Using a rear cinch for trail riding?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Using a rear cinch for trail riding??

Hello everyone, I have been doing more reading into the correct placement of saddles and cinching, etc... to ensure that I am doing the best I can for my boy Romeo.
Recently I have come across some discussions regarding using the rear cinch on western saddles but got the impression it was more for use when the horse is moving fast or making lots of turns. Yesterday, I came across what appears to be a popular thread regarding the theory that using the front cinch only can place uneven pressure on the muscles in their back no matter what kind of riding you are doing.
Romeo is just being used as a lightly ridden trail horse so was wondering people's opinions about using a rear cinch??
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post #2 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 01:04 PM
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I've always been told that using a rear cinch when trail riding is mainly to keep the back of the saddle from popping up or shifting when you're riding in steep country and going down a lot of hills.
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post #3 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 01:07 PM
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On a rim fire saddle a rear cinch is rather useful.
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post #4 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 01:10 PM
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We never use a rear cinch for normal, pleasure trail riding.
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post #5 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 03:35 PM
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I've seen rear cinches used a lot of times when trail riding in rugged terrain.

And breast collars, and cruppers on horses with no withers, to where the saddle will slide too far forward on a steep downhill.

I've seen all three used on mules, too.

They aren't wrong to use, it just depends on how rough the terrain is and how the horse is built, as to whether those pieces of equipment are needed
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 03:41 PM
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There is no way the rear cinch should be tightened like the front cinch, creating 'even pressure'.

If a western saddle fits right, you can mount from the ground without the cinch.

My daughter once was cantering Trooper back up the trail toward me. I noticed something was odd. The I realized her cinch had come loose and was hanging 6-8" below Trooper's chest, banging against his front legs. Trooper being the little trooper he was named for, kept his pace without questioning. So I stopped her. She said, "Oh, drat!", dismounted, tightened and retied, then back up.

But she didn't need the cinch to hold the saddle on as they cantered.

And while I can't speak for anyone else, my cinch gets noticeably looser once I'm in the saddle. Apparently, my butt puts more pressure on the saddle than the cinch does. If I do my part, my weight keeps the pressure even. That isn't the cinch's job. IMHO.

The only saddle I've had slip came during a very hard spook & spin by Mia. ( The REASON it slipped was that it fit like this:

It ought to fit like this:

Folks who rope or run barrels or do exciting things I don't do may have a different requirement. For light trail riding, though...this is what keeps the rear of the saddle down:

BTW - the saddle in the bottom picture has a little too much "rock" - curve from front to back - to be optimum for the horse I'm using. But it is close enough for the riding I do.

BTW #2 - some folks just like having the rear cinch on. That is fine. I tried it and just felt it was extra 'stuff' for me to deal with - but no objections to those who like to use one. But you don't crank it tight to "balance the saddle".
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Last edited by bsms; 08-18-2015 at 03:46 PM.
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post #7 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 03:43 PM
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When trail riding I try to keep anything that could catch on a branch to a minimum. The back cinch is the first to be removed. The rear cinch anchors the saddle when roping otherwise the weight of the rider holds the saddle down.

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post #8 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 04:32 PM
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If your saddle fits correctly and you are doing basic riding things (not roping, not barrel racing, not trail riding up/down very steep hills, etc), then honestly the rear cinch doesn't really do much.

If you need to rear cinch to prevent the back of your saddle from popping up, then your saddle doesn't fit.

If you need your weight in the saddle to prevent the back of your saddle from popping up, then your saddle doesn't fit.

The rear cinch does have use when you are doing certain activities like I mentioned above where you are putting the horse into unusual positions. However, it does need to be adjusted correctly to be effective (essentially no daylight).

A back cinch is going to do nothing for you if it is too loose. If anything, it can be a real hazard if it's too loose and the horse can get a back leg through it.

It can also be a hazard if you don't have a connector to the front cinch, to prevent it from going too far backward, and create a rodeo bronc situation.

It is a bit of personal preferance whether you choose to use one or not, but as long as it is adjusted correctly, they can only help.

A well-adjusted back cinch should be snug against the horse so it can serve a purpose.
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post #9 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 04:39 PM
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I removed my rear cinch long ago and have never missed it even in the steepest terrain. The breast collar is a different story. If someone told me I could only have one piece of equipment to hold the saddle on the horse while trail riding I would choose a breast collar over the front cinch.

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post #10 of 79 Old 08-18-2015, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
I removed my rear cinch long ago and have never missed it even in the steepest terrain. The breast collar is a different story. If someone told me I could only have one piece of equipment to hold the saddle on the horse while trail riding I would choose a breast collar over the front cinch.
This may sound strange to a novice, but I agree that it is quite feasible on a horse with an average back and a well fitting saddle.
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