32 to 52 inches. If your horse is in between sizes, round up to the next size.

To find the fit for a shorter dressage girth, subtract 20 inches from the total. For example, if a horse wears a standard girth of 48 inches, the dressage girth should land at 28 inches.

Fitting a Western Cinch


To get ready to measure your horse for a western cinch, put the pad and saddle on your horse. Using your seamstress tape, measure from the off (right) rigging ring to the near (left) rigging ring, then subtract 16 inches from the measurement. This removes the length of 8 inches or so of the latigo strap which secures the cinch buckle. For example, if your horse’s measurement is 48 inches, you’ll need a 32-inch cinch.

Tie the cinch by sliding the latigo through the ring on the cinch. Bring the latigo strap through the ring on the saddle toward you and back down to the cinch ring. Repeat this to remove any excess, and then tie with a knot by looping the latigo through the saddle ring, back over itself, and then back up through the ring. Insert the strap end downward, like a standard necktie knot. Tighten it up by pulling up on the inside strap, then tightening the downward strap.