Having a poor fitting cinch can interfere with your horse’s performance. It can rub, pinch, cause sores or make the saddle roll even though it's tightened properly.

    People often make the mistake of riding with their cinch too long. Your cinch should NOT be touching your saddle pad. A good rule to follow is having 8 inches between your cinch buckle and saddle rigging, evenly spaced on both sides when the saddle is tightened. Always be sure that the middle D rings on the cinch where you hook your breast collar and back cinch, are centered between the horse’s front legs. If your cinch is off center, it can rub and cause sores between the legs. Your horse’s back will also pay the price from the uneven pressure and potentially become sore.

Cinches Make the Difference!  

    To measure your horse for a cinch, place the saddle on your horse’s back and measure from one rigging to the other going underneath your horse then subtract 16 inches (giving you 8 inches on each side). This will give you the length your cinch needs to be. I prefer to measure all of my horses because every horse is different. 

    Once you find out the correct cinch length for your horse, you need to decide what type to use. Any time I am deciding on something to use on my horse I think about how it will feel to them. I look at what will be comfortable for the horse and not cause things like rub marks, sores or even make him sensitive in that area. Many times, horses that are cinchy or touchy when tightening the cinch, will relax once they have a girth that fits and is comfortable to them. When I look at a neoprene girth I imagine pulling that across my hair or wearing it in the heat and decide against that type of material. We have been using wool girths for many years because of wool’s ability to wick away heat & moisture and for the comfort it provides. Toklat and Circle Y are two of our favorite girths to use.

No matter what cinch you choose, be sure it is the right size and be sure you keep it clean. It not only keeps your horse more comfortable and prevents sores but also extends the life of your cinch.  A clean, correctly fitted cinch will allow your horse to have the opportunity to achieve maximum performance.