Western cinch question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Western cinch question

I guess I can skip the backstory. My question is, why do Western cinches have holes if everyone just ties them instead of using the holes? What's the point? And why DOES everyone tie them?

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post #2 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 09:57 AM
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Depends on the person you are talking to and the area you are in. When I was in TX and around those that rode western or I was using a western saddle on one of my mares I tied. That was what I was taught and that was how it was done. I am rarely around western riders here but when I have been they buckle. Same as the tie it locks the cinch in place. Takes practice to get either comfortable and safe. Done correctly either work. Difference would be you can use a holed and tie but you cannot use one with holes on a buckle.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 10:03 AM
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I tie most of my western saddles, but I have one that leaves am uncomfortable lump under my leg when it's tied. That one gets buckled. I prefer them tied because I can adjust them as much as I want to instead of having to reach the next hole. However, if the ring is in the wrong place compared to the fender, it's nice to have the option of buckling.
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 10:13 AM
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A western cinch/girth/latigo (? whatever) leather strap is almost always sold with punched holes because not everybody ties them off, and not having the holes would preclude using them with a buckle-type cinch w/o additional work. In fact, in our trail riding club I see riders use the buckle about 2:1 over simply tying, and many have gone to a "Y" rigging instead of a traditional rear cinch.
I will comment that tying the strap allows you to get just the right tension whereas using a buckle you have to pick the closest hole (or punch a new one).
I use a "Y" rigging on my western/endurance saddles, with a Weaver Leather "Smart Cinch" (the "Airflex Roper" model for the past several years; highly recommended), and never tie the leather strap. I do punch a couple of intermediate holes between the ones provided to allow a more precise adjustment.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 10:34 AM
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I don't know anyone who ties. All buckle. Even roping. Or riding green horses.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 11:20 AM
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How me it depends on what saddle I am riding.

On my cowhorse saddle it has in skirt rigging so I prefer to use the tongue buckle on the cinch so there isn't a lump or anything for my stirrup leathers to get hung up on for smooth full range.

My cowboy saddle has a drop plate rigging. I rarely use the tongue buckle on the cinch. I method I use isn't the farmer knot most people use when tying their latigo. It works well, even roping which freaks people out who have never seen or used it.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 03:07 PM
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I buckle 95% of the time. My saddle have in-skirt or drop-plate rigging, and a knot sits right under my leg. The buckle is flat, secure, and safe if you use a leather latigo and tighten it properly.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 03:43 PM
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I always did both. back when I rode Western.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 05:36 PM
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I have the leather latigo and buckle my cinch. Haven't tied a western cinch in many years.

Everyone one I ride with that's western buckles cinch.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-02-2020, 06:04 PM
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We also delved into latigos........knot vs. buckles, leather vs. nylon, in this thread:


I personally have one saddle with dropped rigging that I use a buckle with. And one saddle with the rigging on the tree that I use the knot. The knot was the first way I learned, and I like that I don't have to worry about where the holes are. But with the dropped rigging I like less bulk under my leg. Anyway, check out the thread above.
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