Why dressage riders love the Bates Saddles girthing system

The entire range of Bates dressage saddles feature world-leading innovations in girthing design. While you’ll most likely be familiar with how a saddle’s seat and panels can benefit horse and rider, you may not have been introduced to the power of the Bates Saddles girthing system to unlock your horse’s full potential.   

What do girth points do?

Quite simply, girth points are there to secure our saddle to our horse with a girth. Traditionally, dressage saddles were made with long double girth points, located centrally on the tree. However, we now know that girthing systems that spread the load more broadly across the length of the tree improve saddle stability. That’s why Bates Saddles has created a dressage girthing system that reduces movement in the saddle, freeing your horse’s back and paving the way for more expressive movement.

What’s unique about the Bates Saddles girthing system?

Bates dressage saddles feature both a point girth strap and Adjustable Y-Girthing or Running Y-Girthing (for mono-flap models).

The point girth strap is the first strap at the front, running from the tree point in the saddle. It’s really effective in anchoring the saddle and stopping movement. If your horse has a forward girth groove or big powerful shoulders, the point girth strap will help stabilise movement so your horse can continue travelling forward correctly.

Our Adjustable or Running Y-Girthing is used in combination with the point girth strap to spread the remaining load evenly over the full length of the tree. This is truly a game changer, ensuring the saddle is significantly more comfortable for your horse. It’s also an amazing advantage to the rider, as it keeps you truly balanced, allowing you to both perform at your best.  

How can you make adjustments to the Adjustable Y-Girthing?

  • Once you have girthed your saddle up, slide your fingers behind the web of girth straps and feel for even pressure between the two.
  • If an adjustment is needed, always unbuckle your girth before increasing, or releasing, the tension on both rear straps.
  • It’s important with adjustable systems that you adjust evenly on each side of the saddle – you’ll find stitch lines to assist you with a visual guide for checking this.

What about doing up the girth?

Dressage riders appreciate the precision of aids that long girth points allow. Not having buckles under the rider’s leg eliminates bulk, but it is important our horse’s legs are as comfortable as ours. Always make sure you choose the right size of short dressage girth to use with your Bates saddle so that your horse’s front legs don’t come into contact with the girth buckles. When the girth is the correct size, the buckles will sit above the horse’s elbow.

To ensure your girth fits correctly, you can measure under your horse’s belly from the lower edge of the saddle flap to the saddle flap on the other side, then subtract 30cm.

Feel the difference

The Bates Saddles girthing system provides another piece of the puzzle for competitive horse and rider combinations. By stabilising your seat and maximising your horse’s comfort, you are both free be at your best and enjoy your partnership to the fullest. 


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