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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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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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I tighten till she squeaks :wink: 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 :wink::lol:
 

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i tighten until i can fit 2 fingers between(not lying flat against her side, the other way, lol).
 

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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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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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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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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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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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I always put my fingers in the "gap" behind his elbow and slide down. The girth puts the most pressure on the sternum which is right in the middle. So just putting your fingers on the side is not really a good way to judge because some girths might feel looser/tighter at that part depending on the shape of the horse. The sternum is really the important part for judging tightness.

Just thought I'd mention that since no one else brought it up.
 

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I tighten mine differently on each horse, I find it depends on how high the wither is - the higher the wither the looser the cinch. I tend to ride with a pretty loose cinch anyways though. I check from under my horse (not on the side) and make sure I can fit all my fingers through. Normally I don't tighten it again unless I get off and have to get back on or if the saddle starts to move.

When I get on and the saddle slides it's too loose! If not I just go with it. I've never had any problems with this.
 

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I've never felt how tight I have it on his sternum...I'll have to do that the next time I cinch.

I usually like to be able to get my hand between the buckle and the horse. For my own horses, I girth a little looser because they both have high withers and I use a built up cut back pad which helps hold the saddle in place. I do have rather small long hands, so my hand is probably three fingers for most guys. I know that my two fingers in a curb and my instructors are waaay different.
 

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I tighten mine tight. My horse is mutton withered so no matter what it will slide. My friend tightens it to the point I swear my horse can't breath which is why she is becoming cinchy :( I will have to make sure she doesn't tighten it to the point it pinches the crap out of her and that she is comfortable.
I personally can't tighten a cinch really tight so my friend helps me but I know she tightens it too much so I will have to mention she makes it too tight.
 

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I tighten as tight as I can, and after 10 minutes I could probably tighten it more... I'm terrified of a saddle sliding loose on me... When I was 6, I watched our neighbor fall down across a 6-strand barbed wire fence because her saddle was too loose... After seeing her back look like it'd been run through a grater, I make sure that my saddles are tight...

Neither of my horses seems to have a problem with it either, and I've never had a problem...
 

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I tighten as tight as I can, and after 10 minutes I could probably tighten it more... I'm terrified of a saddle sliding loose on me... When I was 6, I watched our neighbor fall down across a 6-strand barbed wire fence because her saddle was too loose... After seeing her back look like it'd been run through a grater, I make sure that my saddles are tight...

Neither of my horses seems to have a problem with it either, and I've never had a problem...
I tighten it really tight......... and then lunge/walk around, then tighten it again.
 

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depends on what im doing with the horse. if im just schooling i cinch up tight enough that i can still get my hand snug between the cinch and the horse.
if im trick riding, it's done tight! i trick out in the open at the back of the property and cant afford my saddle slipping.
if im riding a problem horse with an attitude i cinch up alittle tighter than i would for general schooling.
 

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I tighten it from side to side until it's snug on the bottom. I don't even check the sides anymore, haha. But since I always use the same girth/saddle combo, it generally just put the girth on the 4th hole on each side (gradually) then check it real fast when I get in the arena.
 

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I tighten it a bunch of times, gradually. The first time I tighten it just so the girth is resting on him with very little air between him and the girth, nothing constricting. Then, after I've bridled, I'll bring it up another hole so it's a little more fitting but still not completely there. Then I'll tighten it most of the way/all the way when I enter the arena, and I'll check it right before I get on to make sure. I find it is easier on them to tighten gradually like this and makes the tightness more 'accurate' as it lessens the effect of bloating. If I'm jumping, I'll have my trainer check it again before I go over anything. When it's fully tightened, I want to be able to fit 2-3 fingers between him and the girth snugly on the bottom of his barrel, but it shouldn't be a valiant struggle to get them in there.
 
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