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Western riders-do you use...back cinch? breastcollar? halter under bridle?

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  • Western riders-do you use...back cinch? breastcollar? halter under bridle?

    I was tacking up today (and struggling with punching some new holes in my girths, as missy seems to have put on a little weight), and because my hole punching job was kind of crappy I gave myself some psychological backup by tying the front cinch end up around the metal ring (usually just loop it through a slot on the saddle) and then I put my breast collar on, which I don't usually ride with much, except on rugged trails or for mounted games. Then I wondered how many other riders who use Western saddles always use the back cinch.

    Sorry, I don't necessarily know the correct names of all the western saddle parts...

    Do any of you never use a back cinch? use it only for certain kinds of riding?

    What about a breast collar? Sometimes? Always? Never?

    What other accessories do you guys usually or always ride with?

    Just curious...

    ETA: I thought of another accessory - what about riding with a halter under the bridle (or one of those combo halter/bridles)?
    Last edited by twofatponies; Sep. 27, 2009, 02:59 PM.

  • #2
    Back cinch- never, don't have one on my current saddle. Would use one if I got into reining or cattle work more and had a different saddle.

    Breastcollar- not daily, just for trail riding if there are lots of hills. Daily trail riding has hills, but nothing that requires the use of one.


    • #3
      My saddle doesnt have a back cinch, and I dont own a breast collar.


      • #4
        Only the breast collar for trails. That really helps to prevent the saddle from slipping with hills.


        • #5
          I use a back cinch all the time; breast collar only for hilly trails.

          I'm very lucky to have one of those horses who's easy to fit a saddle to. My saddle fits great and stays in place over hill and dale, but I still use a breast collar for hilly trails just in case. Also, my breast collar is really pretty, so that factors into my decision too.

          I always use a back cinch for trails because my friend once got ejected from her saddle and had a bad fall. She was getting off her horse on a hill; horse put her head down at the wrong moment, and friend's saddle flipped up, dumping her onto a rock. Ouch. She always rides with a back cinch now.

          It was a freak accident, but I also use a back cinch now just because I figure a little extra security can't be a bad thing. It stays on my saddle and I use it all the time.

          Another friend has a flat-backed, mutton-withered horse who's been extremely difficult to fit. She rides with front & back cinch, breast collar, AND crupper, and needs them all to keep her horse comfortable.


          • #6
            I use a back cinch, breastcollar, and crupper on all rides. And for those of you that do use a back cinch, please keep it snugged up to the horse's belly. A hanging rear cinch is just waiting for a stick or leg to get caught up in it. I don't know how many times I've seen the back cinch hanging down several inches from the belly.
            Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


            • #7
              Always for the breastcollar. It helps keep the saddle in place without cutting my hosses in half with the cinch. Flank cinch on all saddles but one, it is the synthetic that doesn't have a ring, just a slot cut into the fabric. It doesn't look like it would be strong enough to do anything. Always, Always make sure the flank cinch is attached to the girth with a connector so the flank doesn't slip back too far. I have seen horses take offense to this and do some serious bucking!! And also keep the flank from hanging too low as Mtn Trails said.

              Anything that keeps my saddle secure and my horse comfy is worth the extra time tacking up.
              Just cause you move to Texas, doesn't mean you are a Texan. After all, if a cat puts her kittens in the oven, It doesn't make them Bisquits.


              • #8
                Neither, although I recently bought a connector strap for my back cinch and plan on using it eventually. My saddle doesn't seem to slip, so no breast collar. Seems like just another thing to chafe and bind, so why use it if it isn't needed, unless you want it for looks?


                • Original Poster

                  I had a western saddle flip up on me years and years ago when I was on a rental trail horse on some vacation ride! A scary moment, though the saddle settled back down and nothing came of it.

                  I use the back cinch with that moment in mind (and yes, with a connector and snugged up).

                  The breast collar - well, I've never had the saddle slip. It fits well and I use a shaped felt pad and I don't think the saddle has ever moved. But I do like the way the breast collar looks! But it is another piece of tack to clean, so I sometimes leave it off.

                  My next plan is to add saddle bags of some kind.


                  • #10
                    Pretty much the same as Mtn Trails. Always breast collar and rear girth snugged up. Just put the crupper back on today- the 6 yo has gone butt high on me and needs it again. Rode on some steeps last weekend and the danged saddle slid forward on the downhills a good 4 inches. Let me add, he was MUCH happier today with the crupper in place, not that he ever particularly complains much, he's a saint.


                    • #11
                      I use a breast collar every time we hit the trails, but never a back cinch or crupper. Don't own one.
                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                      <>< I.I.


                      • #12
                        Like others, depends on which saddle, one has a back cinch, the one I mainly ride in doesn't. Always use a breast collar on trails for hills. Don't own a crouper.
                        A Merrick N Dream Farm
                        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                        • #13
                          I always ride with a back cinch and a breast collar. My riding varies between trails and logging roads that have steep areas, schooling in fields and working cattle. I grew up riding that way, so the little extra maintenance on a few more pieces of leather doesn't bother me and I make sure everything is properly fitted so that there is no rubbing or galling. I've never ridden with or owned a crupper.


                          • #14
                            I ride in a Bob Marshall treeless endurance saddle. No to the back cinch, and yes always to a Zilco endurance breast collar. Don't own a crupper, never used one either. I ride with a loose girth so the Zilco helps to stabilize a bit.

                            Here's some pics of my horse and her setup. These photos are from the last 2 weeks.




                            • #15
                              I always use a back cinch and a breast collar. I ride in the mountains, lots of up and down over rugged terrain.


                              • #16
                                Rear Cinch
                                Breast Collar
                                Leather saddle bags
                                External speakers for my Ipod (lol, my horse is a walking music machine)
                                Water bottle holder (or wine holder)
                                Split reins
                                Leg wraps if riding in rough terrain
                                The Galloping Grape
                                Warrenton, VA


                                • Original Poster

                                  Which external speakers??? Are they weather proof? that's too cool.


                                  • #18
                                    Back cinch, every time. Makes me nuts when I see the back cinch billets flapping free because the rider doesn't use the cinch. If the saddle was designed for using back cinch, you darned well USE one!

                                    As for punching holes through thick leather, there's a wonderful hole puncher you can get through SmartPak -- the Herm Sprenger hole punch. It's expensive, but oh SO worth it if you have western tack! effortless!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by JeanM View Post
                                      Back cinch, every time. Makes me nuts when I see the back cinch billets flapping free because the rider doesn't use the cinch. If the saddle was designed for using back cinch, you darned well USE one!

                                      As for punching holes through thick leather, there's a wonderful hole puncher you can get through SmartPak -- the Herm Sprenger hole punch. It's expensive, but oh SO worth it if you have western tack! effortless!
                                      This was unfortunately one of those nylon webbing girth parts (the part that's attached to the saddle, and you buckle it down through the fleece girth part). So I ended up cutting a small hole in it, then using matches to try to melt the edges. I ended up with a really lopsided slit-like hole, but it's actually working fine. Maybe I'll replace that with leather sometime.

                                      And the tip on the hole punch is appreciated, because I never have any except some old rusty one lying around the barn that doesn't work well at all! I'll get myself a proper one.


                                      • #20
                                        GG - Yes, please tell us more about your speakers. My husband has been asking for these!