Back cinch: how tight?
How tight do you do up your back cinch? I've never really used back cinches before but I've seen them from snug to dangling. So what's the correct way. Feel free to include pics!
Depends on what you're doing. Roping, you want it very tight--not much looser than the front girth--to prevent the back of the saddle from flinging up when the horn is jerked. Other Western speed events are less important, but it should still be snug--easily slide your hand underneath, or along those lines. It should never dangle, as a horse can get a hind leg caught.
Basically what Bubba said.
I like to start out with mine just a touch snug. Not tight, but not with much daylight either, because I find that the longer I ride, the looser it gets. So if I start out with hardly any daylight, then by the end of the ride, it will have a couple inches gap. Sometimes more.
Mid-way on a several hour trail ride, if I get off to open a gate or something, I find I often want to take up my back cinch a notch.
Basically, I check it whenever I check my front cinch, because I frequently take up the front a notch or two also. :-)
Yep, like they said, snug but not tight unless needed. I don't like for there to be much more than an inch or so between belly and cinch at the loosest. Like Trail said, I'll often take it up a hole the same time I take up the front cinch. A bit of space isn't a terrible thing for just regular riding, but if it's a large gap, like Bubba said, a horse can kick at a fly and get a foot hung. That can turn into a very nasty wreck in a hurry.
This is where I like to see it after a pretty decent workout just before I un-saddle.
And always, always, always make sure the rear cinch is connected to the fore cinch!
And always undo the rear cinch first when unsaddleing.
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Once we started going uphill, his horse started bucking to beat the band!! Turns out the rear cinch wasn't tethered to the front. The rear cinch had slid back onto the horse's flank. Major bucking ensued, let me tell you.
I did quite a bit of low level showing a few years ago. I train my own horses and I have never once used a rear cinch. Now, I have a new saddle and it has a back cinch and I am dying to try the saddle out.
If you aren't doing hill work, or roping, or something along those lines, the back cinch really is unnecessary.
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