Troubleshooting the Scharf Girth

Understanding and Using the Scharf Girth

Like any piece of technical equipment there is a right way and a wrong way. There are some very critical components that need to be correct for the girth to work as designed. 

Scharf Freedom Girth CLose UP


We seem to have a habit in this country to under-girth our horses. For the Freedom girth, it is key and critical that the girth buckles are clear above the elbow movement. The girth is supporting not only the pectoral muscles but also the intercostal muscles and therefore the lateral pads need to be in the correct place. 

Here at The CentreLine we do not let any girth order leave without first checking with each and every customer. We usually ask for photos so that we see where your current girth is sitting so that we can advise the correct length.

If your girth is not the correct length then the girth will not function as designed, and your horse will not feel the full benefits a Scharf girth can provide.

Scharf Freedom Dressage Girth Black


This girth is a biomechanical girth, it is designed to work with your horse rather than against it. Many comment on what would appear to be a not so large connection between the central and lateral pads. This is a pivot point that allows the girth to move with your horse.

The girth is constructed from a polymer that is used for extreme sports, think parachuting or rock climbing. This polymer runs the entire length of the girth from buckle to buckle as one piece, there are no cuts or stitching and therefore no compromise on its integrity. The dressage girth is tested to 750 Kgs of pressure and the jumping girths to 1500 Kgs of pressure. 

Why am I mentioning this? The answer is that you must never over tighten this girth. If you do, you are compromising the underlying principle and the ability of the girth to do its job as designed.

When you put your girth on, you must always check that you can slide your fingers into the front and back of the central pads under the chest. If you cannot do this easily then you have overtightened the Freedom girth.  Please remember this is not a conventional girth, it is a girth that works with your horse, if you do not follow these instructions then the girth will not work as designed.  

Every girth comes with full instructions as to how to fit it, if you have questions then please call us.


The Freedom girth will not compromise the saddle stability. The only potential for this is where a saddler has fitted a saddle for remedial issues where points have been changed to deal with an underlying issue.

Whilst we would never suggest that you should ride without a girth, the fundamental point of a well fitting saddle is that we should be able to ride without a girth! If the saddle fits correctly then the girth will only enhance your horse’s performance. 

It is true that this girth has an uncanny ability to highlight incorrectly fitting saddles. We would always advise a second opinion from an independent saddler who is interested in the fit rather than selling you a new saddle. 

Why? Because we are not strapping the horse in with a girth to stop a saddle moving. It is a worldwide issue that girths are done up far too tight. If we stop and think for just a minute, how would we like a belt tied around our chests limiting our breathing and ability to move our ribcage?


Yes, we have horse’s that are particularly sensitive or those who have issues at coat change time. For this we provide lamb pads that are uniquely designed to work with the Freedom Girth, they do not compromise the function of the girth. 

Scharf Backtrack Freedom Girth


When designing the original Scharf girth, they began to understand that there are horse’s out there that have forward girth grooves that push saddles forward and/or horses that have tummies, horse’s that are coming back into work from time off or very well sprung rib cages.

For these horse’s we have designed a girth specifically to deal with such issues. It is fairly newly released and called The Backtrack and is designed for monoflap saddles. 


These horse’s have differing musculature and we have a Monoflap girth designed specifically for cobs and draft horses. The pectoral pads are larger and in fact the pads are different for the mares and the geldings/stallions. 


We do come across horses, though it is infrequent, where a fully customised girth is required. This service is available. During our consultation it is normally apparent if a special girth is required as we evaluate from a photo which girth will be correct for your horse. 

At The Centre Line we will always go the extra mile to ensure that your horse is comfortable and performing better than ever in a Scharf Freedom girth.

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