Girth Galls are sores that develop due to friction between the girth or harness and the horse. Girth galls can develop when the girth pinches, the girth is dirty or hard, or tack is placed on a dirty horse or a horse has sensitive skin.
A swelling or small lump in the girth or harness area resulting in discomfort for the horse that if left untreated can develop into an open sore.
Girth galls should be treated as a minor wound and once healed the skin can be hardened by dissolving 2 heaped teaspoonfuls of salt in a pint of warm water and applying this to the skin. During treatment of girth galls the horse should not be tacked up as this will aggravate the condition.
Thoroughly grooming a horse or pony before tacking up and using a soft, clean girth will help prevent the formation of girth galls. Neoprene girths or a protective fleece over the girth will also help to avoid girth galls. Horses with soft skin or where the horse is unfit will need to start with short riding sessions to toughen up the skin in order to prevent the formation of girth galls.