Using a rear cinch for trail riding?? - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 03:16 PM
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bsms, I've read where saddle fit can be checked by putting strings, or baler twine, under the saddle cross ways and pulling them out one at a time noting how tight they are which indicates which or where the highest pressure is.

The pad of course would be better. I'd like to use one myself. I do pay a lot of attention to sweat marks. Don't know how valid they are.
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post #52 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 03:22 PM
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BSMS, the point being, using a back cinch has been proven to have benefits by people that are ,for no better term, 'professional back country riders, so it is not some extraneous type of equipment on a western saddle, and does allow the front cinch also not to need to be done up too tight, even going over rough country.
If you don't need one where you ride, that is fine, but still does not address ;ideal' for someone not sure as to whether it has a function, wanting trail riding info
I only mentioned an English saddle as someone put some irrelevant comment that you don't see a back cinch on An English saddle
While people ride out, with English saddles, they are still not considered 'trail saddles. You can jump in a western saddle, but not about to suggest someone ride a course at Spruce Meadows using one
How would you have saddle bags with emergency equipment, food, bear spray, spare hoof boot, in case you loose a shoe, basic vet supplies, a slicker and a coat tied on the back of an English saddle?
Of course English saddles are used to ride cross country,and people that ride English, and ride those horses outside of an arena, do so with an English saddle, which is fine, but still does not make it a'trail saddle'
When my niece from Ontario came for a visit,and went on an afternoon trail ride with me, she used my Stubbin, as that saddle is familiar to her, since she takes dressage lessons in Ontario, and it worked fine for that one relatively short ride where I carried everything needed on my saddle
An Aussie saddle is a stock saddle, complete with bucking rolls, so neither an English or a traditional western saddle, but an adaptation, along with the Australian stock horse-unique for that country
Far as abreast collar-do not use one without a back cinch! Going down steep hills it will suck your saddle forward, soring your horse.
I agree that many people place a western saddle on a horse too far foreward, as that seems to ;look right to them. Then, if they lock that saddle into that position, with abreast collar, you are pretty much sure to sore your horse

Few, if any people that I know, use those old time western saddles without cut out close contact features. Those saddles are not used by anyone riding any type of performance horse, nor are they made any longer by good saddle makers
Barrel racing saddles don't use aback cinch
The motion that a back cinch mitigates, is not an up and down motion, but that slight back and forth motion, across the loins. Tie saddle bags on, that are loaded, and a coat and a slicker, and then tell me that the back cinch does not have a positive effect
I already said that you don't need a back cinch everywhere you ride, and if you don't need one, that is fine. But, the point is, that a back cinch does have benefits, and I believe that the Op should be aware of them, and not just given personal preferences.
She then can decide whether she needs to use one, where she rides. Simple as that
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Last edited by Smilie; 08-20-2015 at 03:29 PM.
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post #53 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 03:42 PM
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Far as saddle fit, a poor fitting saddle is never really compensated for by a pad or wedges, etc
I never had a custom fitted saddle for several reasons

a- I ride many different horses, and anyone that started horses every year, certainly one does not buy a custom fitted saddle for each horse they train, neither do those that make a living training horses, use a custom fit saddle

b-a custom fit saddle is only a moment in time, because as soon as your horse changes body shape or weigh, through the season, that fit also changes, as it does as that horse ages

A well made saddle, that fits the general body type of the horses you ride, works great on many horses with that general conformation
In 30 years, i raised one horse that my balance ride saddle does not fit, as she is very different, having a broad, short back with not much whither.
I thus bought a saddle just for her
Far as saddle fitting, i found an excellent site once, but don't know if I can find it again. There is much more involved that just how that saddle sits at the withers, but also the twist, and how that tree fits along the entire horse, etc
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post #54 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 04:23 PM
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Talking to the owner at Outfitters Supply on the phone once. He said he had a saddle for his horse in the spring when he was fat from the winter and one for later in the season when he slimmed up a bit.

He's one that is out there and does it.
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post #55 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 04:32 PM
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"How would you have saddle bags with emergency equipment, food, bear spray, spare hoof boot, in case you loose a shoe, basic vet supplies, a slicker and a coat tied on the back of an English saddle?"

Dunno...but it has been done. Those are not western saddles hiding under all that stuff:





Nor does one need to carry "emergency equipment, food, bear spray, spare hoof boot, in case you loose a shoe, basic vet supplies, a slicker and a coat" while on "a lightly ridden trail horse" [from post #1, starting this thread].

Me? If I stick a cell phone in my pants pocket, I'm doing good. I sometimes take a hoof pick, but I've removed rocks with the back of my pocket knife.

"using a back cinch has been proven to have benefits by people that are ,for no better term, 'professional back country riders, so it is not some extraneous type of equipment on a western saddle"

From post #6, my first post on this thread: "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" - then a picture of my rump, which I won't repeat so y'all can save on eye wash.

And in my second post, #11, I wrote: "When someone ropes cattle, it is a different story. I can't speak to hills, since the ones I'm willing to ride up or down don't stress things the way some of our more adventurous members do when riding in places that would make me wet my pants just to look at! I also know some folks who use a rear cinch and breastcollar every time they ride, although they don't ride anything more adventurous than me. They just like the look & feel and their horse seems happy so I'm happy for them." - added underlining this time, for emphasis.

But I also got thinking about it today during my very short but very sweaty ride on Bandit...I've been known to call it quits when my bifocals get too much sweat on them. A rancher I know has a saddle. His boys have their saddles. His daughter has her saddle. They also have about 50 horses, which they ride in the mountains and in desert as tough as anywhere you could ask to ride. They have Arabians, QHs, and a lot of Appaloosas. But as I recall, they don't have a saddle for each horse, nor are they color coded - "I'm taking Buster, he's a red, gotta grab me a red saddle so it will fit him!". They pretty much use their saddle on whatever horse they grab. I'm certain they have never had custom saddles made for their horses!

On this thread long gone by, I asked if I could get away with keeping on using my CA/Martin saddle with some help:

https://www.horseforum.com/western-ri...p-side-378906/

And in post #3, smrobs nailed it: "Are you sure your saddle fits?"

But I don't have 50 horses. I suspect more than one rancher/cowboy has ridden a horse with an imperfect fitting saddle. If so, any extra help keeping the saddle on would apply. And in any case, folks who ride 50 miles in a day have a different need than I do, just as my old jogger's feet have a different need than a competitive runner.

"An Aussie saddle is a stock saddle, complete with bucking rolls, so neither an English or a traditional western saddle"

I've got two. They are old style English dressage saddles with the knee roll moved up. In essence. Used one last week. I may try it again and watch the placement more closely.

"I already said that you don't need a back cinch everywhere you ride, and if you don't need one, that is fine. But, the point is, that a back cinch does have benefits, and I believe that the Op should be aware of them, and not just given personal preferences."

Ummm...you are giving your personal preferences, based on where you ride. I'm doing likewise. I also spelled out clearly what riding I do, so she can decide if what I write applies to her.

My saddles don't slide side to side going up or down hill. But then, I don't have a ton of gear tied to them, and my saddles fit my horses pretty well. At least, during the last year they have...

But the British Cavalry sure loaded up their English saddles - they assumed 150 lbs of gear in addition to the rider - and they got by. Their saddles were not jump saddles, but they sure were not western stock saddles either.

And FWIW, here is another point that might be relevant for the OP:

My horses have good withers and inverted V backs, not mutton withers with inverted U backs. There is a reason the saddle stayed on when Trooper was cantering with the cinch bouncing against his front legs - the saddle fit on a horse whose body shape makes it easy for a saddle to stay on! During my brief ride on Bandit today, I deliberately put the cinch extra loose. We did turns in the arena and trotted, and I stuck my hand under the back of the saddle to feel how it was doing...and it was fine. But part of that is how Bandit is built - and how Mia, Lilly and Trooper were built. Not all horses come in a saddle-friendly shape. If your horse has a back like a tabletop, your needs might differ.
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post #56 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
For anyone really interested as to how to ensure optimum comfort, using a western saddle, not an English saddle, on long trail rides with lots of up and downs (not short steep hills),
I won a 50 mile competitive trail ride in Vermont riding in an English saddle. Vermont has mountains, not hills. I was not sore and could have easily done the 100 mile ride.

*I realize this has nothing to do with the OP.
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post #57 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 05:51 PM
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I use a rear cinch and a breast collar.

I noticed that a rear cinch stabilizes my saddle if I canter, especially cantering and turning (like around trees or bushes). Most rides I probably don't need it, but I keep it on there and use it just in case I do. Is it critical? Probably not, but I do feel it stabilizes my saddle. If I didn't have one, I could probably do without.

Now a breast collar I think is a very important piece of equipment. Many times I have had horses lunge up hills (cantering with giant lunging motions if the terrain is steep) and I don't usually check my cinch before hand. I want that breast collar to keep my saddle from sliding down the back of the horse if my cinch is a bit loose. Have I ever had that happen? No, but nor do I want to find out!

I also think had a breast collar save my life once or twice. A couple of times I have had horses spin out from under me and the only thing that kept my saddle (and me in it) from rolling under the horse was the breast collar. Even if I come out of the saddle, the breast collar keeps the saddle from rolling under the horse and getting destroyed by a panicked horse.

There used to be a good video on Y-tube of a cutting horse rider that had that exact thing happen, without a breast collar, and the saddle rolled completely under the horse. I wish I still had the link.

Anyway, I look at a breast collar like a seat belt. You might not need it 99% of the time, but if the crud hits the fan, I want my horse to be wearing one because it can save me and my saddle.

I have never had a breast collar pull a saddle forward, period. For that to happen, I would think it would have to be awfully tight. When I start out a trail ride, I have several inches (or more) gap in my breast collar. By the end of the ride it is tighter, but if I lift on it, there should still be a gap. If there is not, it is wayyyy too tight. It should never be tight under normal riding conditions. Only when you need it to hold the saddle in place like a seat belt. It's function is NOT to hold an ill-fitting saddle forward. It should function like a seat belt and only come into play under extreme movements.

This is my typical trail gear. Note that back cinch should probably be snugger starting out, not droopy as here, because it always get looser the more you ride. If you don't tighten it during a ride, it will be too loose the the time you get back.

I'm not a "serious" rider, but all I do is trail ride, and I really appreciate a breast collar, and to a lesser extent, the back cinch. I actually would feel unsafe without a breast collar, but I know a lot of people do fine without one.
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post #58 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by updownrider View Post
I won a 50 mile competitive trail ride in Vermont riding in an English saddle. Vermont has mountains, not hills. I was not sore and could have easily done the 100 mile ride.

*I realize this has nothing to do with the OP.
Note, I did say cross country, endurance, competitive type rides like race events, you ride with a light saddle and I realize that a stock saddle would not be the saddle of Choice for such an event.
Note, I also said that competitive rides have pit stops, both you and your horse, so different from a traIL RIDE
tHERE WAS NO PLACE THAT i SAID YOU COULD NOT RIDE ROUGH COUNTRY WITH AN eNGLISH SADDLE, AND THIS IS NOT AN ENGLISH VERSUS WESTERN DEBATE
But, if you actually ride into the back country, no cell service, no pit crew, it makes sense to use a saddle, not built for speed to cover ground, but one for practicality.
Yup, even here, competitive riders use English saddles,as that makes sense, same as race horses use light racing saddles, so settle down, read what I really wrote!
For those that trail ride, in wilderness, a stock saddle is the accepted saddle of choice, and a back cinch does have benifits on such a saddle.
Does not mean I can't ride without one ,a t times, but why take it off?
Lets hear a reason.
Far as a breast collar, don't use one if you don't also use aback cinch

BSMS, how many army horses do you think were saddle fitted? In fact, I recall someone posting here that a sore back was a major cause of those horses not being able to work
Why, do you completely dis regard anyone working in a certain horse field today, whether that be bits or now cinches/saddles and refer back to times where horses just worked, whether that equipment was comfortable or not, or whether they broke down? Think those horses had regular teeth floats , or any of the other aids our horses now enjoy, including tack that is comfortable?
In fact, I recently read a book on horses serving man, including in the great world wars, and there was reference as to how much those horses endured, due to poor fitting tack
New horses just filled the void that broken down horses, or horses to sore to work vacated
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post #59 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 07:40 PM
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Yes, you do have to tighten that back cinch, as a loose back cinch is not only useless, but dangerous. It is something I have to remind my husband about all the time, LOL! "use it or loose it )

My saddle, it is close contact





And, yes, I do own an English saddle, but I very much doubt that is what the OP was asking about, concerning the back cinch, so to get back on topic

Is there a purpose of a back cinch on a western saddle trail riding?
The answer is yes.
Does everyone need to use one, esp on short rides?
No, not if prefer not to
Can you ride in rough country with an English saddle-sure, and any rider wanting to cover distance fast, not needing to carry food, supplies ect-makes sense to use one. I'm not born yesterday, and have enough friends doing competitive rides,which feature vet stops, ect, use the lightest saddle possible, and many have also switched to glue on hoof boots versus steel shoes, as they get faster recovery rates. All interesting info, but again, nothing to do with the OP's question
Hubby also often has a rifle on his saddle, and again, aback cinch helps stabilized the saddle.
My entire point was, it is not true that a back cinch is only needed for roping. Serious back country riders use them, as they serve the purpose mentioned
I was not trying to convert everyone to 'trail riding' with a back cinch,or even a western saddle-heck, ride bareback if you wish, as trail riding can have a very wide application and mean different things to different people
In fact, when we first started packing into the back country, I rode without a back cinch for quite awhile. But, horses are a life time of learning, and I have been lucky to meet people that still spend half of the year and even all year in the mountains. Not only have we learned how to pack horses correctly from them, but how to best rig your saddle

THus to answer the Op's question, 'does aback cinch (obviously on a western stock saddle), have a purpose, trail riding?

The answer is yes-done up correctly.





I rode here, without aback cinch, many years ago, so it certainly is possible, you just learn, if you have an open mind, that there are better ways of doing things!

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post #60 of 79 Old 08-20-2015, 08:02 PM
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Smilie - Calm down, do not shout* at me again.

*Typing in capitals is considered shouting.
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