How Tight Should You Cinch/Girth Be? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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How Tight Should You Cinch/Girth Be?

So I have heard many many different opinions on this subject and I'd like to get everyone's thoughts! How tight should you tighten your girth/cinch?

I am going to try to make a poll, but I can't guarantee I'll figure it out :S LOL
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 10:41 AM
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I generally make sure I can fit 2 fingers in between it and the horses stomach. I learned this rule years ago, but I could be incorrect.

I always check again before mounting because both my boys bloat.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, I was curious about this too as I have heard many opinions as well. I always tighten slowly out of respect and in 3 different times as my mare likes to "puff" too lol!
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 11:44 AM
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I tighten mine up slowly to give the horse time to acclimate, then when I think I'm done I stand facing the girth square, tuck the tips of my fingers under the girth on both sides (in front of and behind it) then give a good tug with both my hands. If it gives a bit then that's where I like it, if I feel like I'm going to fall over from lost balance after my tug then its too loose and if it doesn't move at all then it's too tight for my liking.

Sorry, I don't really have a "finger" rule, I just do it by feel.

I always like to remember that the girth will loosen up when you put your weight in the stirrups, so if its already on the loose side before you get on, its going to be way too loose when you get up there.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 11:56 AM
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If the eyes start popping out, it's too tight ;)

Generally by feel. Not so loose your saddle swims and a well placed spook will have you dangling under the belly, but secure enough. You don't want the horse uncomfortable.

I also tighten in stages. Put the saddle on, girth on. If it's a bloater will put bridle on and then check again, walk to the school or block, check again, mount and ride a few rounds, then check again ;)
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 01:09 PM
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Two to three fingers of room is what I was taught too.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffyDuck View Post
If the eyes start popping out, it's too tight ;)

Generally by feel. Not so loose your saddle swims and a well placed spook will have you dangling under the belly, but secure enough. You don't want the horse uncomfortable.

I also tighten in stages. Put the saddle on, girth on. If it's a bloater will put bridle on and then check again, walk to the school or block, check again, mount and ride a few rounds, then check again ;)
I agree with everything Duffy Duck said. Especially about having it tight enough for a spook. It happened to me last Wednesday (my horse is a bloater AND round). I had a nice slow motion fall in front of the farm owner.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 02:08 PM
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I believe this to be different for every horse. I have a very round backed mare that with the "two finger" rule the cinch is just way too lose. She has no wither to hold that sucker on. At first I thought this might have been due to poor saddle fit, but after having a horse chiropractor look at her and the fit of my saddle we determined that her cinch needed to just be tighter than normal. With my regular QH's it's two fingers for me :)
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 02:11 PM
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Over the years I have found that my cinch or girth needs to be tight enough so the saddle doesn't slip sideways when I mount, but loose enough that my horse isn't restricted.
The way I train is to get my horses to hold their breath. I tighten 3x before I mount, and it's pretty tight. When I work my horse he lets out some air, and usually after a workout I can dismount and get my fist in between the girth and the horse.
I usually also ride with a breastplate, crupper and syrcingle to stabilize my saddle.
When I trail ride and plan a lunch stop I undo my billets or my girth 2 holes after dismounting, as my rule of thumb. Then, my horse really has a loose saddle while he rests and waits on me. I tighten up RIGHT BEFORE I re-mount. I don't have saddle sores this way and it's worked for me for almost 30 years.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-24-2013, 02:18 PM
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Once the horse has deflated, 4 fingers, snug but not so you working at pulling them out.



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