There are two main categories of girths: long girths and short girths. Which category you choose depends on the length of your saddle's girth straps. Most jumping and eventing saddles have short girth straps, so a long girth must be used. Exception: Eventing saddles with a focus on dressage. Dressage saddles have a long saddle flap and long girth straps, so short girths are used here.
After choosing the main category, there is still a choice between different materials, functions and shapes of saddle girths. This is usually the same for both types of girth, with few differences.
This category includes straight cut girths. These girths are generally suitable for horses that are not particularly sensitive in the girth area and don't have any problem areas there.
Anatomically shaped saddle girths are cut back slightly in the elbow area to ensure optimum freedom of movement. They can also be wider in the middle so that the pressure can be distributed over a larger area at the main contact point.
Saddle girths with stud protection are used for show jumping and eventing horses, as the studs of the horseshoes can cause wounds on the belly when jumping. Another function of these girths is that they have an extra ring for buckling an auxiliary rein or a breastplate.
Nylon is a very robust and durable material, which is also easy to care for. Nylon is not the right material for sensitive horses, as sweating can quickly cause chafing.
Neoprene is a very soft and flexible material which is also well tolerated by sensitive horses. Neoprene remains supple and is also easy to clean, even under sweaty conditions.
Leather is a natural product and requires more care. This means that it should be lightly cleaned daily and thoroughly cleaned every few weeks with saddle soap and leather grease. However, it is also an unbeatable material in terms of comfort, durability and compatibility with horses.
Horses that are particularly sensitive to pressure or chafing can be protected with sheepskin. This is available either as a girth cover to put over a girth or attached directly to the girth. The advantage of removable covers is that they can be easily taken off for washing. The advantage of integrated sheepskin girths is that the fur cannot slip and thus the risk of skin irritation is prevented even more.