What's the difference? Cinches, off-billets and tie straps?
I'm not a western rider, but I am interested in perhaps riding western one day. I've never heard of any of those three things, except I believe that cinches are the western equivalent to girths.
I also hear things about using two girths... or a back strap or something. I'm unsure... anyways, what are the differences and what do you use each one for?
side question: why do headstalls have one or two loops to go around the ears? I've been wondering about that. Are certain headstalls for certain disciplines?
Off Billet is the short strap on the Right side of the Saddle used to connect a Cinch
Tie Strap is the long strap on the Left side of the Saddle used to Connect the Cinch
The Cinch is the part that goes under the Horse's front
A rear cinch is used in roping of when riding down steep hills to help keep the back of the saddle form flipping up too far.
Headstalls, some like one ear for showing purposes.
Ahh right, thank you so much :)
Headstalls with ear loops are OK for curb bits. I recommend avoiding them for snaffles - they can come off at awkward times.
Good info here:
Western Saddle Guide : Expert advice
The history, as I know it with regard to 'ear loops' (and may or may not be fact), is somebody someplace one day started out with the basic strap of cheek pieces and poll piece to hold the bit in place (as opposed to the traditional western bridle consisting of browband, throat latch, check pieces, poll piece); the purpose of this style was to facilitate quick tacking up; they found out fairly quickly it came off as quick as it went on so added an 'ear loop' on one side to stabilize the bridle while still maintaining the quick tack up. Double ear loops, from my perspective, serve the purpose of making a show ring fashion statement.
using a fore cinch and a back cinch isn't limited to ropers . a lot of saddles have a rigging that is designed to have both cinches, in order to have the best fit.
I think this kind of rigging is also seen in some Argentine saddles, isn't it? or do they do this in Europe, in like Portugal, or in parts of France? Seems I have seen that in photos (the saddle where they use a sheepskin to make it comfy)
I hope that you have the opportunity sometime to try western riding. It may feel clumsy at first, since you cannot feel the horse under you as much. But, you ride more from your seat, believe it or not. you do not use leg strength or gripping of the horse or the stirrup to keep you on. It's much more just sitting straight up from your seatbones, legs loose and more allowing the hrose to carry his head where it works for him.
Both the fundamental style of riding Western and that of riding English have something to teach the rider. I have really enjoyed both of them.
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