Guarding Your Trusty Steed: A Rodeo Pro's Guide to Preventing Girth Sores on Horses

In the heart-pounding world of rodeo, every second counts. Your horse is your partner in crime, your confidant, and your ticket to glory. But as you know, even the toughest athletes can be sidelined by unexpected setbacks. One of those sneaky adversaries is none other than the notorious girth sore. This silent troublemaker can turn your rodeo dreams into a rough ride. But fear not, fellow cowboys and cowgirls, for we've got the lowdown on how to prevent girth sores and keep your trusty steed in top shape.

Girth Sores: The Uninvited Guest

Girth sores, also known as cinch sores or girth galls, are skin irritations or wounds that develop beneath the girth or cinch area. They are a common nuisance for rodeo horses, especially those in high-intensity events like barrel racing, calf roping, and bull riding. Girth sores can be painful for your equine partner, causing discomfort and potentially sidelining them from the arena. To maintain a winning streak, let's dive into the strategies for preventing these pesky wounds.

Proper Saddle Fit:

The first line of defense against girth sores is ensuring your saddle fits your horse like a glove. An ill-fitting saddle can create friction and pressure points, leading to sores. Consult with a professional saddle fitter to ensure your gear is tailored to your horse's unique build and conformation.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness:

Keep your saddle pad, cinch, and horse's skin clean and dry. Dirt, sweat, and grime can exacerbate girth sores. Regularly clean your equipment, and ensure your horse is thoroughly groomed to prevent chafing.

Use High-Quality Gear:

Invest in quality cinches and girths made from materials that are comfortable for your horse. Neoprene and fleece-lined options provide cushioning and reduce friction.

Smart Cinch Adjustments:

Ensure that your cinch or girth is adjusted properly. It should be snug enough to keep the saddle in place but not so tight that it creates excessive pressure. Regularly check and adjust the cinch during your rides.

Break It In Slowly:

New equipment, like saddles and cinches, may need a break-in period. Gradually introduce them to your horse and monitor for any signs of discomfort.


Consider using a quality girth or cinch lubricant. These products reduce friction and can help prevent girth sores from forming.

Keep an Eye Out:

Vigilance is key. Regularly inspect your horse's skin for any signs of irritation or sores, especially in the girth area. Catching them early can prevent them from worsening.

Rest and Recovery:

Even the toughest rodeo horses need downtime. Allow your horse proper rest between intense training and competition to allow any minor irritations to heal.

Rodeo is a game of precision and grit, and your horse is your most valued teammate. By following these preventive measures, you can keep girth sores at bay and ensure your equine partner stays in top-notch condition. Remember, a healthy and comfortable horse is more likely to carry you to victory in the rodeo arena. So saddle up, stay vigilant, and ride towards success with your trusty steed, free from the threat of girth sores.

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