Before you take your horse out for a ride along the trail, or anywhere, there are a number of things to check first. You don’t want your horse to get injured, and you do not want to injure yourself either – so you check the saddle, the horse shoes, your horse’s hooves, and everything else. But quite often, people miss out on the cinch…
First think, what is the cinch? It is the band that goes around the underside of the horse and holds the saddle in place… And if this cinch isn’t right, you could be causing injury to your horse, or the saddle may slip and slide. Therefore, while it is often overlooked, carefully choosing a cinch is actually a very important part of horse tack and equipment.
Things to keep in mind
A cinch that is too tight may not affect your safety, but it will rub painfully against the horse. This can cause soreness and even injury. Also consider, this may make your horse uncomfortable which can affect the ride.
On the other hand, a loose cinch will mean that the saddle can move around. This instability will make the ride dangerous for you.
So when you go to pick out a cinch, the first test is always to get precise measurements of your horse and then buy – so that the cinch is neither loose nor too tight. And besides getting the fit right, here are…
5 things to consider
- For horses with sensitive – merino wool
- For horses with allergies – mohair
- For most other horses – cotton
This will depend on your horse – if you have a mini, then choose one that is the right size and not too broad. For other horses you have pretty standard sizes. As long as it cinches in right, take it.
Stainless steel roller buckles are your best bet – they are easy to maintain and longer lasting. But depending on the style of saddle you use, you may also need a cinch with rings.
4. Keeping the cinch clean
Cinches need to be cleaned every 2 months to make them last longer. Choose one you can clean easily – cotton is best for this. It even seeps away moisture. As for mohair or merino wool, you will need to care for them accordingly.
5. Fitting the cinch
This is the final step – you will need to fit it right.
- First get a feel of the cinch.
- The first time, tighten it in stages – so the horse is comfortable.
- Lift each leg and stretch it out with the cinch in place. This ensures a better fit.
- Check whether the cinch is pinching the horse.
- Also check for points where the skin may be trapped under the cinch.
Choosing a cinch is a very important job, but it isn’t necessarily a difficult one. Keep these tips in mind and choose the cinch that is best for both you and your horse!