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Tell me about cinches

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  • Tell me about cinches

    Hi! I bought an Abetta endurance saddle recently and am new to the western thing. (English rider over 35 years.) I love it however! I'm sticking like an SOB and am much more comfortable trail riding...

    Is a neoprene cinch good or does that cause sores? Other trail riders keep recommending this?

    I was sold this fake fleece girth with a brown nylon/canvas on the outside, is that a good one? It seems to be nice. And, if you use this girth, how often do you clean it/throw it in the washer? Any washing recommendations?

    What is the best?

    What is the worst cinch?

    And, isn't sorta weird that we're "tying" the saddle on with this knot? It seems to work but it does seem a bit archaic...
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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  • #2
    Mohair girths are the best and the most expensive. Fleece is ok, its better if it is 100% wool, not synthetic, as it will wick away mosture better. Either way, you will always have to check for burrs in your fleece girth. Felt is excellent... check out all of the Weaver Smart Cinches, mohair, string and felt, they are so easy to cinch and just a good, reasonable product. Neoprene is ok, I'm not a fan but alot of folks love them. They are easy to hose off. Clean your girths when they look dirty, depends on how much your ride, etc. I have string girths and just rinse them off under the hose. I don't like to use alot of soap products, incase I don't get it all rinsed out. It could irritate. Good luck!
    Kim
    The Galloping Grape
    Warrenton, VA
    http://www.GallopingGrape.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I love my mohair dressage girth. Best thing on the planet, in my opinion, for my horse when we're out on the trail.

      pines4equines, I've got an Abetta saddle myself, and couldn't figure out how to secure the western cinch. In theory, I know how, but I just can't make my fingers do it, no matter how hard I try. I was an English rider too, and coming from the two-buckle girth background, I couldn't figure out the single buckle and the latigo tie strap and all that wonderful Western goodness.

      So... I cheat. Actually, I've noticed that it's becoming a trend for trail saddles (both western-style endurance and regular western) to have english billets. Sure saves time out on the trail when you have to tighten a girth. So I also like the v-rigging. Keeps the saddle very steady and secure. I got these centerfire rigging straps at Horses Dacor. They're like biothane or something. They go on the rings of the saddle. I was inspired by a picture I saw of someone using an Abetta endurance saddle with a single-tie v-rigging set up, but I wanted to do it with billets.

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...ers_grove3.jpg
      http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v1...llwood4_27.jpg
      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...et_saddle5.jpg

      You can kind of see how they fit on my Haflinger there. Plus, another shot of my saddle on another horse.

      http://www.horsesdacor.com/HorsesDac.../Billets.shtml

      And the billets I use.
      "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hay

        Thank you so much! And, galloping grape: especially reminding me about burrs. I'm kinda a fuss pot about that sort of stuff.

        Also, thanks for all the photos dreamswept. Yeah, I'm still figuring out the tying thing and actually did from up in the saddle the other day. Made mess of it but it did stay tight.

        And, I like your girth situation. However, another problem I'm having and maybe I'm tightening too tight is that single latigo strap...just seems so thin. I like the fact that the English is much wider and spreads the tightness over a larger area...
        Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
        One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
        Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Hay again

          Galloping grape: Why are you not a fan of neoprene? What are some of the issues?
          Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
          One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
          Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

          Comment


          • #6
            I prefer neoprene. I've used just about everything over the years but when it comes to endurance distance, I've never had a rub from neoprene but I have from felt, mohair and leather.

            Comment


            • #7
              neoprene by nature is hot. There's a reason wetsuits are neoprene, it's cold underwater

              I have one that I use on ONE horse b/c it's a roper style (wider in the middle) and he seems happy in it and he can be a little fussy about narrower girths, and I had it, so many years later here we are. It's never ever galled him and he's my highest mileage horse (not endurance, but a TON of trails and hard riding in hot Alabama). The cinch is nice in that it doesn't collect anything but a little hair, no burrs, etc

              On everyone else I find myself liking the Weaver Smart cinch with felt lining. Doesn't collect burrs like fleecy girths or string girths do, and the roller on the buckle makes girthing up easy, even with sweaty, sticky latigos.

              I use a nylon latigo on the offside, and a leather on the near side. I just like the leather better and it gives in a pinch when nylon just doesn't...like a jump out of a creek, or over a log...just has a little better feel to it.

              You can punch holes in your latigos and buckle the girth that way, or master the knot. It's not that hard a knot to figure, LOL, and allows for precise adjustment.

              PS I HATE the nylon latigos that Abetta provides- stiff and unfeeling. You can get better ones at the tack shop, that have a better hand/feel to them, easier to tie.

              Comment


              • #8
                To me the 100% Mohair string girth/cinch is the best for equine comfort. Its the only thing I use anymore, western or english.
                www.LoveHorsepower.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  you can get a Western to English converter from Cashel and use an english girth if you like. I currently use a english to western converter on my english saddle so I can use a western cinch--I have terrible arthritis with resulting finger/grip weakness that can make tightening an english girth very problematic. The dreaded latigo knot bothers me not at all. I have felt cinches, a neoprene cinch and a waffle neoprene cinch. None have sored either of my horses yet. Come to think of it, none of my horses ever has had a girth/cinch sore.

                  The waffle neoprene, like the waffle pads and liners, seems to help with slippage issues. And the sweat drips right through it, so seemingly that helps with any heat problem.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use the neoprene. I hose it off after every ride. I've never had a problem with them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have seen that sometimes neoprene can break down with extended exposure to sweat. Not all horses, not all cinches, but some.

                      I like a PVC/Neoprene combination. I have one that I use ocassionally.

                      I like wool the best. Easy to clean, breathes, etc. I just rionse it off and brush it out when I am done riding.

                      As for the western tie- that was the first way I was taught to tack up a horse, so it is second nature to me, and I do not give it another thought. You can rig it in so many ways these days- you just need certain attachments. I think it is just a personal preference.

                      Can you shop around in Denver? Reinsman has an Air Flex cinch that I LOVE, and wish they had it in English.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with Katarine on this one. I love the Tuffy, Pro-craft, or Weaver girths - canvas on the outside, felt on the inside. I can use a slick-n-easy block to brush off hair when the horse is shedding. They wash easily and are cheap enough to have several.

                        For cinching, I also like one side nylon and one side leather.
                        I rarely do the knot. I have learned how to use the buckle and it's much smoother. The Weaver roller girths are awesome.

                        I had the worst time with Neoprene - I had the limestone stuff - the waffly inside and my horse sweated too much and it caused the saddle to slip. Another gal's horse overheated big time with a neoprene pad and girth... I think they may be okay for short sessions (the pads) but not for multiple hour trail riding.

                        The fluffy stuff catches too many seeds and burrs; packs down and is hard to clean.
                        Same for mohair - although I still love mohair for arena work. I think it looks SO much better when showing. (I have a roper style, mohair and leather)

                        Last, but not least are leather girths. Very similar to typical leather girths - can also be found tooled. Usually quite expensive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with Diamond Jake, they tend to break down, and crack around the edges after time and get hot - some, not all. They are not breathable. I think the human invented them so they could just hose them off, easy for us, but icky for the horse to wear. Some horses that are thin skinned will get galls, others will not. I just prefer something with a bit more give and softness. String, mohair, felt, wool... all excellent girths.
                          Kim
                          The Galloping Grape
                          Warrenton, VA
                          http://www.GallopingGrape.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As for cinching... just remember to tie it like a mans tie. Otherwise, you can just use the buckle holes, pull it tight and loop the extra in the girth strap holder. It will be less bulky under your leg. If anyone does not understand this, let me know. I can take pictures for you!
                            Kim
                            The Galloping Grape
                            Warrenton, VA
                            http://www.GallopingGrape.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If your just going to trail ride and not do serious Endurance riding like me,(although, I just started riding with my English saddle) I find a neoprene girth fine. Only problems I had is when the girth was not the correct length and sat right behind her front elbows.

                              The knot is archaic As Galloping Grape pointed out, there is a MUCH MUCH easier way. And that is to loop the latigo using the holes.

                              Hard to explain, unless someone at your barn can show you? Or if GG could post pictures.

                              Once the nylon latigo strap breaks in, I've found them to be fine to use and never switched to leather.

                              http://www.western-saddle-guide.com/...ern-cinch.html
                              Go down to STEP 7 - for the method that is the easiest. Hope this helps..
                              MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                              http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
                                If your just going to trail ride and not do serious Endurance riding like me,(although, I just started riding with my English saddle) I find a neoprene girth fine.

                                Neoprene works fine for me for endurance- 50+ miles. I wouldnt use anything else.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by dreamswept View Post
                                  I love my mohair dressage girth. Best thing on the planet, in my opinion, for my horse when we're out on the trail.

                                  pines4equines, I've got an Abetta saddle myself, and couldn't figure out how to secure the western cinch. In theory, I know how, but I just can't make my fingers do it, no matter how hard I try. I was an English rider too, and coming from the two-buckle girth background, I couldn't figure out the single buckle and the latigo tie strap and all that wonderful Western goodness.

                                  So... I cheat. Actually, I've noticed that it's becoming a trend for trail saddles (both western-style endurance and regular western) to have english billets. Sure saves time out on the trail when you have to tighten a girth. So I also like the v-rigging. Keeps the saddle very steady and secure. I got these centerfire rigging straps at Horses Dacor. They're like biothane or something. They go on the rings of the saddle. I was inspired by a picture I saw of someone using an Abetta endurance saddle with a single-tie v-rigging set up, but I wanted to do it with billets.

                                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...ers_grove3.jpg
                                  http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v1...llwood4_27.jpg
                                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...et_saddle5.jpg

                                  You can kind of see how they fit on my Haflinger there. Plus, another shot of my saddle on another horse.

                                  http://www.horsesdacor.com/HorsesDac.../Billets.shtml

                                  And the billets I use.
                                  I know I've asked you this before...but I cannot remember your answer.

                                  Are the billets you use...are they the regular width of english billets on a saddle? I want to get them [I still haven't], and I have an english string girth already I'd like to use if the straps aren't too wide.
                                  (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by dreamswept View Post
                                    So... I cheat. Actually, I've noticed that it's becoming a trend for trail saddles (both western-style endurance and regular western) to have english billets. Sure saves time out on the trail when you have to tighten a girth. So I also like the v-rigging. Keeps the saddle very steady and secure. I got these centerfire rigging straps at Horses Dacor. They're like biothane or something. They go on the rings of the saddle. I was inspired by a picture I saw of someone using an Abetta endurance saddle with a single-tie v-rigging set up, but I wanted to do it with billets.
                                    I should have read this last week, before I ordered a western to english girth converter -- The converter I bought is wider than the rigging ring on my new Abetta --
                                    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Neoprene will break down over time, becoming brittle and more apt to cause galls. I use neoprene gear carefully, and discard it after one season of heavy to frequent use - or when I start seeing the cracking/brittleness. I have seen horses - and have one horse - that gall easily even from soft new neoprene. Heat + sweat is what I think causes the rapid degeneration.

                                      Mohair is best, I'll echo the others who said this. It's also expensive and takes some time to clean - a washing machine isn't necessarily the best choice for natural mohair. Watch out for fake mohair -lots of girths "say" mohair, but much of it is a polyester fake blend, like the fake "fleece" or felt that isn't actually wool felt.

                                      Second to mohair, I like a good 100% wool felt. Then come the fake mohair cinches, and trailing behind are the neoprene ones.

                                      I prefer english billets for ease of use, but over the years have become so accustomed to the western rigging on endurance saddles that I can flip a knot around in almost the same amount of time I can adjust a billet. Nothing worse than working a knot with a stiff, filthy leather strap, though, and I've had latigo break too often....I am using nylon right now, and am pretty happy with its durability and ease of use.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I love my mohair cinches. I tried the neoprenes and they sored every one of my horses. I also use the roper style cinch since the wider center seems to be more comfortable, spreading the pressure out over a larger area. To clean, I use Woolite in the washer and then drip dry.
                                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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