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Western Cinch Sizing?

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  • Western Cinch Sizing?

    I just bought my first western saddle, mostly for trail riding and such. My eventer is quite adorable going from his competition gear to his western duds!

    I was using a borrowed girth, but have returned it, and don't know what size it was. I need to buy one but I'm not sure what size to get. He wears a 48" long girth and I think a 28" dressage girth (I'd have to go look...). What size would he likely take in a western cinch?

    Also reading the other thread on western cinches with interest....I'm such a newbie!

  • #2
    I would help us to know the size of your horse. My mustang is a 15hh large wide bodied model. He uses a 46", 26" in english. Depending on my saddle, I use a 28-32" girth. I use a 28" western cinch now because my saddle has drop rigging. My paso uses a 28" cinch on centerfire rigging. It is not exact.

    Good Luck. Welcome to a whole new world.
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, mustangtrailrider! He is a 14.3hh Percheron/TB cross who is VERY drafty....looks like a small Percheron. He is big boned but not exceptionally wide, as he is more "oval" shaped than round. Here are pics:



      • #4
        My mare uses a 28-30 dressage girth and a 36" western cinch. I guess she could go smaller with the cinch but I like the buckle to be well above the elbow area.


        • #5
          you'd be safe with a 32 or at most a 34.


          • #6
            Wow Flypony, What a gorgeous hony! That hony looks like fun. Congratulations! You could easily do a 32-34" cinch. Another idea, just to make sure, is to measure from elbow to elbow, or where the cinch would go. I like my cinch above the elbows as well. Good Luck! I like western. I had to ask for help for my english saddle. I had no idea other that trial & error.
            Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

            Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


            • #7
              Originally posted by flypony74 View Post
              Thanks, mustangtrailrider! He is a 14.3hh Percheron/TB cross who is VERY drafty....looks like a small Percheron. He is big boned but not exceptionally wide, as he is more "oval" shaped than round. Here are pics:

              Having a similiar type of horse, fjordX, I use a 34-36 inch girth. Is your new saddle a regular western, or a dropped rigging? Do you have a picture of your new saddle?

              Here is my guy in one of my western saddles and a 34 fits him well as the tie rings are a little lower than my other saddle.

              I have gone to 100% mohair on all my girths. I had Pro Choice girths but my arab started galling. No more galling with the mohair and it stretches with them when they breathe, but stay nice and tight.

              Billy Cook makes a few really nice mohair girths. Smart Cinches are nice, too. For easier tightening, get roller buckles. Also, if your saddle came with nylon latigo or off billets, trade them out for leather. You will be much happier.

              Enjoy your adorable guy western.


              • #8
                Measure from just above the elbow to just above the elbow for an accurate measurement! What a pretty pony!!!
                The Galloping Grape
                Warrenton, VA


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the input! Craz4crtrs, your FjordX looks to be built a lot like my guy.

                  Here is a pic of the saddle. It is not fancy but with a good cleaning it will be a nice, serviceable saddle for what we'll be doing. I went with a Tex Tan because I've ridden my guy several times in a friend's, which is a very similar fit/model, and it fits and works well for both of us. I do plan to replace the nylon latigo with leather for sure.

                  I've been looking at the Smart Cinches and really like the looks of those...I'm a freak about roller buckles on all of my english girths, so that is probably the attraction. I just wasn't sure whether to go with a mohair or wool felt lined. My guy will occasionally gall...so what do you suggest? I'm leaning towards mohair.

                  And what about a rear cinch? Do I need one for trail riding? If so, do they come in different sizes? What do I need to look for?

                  Off to measure the hony. And yes, he is a heck of a lot of fun...really a good guy.


                  • #10
                    Weaver Smart Cinch for sure! Felt is wonderful and wicks moisture. Mohair is excellent as well but double the cost. http://gallopinggrape.com/weaversmar...dstraight.aspx
                    You don't HAVE to have a rear cinch, but I always ride with one. It stablizes the rear of the saddle, keeps the rear of the saddle from swinging and lifting. Its not a necessity, but will help in the fit of the saddle. Does your new saddle fit your lovely horse?
                    The Galloping Grape
                    Warrenton, VA


                    • #11
                      To ensure adequate fit of your girth... the rings at each end need to be above the horse's elbows and at the same height on both sides of the horse. You don't want a girth that is so long that it is up too high on one side. The center of the girth should be at the midline of the horse.

                      (I usually start with the center of the girth a little towards the off-side, because as I walk the horse and re-tighten, it usually comes towards the center by then.)

                      Avoid using the bottom most hole on the off-side billet/ cinch when attaching the girth.

                      I like the wool /felt lined cordura/canvas girths.


                      • #12
                        While you are getting a cinch, get a pair of stirrup hobbles. It isn't safe not to have those on your saddle. Those are the little straps that go right above the stirrups to keep the leathers and fender all together. A branch or even bouncing along at the canter could cause a stirrup to loosen and come off.

                        If your saddle has full qh bars, which it looks to most likely have, it should fit your horse very nicely.

                        Mohair doesn't gall and is the softest on my horses. I have a Cushings arabian with super thin skin. Felt, waffle pvc and neoprene all galled him. The mohair doesn't.


                        • Original Poster

                          Saddle isn't here yet, but it does have FQHB, which is the same as my friend's saddle that fits him really well, so if all the stars line up right it "should" fit him. If not, I got a really good deal on it, so I'll just sell it and find something else. But fingers are crossed.

                          Okay, you guys have got me sold on the Smart Cinch...I'll have to drop by my local shop and see what is going to work best within my budget, mohair or felt. Does one or the other tend to help stabilize the saddle better? My guy doesn't have much in the wither department!

                          I will definitely pick up some stirrup hobbles....had that on my list with the cinch, leather latigo, and leather off billet. I have a new 5 Star pad that I really like. Now what about the back girth? Where do I buy a decent one (not sure the local tack shop will have one), and what size would you recommend? Do I need a breastcollar for trail riding?

                          Thanks for helping the stupid!! Now if anyone needs advice on x-c boots, a nice dressage pad, etc, I'm your gal. But I'm pretty clueless about this western stuff...learning, tho!


                          • #14
                            A breast collar is always a good idea.... as for the rear cinch, they only come in one size... You'll snug it up just enough so it is not hanging. Its not supposed to be as tight as the front cinch..... PM me if you need one. I have several here.
                            The Galloping Grape
                            Warrenton, VA