Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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?
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.