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This is a discussion on Cinchy? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horses + cinchy
  • What does cinchy mean

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    11-03-2009, 04:09 PM
Green Broke

Ok, so I've definitely dealt with my fair share of cinchy horses. My Arab mare is about as cinchy as they come, and I've figured out it's from extreme sensitivity. I purchased her a soft sided padded Western cinch and she has a fluffy sheepskin cover for her English girths, which pretty much solves the problem. I always do her cinches/girths up very slowly, and by degrees (tightening her saddles usually means doing it a minimum of a half dozen times before I mount, and then once more after warmup).

However, my 2 year old is now "becoming" cinchy and it's concerning me a bit. She seemed to do fine in the beginning, I got the usual slight tension and maybe a step or two to the side, but nothing big, I'd spend a great deal of time slowly tightening it and praising her.

Now, she's gotten a ton worse. She's fine when I put the saddle on her, and I always begin by stroking her behind the legs first and rubbing my hand where the cinch goes. She tightens up instantly. I slowly bringing the cinch under her (same padded cinch my Arab uses) and spend some time just holding it against her belly and stroking her until she relaxes. As soon as I begin tightening it though, she starts the pony tap dance. She'll swing herself right into me, step back until her halter is taut, and generally do as much as she can to get away from it.

Once it's tightened she's fine, and she actually has zero issues with me tightening it after warmup. She stands like a doll.

The saddle fits her well, and she does the same thing if I use a surcingle, so I don't think the issue is with the saddle, just the girth itself.

I know she had some bad experiences with the people who started her training. I've done my best to take it as slow and gentle as I possibly can, it's just the fact that she seems to be getting worse about it that concerns me.

Any ideas or opinions?
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    11-03-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm not so sure what you should do but my mare is cinchy too. Not as bad as yours tho lol. She just stretches out her neck and bites the air repeatedly, she has never tried to turn her head to bite me tho which is good lol
    11-03-2009, 04:30 PM
Don't really know what you can do, but my mare is also slightly cinchy... she sidesteps into me when I tighten the girth, though it may also be because I pull really tight... my three year old gelding will raise his head and arch it and 'bite the air' when I tighten the cinch, but he doesn't move or anything...
    11-03-2009, 05:09 PM
My mare, Magic, came to me really cinchy... at first she would actually turn around and try to bite me, and after awhile of being reprimanded for biting, she got to biting down on whatever is in front of her... which had left some nice shiny scratches in the trailer a time or two.
I got to where I'd put the saddle on her and tighten the girth just enough that the saddle would stay on her back, then I'd take her for a walk a bit... just a couple little circles, backing, sidepassing, and trotting at hand some days. Then I'd tighten it just a bit more, and take her for another walk. On average, I do that three or four times before I even consider mounting her. Then, just before I mount, I do these 'stretches' with her... I basically just pick up her front legs, one at a time, and stretch them out in front of her and move it up and down, like we're shaking hands, curl it up under her belly, then extend it again. It helps to make sure there aren't any wrinkles of skin under the girth that are piching, along with limbering her up a bit.
She's still a little dancey at times, but she's getting better.
    11-03-2009, 05:13 PM
I have yet to have a cinchy horse. When I saddle the horse I then do the cinch and do it loose so it is just touching the horse. Then I leave it like that until I get the leg gear on then I tighten it up a bit more not a lot just so it is snug. I then bit the horse take them out to where I ride on my way out I tighten it up again but not all the way. I finish my walk out to where I ride then once I get there I finish tightening it all the way up and then walk a bit more so the horses skin is not all bunched up under the cinch. Then I ride and do not have a problem at all with a horse being Cinchy. I could tell that when my mare came home from the trainers she was a tad on the cinchy side and with in a few weeks of riding and cinching her up like that she has no issues at all.
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    11-03-2009, 05:47 PM
I've never heard the term 'cinchy' before, but I know what you mean
My horse used to get cranky at me when I was tightening his girth so I checked under his belly and found he's got a wart, or something right where his girth goes, I do the girth up slowly one side at a time and he's fine about it now
    11-03-2009, 05:54 PM
Walk them as you tighten the cinch... if you can't do it by yourself then have someone walk to horse in circles as you slowly tighten the cinch... if you can do it by yourself then through the lead rope over your shoulder and proceed.

This really does work wonders
    11-03-2009, 06:17 PM
Hmmm...i might have to try a couple of your guys' tricks too!
    11-03-2009, 08:36 PM
This is really an easy thing to fix (if the person has patience! Lol). Start all over from the beginning. Allow her to sniff the saddle pad and investigate. Put it on and if she shows any signs of tension take it off, put it on, take it off, put it on, etc. until she is relaxed. Rub her all over with it. Do the same with the saddle (except the rubbing lol). Then when you're ready to do up the cinch, put the strap through one time and pull it and hold it until she relaxes. If she moves just drift with her. Once she is relaxed let go. Repeat until she shows no signs of cinchy behavior. Continue to do up the cinch in several cinchings, and make sure when you tighten it you go nice and smooth, no jerking or anything rude like that.

The worst thing you could do when she acts cinchy is to just tighten it anyway. She isn't giving you permission to tighten it and she's letting you know she doesn't like it, so if you do it anyway she sees that as you not caring about her feelings (even though you do, she doesn't know that). Make sense?
    11-03-2009, 10:01 PM
Green Broke
Thanks guys!

I've attempted the walking with her as I cinch up, but to be honest, that is simply not behavior I want to encourage. As SpiritHorse is basically saying, I want to know WHY she is feeling this way and come to an agreement with her, not just find ways around it. If she feels it neccesary to be walking circles around me or walking away in an attempt to evade, the problem isn't solved.

I'll try that SpiritHorse. I definitely have patience out the wazoo, I've sat on her briefly a few times and gotten her walking around the ring with me on her a few times, but I really could care less if I'm riding her as I intend to save all serious ride training for next summer anyway. I'll go back to basics and see if that helps, thanks!

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