How tight do you cinch? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-13-2010, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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How tight do you cinch?

Came to my attention on another thread that maybe I am cinching more tightly than I need to. On my one horse, I leave enough that I can pull the cinch out about 1 - 1 1/2 inches from her side. On the other horse, I can put my fingers in between and that's all.

How tight do you cinch?
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-13-2010, 10:27 PM
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I go tight enough that my fingers will fit snugly (not being pinched) between the girth/cinch and horse. It's kind of hard to describe it any better, as it's more of a feel than a calculated thing for me now. It also depends on what I'm doing. If I know I'm going to be going up hills or riding hard and fast, I'll be more careful about tightening it, while I get lazier if we're just flatting.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-13-2010, 10:29 PM
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I tighten till she squeaks Just kidding. I tighten till I can just get my hand between her and the latigos. If I get off during the ride I tighten again.
I know I'm weird but I change out the leathers on any saddle I have. I have a long latigo on both sides (western saddles). I can then tighten both sides equally, like an English saddle. I hate those little short off side billets that come on most saddles. They force you to tighten only one side which IMO causes imbalance to the saddle and discomfort to the horse. I know... thats not what you asked

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-13-2010, 10:35 PM
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i tighten until i can fit 2 fingers between(not lying flat against her side, the other way, lol).

Sonya ~ 5 yr old Appaloosa/Welsh mare
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-13-2010, 10:42 PM
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I cinch my horses up so that I can just get my fingers behind the cinch. If I need to I might even tighten it a little bit tighter than that because after 30 minutes of riding I know it will be loosened up again. I tighten it up on colts the same as I do broke horses. I don't think you are doing any favors for a young horse to leave the cinch loose and pussyfoot around with tightening the girth. I pull it smoothly and snug just before I get on and then I'll tighten it again after a little riding.

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post #6 of 19 Old 03-14-2010, 12:26 AM
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I tighten it to where I can just get my fingers in there. It is how i have always done it, I too like to tighten from both sides, I hate one sided cinching, it makes everything feel unbalanced and just off, plus I can get a much better fit by cinching from both sided without pulling skin and hair or pinching anything. I also tighten every 45 minutes or so when I ride, just to make sure it hasnt become too loose, though I am balanced enough It will still sit just fine, I do not want to worry about the one time I get thrown off balance and the saddle is pulled sideways and all hell breaks loose...

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-14-2010, 12:34 AM
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I do about the same as Kevin. There are some horses that I tighten a little more slowly, but they get tightened up just as far in the end. The only reason they get it slower is that they puff, so I tighten at least two or three times before I get on. I also have no problem with hopping off at any point to retighten. I can't stand it if my saddle is too loose after I had a spill caused by a loose saddle on a spooked horse. (my fault for putting the horse in the situation, but could've stayed on had the saddle not slid bad)
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-14-2010, 07:24 PM
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I will tighten it until it is snug. I can still get my fingers in there comfortably but not much more than that. Dobe is really bad about blowing up so even though the cinch may be snug when we start riding, 10 minutes later I can get off and tighten another 3 holes or so. Denny I can leave a touch looser because he actually has some withers and the saddle doesn't move much on him anyway. If I end up having to rope something, I will pull up both cinches pretty tight, anywhere from 2 to 5 holes tighter than I regularly ride (by that time I can't easily get my fingers in there). And I am with Kevin about cinching youngsters. They need to get used to having a tighter cinch and I am not about to take the chance that they buck and both me and the saddle end up on their belly.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-14-2010, 07:50 PM
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I'm with the majority here, tighten it enough to just get a couple fingers in. I never tightened it up real snug while saddling, I think its a habit from having a cinchy horse. I wait till I have my bridle on and am ready to go, tighten it all the way up, walk my horse a bit, then check it and get on.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-15-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all.
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