I am with Bsms, I usually use a nylon latigo because they require less care and don't get sticky with frequent use.
It may just be me, but I've been using smart cinches for a while and I have found I don't particularly like them. Due to the design of the rollers, my latigo tends to slide sideways on the bigger roller and the holes go out of alignment with the tongue on the buckle. It generally takes me a minute to get everything re-adjusted to where I can get it buckled...that's not always a good thing considering that I am usually working with very green horses .
ETA: I also wanted to mention that if strength or height is part of your problem, the way I used to cinch up a horse when I was a kid was I would turn my back to the horse, squat down just a bit, put the latigo over my shoulder, and pull up with my shoulder as I stood up (like you would carry a backpack).
I am only 5 foot tall and when I ride western I use the method smrobs describes above. Works like a charm! English I pull as tight as I can, walk him around, cuss, pull again, rinse and repeat until its tight enough. Building upper arm stregth helps compensate for height also. I lift light weights and girthing has gotten easier.
Also I only tighten so the saddle doesn't slip. Most people could and probably would tighten more on my boy but I simply don't have the leverage. I also alway use a mounting block so it doesn't slide when I mount. If you have any other short people/ tall horses questions I would be glad to help! Posted via Mobile Device
I agree, nylon latigo coupled with a SmartCinch is probably the easiest way to go and it's how I have my daughter's rigging set up because she likes to be wimpy on my. She's the only 13 YO I know who whines that she's not "strong enough" to hold a darn horses hoof up to pick it when Cinny holds his foot for you LOL. Even SHE can saddle up by herself with the nylon latigo and the smartcinch :)
Hi..I invented a "device" for my wife to use to tighten the girth on her 17.2 hh warmblood. It is so simple to use on nearly any girth-straps, with no moving parts. I can send you a pic if you're interested.