Symptoms of girth pain syndrome On the fastening of the girth: -Attempting to bite handler, repeated at each stage of tightening. This is the most common and obvious symptom. -Inflating the chest to fix and split there ribs, which also prevents the girth from been applied very tightly, and may brace the horse to protect from pain. -Kicking at the girth. -Changing the facial expressions, often a partial closing or tightening of the eyes or a frown. -Grunting. -Lifting the head, swishing the tail. Once girthed up: -Short stepping, refusing to move forward freely for 10-20 min after been saddled. -Being one sided or having difficulty taking one lead. -Resisting leg aids. -"Humping up", pig rooting or bucking at the start of the ride, especially during transition from trot to canter on the most affected side. -In extreme cases, violent bucking and/or pig rooting or lying down after been girthed up. -Grunting wile been ridden, especially downhill. -Rushing jumps. -Resistance to turning sharply. -Readily developing girth sores. * NOTE: a number of these symptoms can be associated with saddle soreness and other problems. You may also find: -The skin of the girth area remaining jumpy after gentle stroking. -When tapping the skin behind the elbow, the muscles all jump, including the muscles of the leg and elbow. -Tightness and tenderness of the muscles under the girth and above the shoulder blade. -Uneven shoulders with the saddle slipping to the lower shoulder. -The hoof of the most effected side is usually narrower and higher in the heel, which changes the leg length and shoulder angle.