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View Full Version : Length and placement of a cinch on horse barrel?



SherlocksPonies
Jun. 12, 2012, 02:11 PM
OK, this is a really stupid question...and am unsure just how to word it...

I have been riding Western about a year or so, spent mannnny years riding English. Fitting a girth to an English saddle is no big deal to me...but cinches are still confusing to me.

I am unsure if I have the correct length of cinch...how far from the edge of a Western saddle should the edge of the cinch be? Or to put it a different way, how much of the horse's barrel should a western cinch cover?

I don't want to make the horse uncomfortable nor do I want to have the saddle slip or have the cinch interfere with my leg.

This is really hard to ask in words, but I don't have a way to put up a pic.

:confused::confused::confused:

Tamara in TN
Jun. 12, 2012, 02:15 PM
I don't want to make the horse uncomfortable nor do I want to have the saddle slip or have the cinch interfere with my leg.

This is really hard to ask in words, but I don't have a way to put up a pic.

:confused::confused::confused:

I like both sides to be balanced and the actual length is really of no consequence to me but I guess if you were being picky maybe 8 inches to either side

Tamara

UrbanHennery
Jun. 12, 2012, 03:00 PM
I've been told by a couple of saddle fitters that 6-8" is correct on a Western saddle. As for placement, it depends on how the saddle is rigged (full, 3/4, 7/8, etc). You should place the saddle on the horses back in the correct place and then pull the cinch directly under the barrel - sometimes this will mean that the saddle doesn't actually fit (if the rigging places the cinch too far back or forward). Generally, the cinch is going to fall a hands-width or so behind the horses armpit - sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less.

www.horsesaddleshop.com (http://www.horsesaddleshop.com) has pretty good information about fitting/placing/understanding Western saddles at:
http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/western-saddle-guide.html

Leather
Jun. 12, 2012, 03:07 PM
According to these folks, the cinch should be long enough to clear the elbow but short enough to be below the widest part of the ribcage.

http://www.equipedic.com/Measure_Cinches_Girths.htm

I'd probably be more concerned with the elbow part than the widest part of the ribcage, since English girths likely go above this and stay on just fine.

SherlocksPonies
Jun. 12, 2012, 04:01 PM
Thanks, everyone! And, leather, I've bookmarked that info and tomorrow I'll measure and see what I find out! :yes:

SuckerForHorses
Jun. 12, 2012, 04:35 PM
Definitely make sure the girth buckle is high enough that is will clear the elbow/armpit. A buckle in the armpit will rub and cause sores. And then make sure it's even on each side.

SuckerForHorses
Jun. 12, 2012, 04:38 PM
"If you take a string and hold it on one side of the horse at a point 3-4" above the elbow, and then run it under your horse to the opposite side at the same point (3-4" above the elbow) you will have measured the length of the cinch/girth you horse needs. Simply place the string against a yard stick or tape measure and you will have the exact length. May people who use 30"-34" cinches/girths will be very surprised by what they find. The length for most horse’s will be between 24-26" no matter how tall, big, or type of confirmation. Some horses will be less."

In the case with my mare, I completely disagree. The buckle on my girth is about 3", so if I were to run the string 3 to 4 inches above her elbow, that would put the buckle almost directly behind her elbow, where it doesn't belong. At least 1 inch of it would be in the wrong place. I use a 34" girth on her, and the buckle doesn't interfere, and isn't placed close to the saddle either. I'll stick wtih what works.

SherlocksPonies
Jun. 12, 2012, 06:37 PM
Ok, I did run outside and do the string test...kind of came up with a similar result to yours, SuckerForHorses...!

SO...how about a good general concept of "make sure the cinch buckle doesn't interfere with the elbow's action, have it up far enough to safely secure the saddle and that's how it should fit"...?:lol:

I THOUGHT that the cinch I tried on my new little mare was too long...BUT...from what I have now read and measured, perhaps we were ok...she certainly did not object and acted just fine. I was the worrywart.:winkgrin:

OveroHunter
Jun. 13, 2012, 10:47 AM
I wish some of these websites would post pics, but I'm not sure I'm visualizing this correctly...

UrbanHennery
Jun. 13, 2012, 04:32 PM
This photo shows pretty good cinch length and placement
http://www.moonrakerqh.com/tack/gfx/tackup.jpg

sterling2000
Jun. 13, 2012, 07:27 PM
My mare is 15.2hh and 1100lbs. She wears a 48" Professional's Choice hunt girth and a 32" mohair or rayon string cinch. The buckles sit about six or eight inches below the saddle skirt. For just keeping the saddle on, unless your horse has conformation that forbids this (such as a big elbow or very forward girth groove) if you have doubts about the size, go down a bit. You can make a cinch that is four inches too small work out, but one that is four inches too big don't work out. If you are going to show, start with a few inexpensive cinches and work from there. You can keep a saddle on with a too-small cinch, not a too-large one.

By the way, solid cinches (leather, neoprene, felt, etc.) fit differently than string cinches (rayon or mohair). String cinches tend to be a bit more "stretchy" and fit a bit longer than a solid cinch so keep that in mind.

CR Gorge Girl
Jun. 13, 2012, 08:18 PM
My mare is 15.2hh and 1100lbs. She wears a 48" Professional's Choice hunt girth and a 32" mohair or rayon string cinch. The buckles sit about six or eight inches below the saddle skirt. For just keeping the saddle on, unless your horse has conformation that forbids this (such as a big elbow or very forward girth groove) if you have doubts about the size, go down a bit. You can make a cinch that is four inches too small work out, but one that is four inches too big don't work out. If you are going to show, start with a few inexpensive cinches and work from there. You can keep a saddle on with a too-small cinch, not a too-large one.

By the way, solid cinches (leather, neoprene, felt, etc.) fit differently than string cinches (rayon or mohair). String cinches tend to be a bit more "stretchy" and fit a bit longer than a solid cinch so keep that in mind.

Re: the stretchy aspect. This is especially true with alpaca cinches. Love mine to death, but it stretched a LOT.

UrbanHennery
Jun. 14, 2012, 12:12 AM
That's very true - both of my horses use a 32" neoprene cinch (with a bit of stretch in it) but a 30" mohair string cinch because it stretches more.