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Hi Bob,

I found your website very interesting and wondered if you could help me with a problem? Our new paint horse has just started training three weeks ago,and has developed soreness (reddness and slight bleeding) at the girth site. We have tried several things such as Wonder Dust, Swat, powder, and bath after bath, with only a slight improvement. The cinch we have been using is brown nylon on the outside and a thick felt type of material on the side that touches the horse. We have been told that this is a common problem with paint horses. It might help to know that the horse is a three year old and has never been ridden before we got her. Do you have any suggestions that would help?

THANKS again for your time and keep up the good work!

L. C.


It strikes me that the cinch may be the primary culprit -- especially if you live where the weather is hot. Nylon traps heat and causes the wearer to sweat more. (That's why my wife insists on only wearing 100 percent cotton clothes in summer.) Add to the nylon an insulating felt pad and you have the makings of a miniature sauna-suit! The trapped moisture will make your mare's skin softer and easier to damage (similar to what happens to your skin if you keep your hands in water too long).

I'd start by swapping the cinch for a straight stranded cinch made of natural fibers like cotton, wool or mohair. (Perhaps something a roping cinch with around 25 strands, in order to distribute the pressure over a wider area.) The cinch strings allow air to circulate and permit heat and moisture to escape. Also, the round strands tend to roll, rather than rubbing on the skin.

In addition, I'd try breaking her in gradually by longeing her with the saddle on for brief periods in order to toughen her hide in the cinch area a bit before adding the wear and tear of a rider's weight (which makes the cinch slide around more).


Hi Bob,

I wrote you several weeks ago about our horse that had soreness at the girth site. Wanted you to know that your advice was great! We changed to the cotton girth and everything is going good.THANKS so much.Our daughter was able to show her at our county fair.

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