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Conversion from cinch to girth for a trail saddle - any downsides?

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  • Conversion from cinch to girth for a trail saddle - any downsides?

    A few months ago I lucked into an older/prototype Schleese Devin that my mare absolutely loves. It's also pretty much the most comfortable thing I've ever sat in. It's very light for a leather western saddle, no rear cinch, and very small skirts.

    My only complaint - I hate dealing with the cinch. My mare is a thin skinned WB/TB and there just seems to be a lot of opportunity for pinching compared to a dressage girth. Is there any reason why putting girth converters on would be a bad idea?

    Or should I look for a different kind of cinch? Right now I'm using an old school Billy Cook Mohair...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

  • #2
    Maybe you can describe better. Why would there be LESS pinching by adding another piece of tack (the converter)?

    Of course, there are lots of different types of cinches. I personally like the Shearling cinches from Professionals Choice. Spendy and require more care, but worth it for my horses.
    It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

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    • #3
      I'm personally not a fan of any type of mohair cinch. They can trap bacteria a lot easier than say a neoprene or sheepskin type.

      I would probably just look into a different type of cinch rather than buying converters and a dressage girth. Neoprene is super easy to clean and most sensitive horses don't have a problem with them. I have a Professional's choice SMX that I LOVE. I also have some that are wool, they're nice but I hate cleaning them because hair works it's way into the wool fibers and it's impossible to get them all out.

      Tip to prevent pinching: Have you ever watched a farrier shoe a horse? When he goes to finish each hoof, he stretches the leg out front ways to rasp across the outside of the hoof where the nails come through. You can do this same stretching move to ensure any little skin folds are straightened out and not trapped under the cinch. It also feels pretty good for them once they get used to it. Think "Horse Yoga"

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      • #4
        I actually find the wrapping of the latigo to be a pinch point -- it doesn't slide easily against itself or the horse. It thus rubs against the skin as it is cinched up, and similarly when released. I put my hand behind so he doesn't feel the rub as much, but I agree it seems more of an irritation than english buckles.

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        • #5
          My husband rides Western and I too prefer dealing with an English girth. Since I'm the one tightening his saddle he's had a converter on it for 15+ years

          I have this converter from Hillview Farms - http://www.hillviewfarms.com/girths.htm

          I've used both a mohair endurance girth and a dressage girth.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BlueDrifter View Post
            I actually find the wrapping of the latigo to be a pinch point -- it doesn't slide easily against itself or the horse. .
            This is personally why I prefer nylon latigos on my saddles, rather than leather. The nylon slides much easier.

            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BlueDrifter View Post
              I actually find the wrapping of the latigo to be a pinch point -- it doesn't slide easily against itself or the horse. It thus rubs against the skin as it is cinched up, and similarly when released. I put my hand behind so he doesn't feel the rub as much, but I agree it seems more of an irritation than english buckles.
              If you get the right pad, the latigo knot shouldn't rub against your horse since the pad will be between your horse and the knot. I use a Professional Choice neoprene cinch and my thin-skinned Arab mare loves it, even after several hours of riding in warm weather. Maresy also doesn't react to having the cinch done up slowly with a leather latigo, so it seems to work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 95Rider View Post
                Neoprene is super easy to clean and most sensitive horses don't have a problem with them. I have a Professional's choice SMX that I LOVE.
                I have known 2 horses that were allergic to neoprene.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChestnutArabianMare View Post

                  If you get the right pad, the latigo knot shouldn't rub against your horse since the pad will be between your horse and the knot. I use a Professional Choice neoprene cinch and my thin-skinned Arab mare loves it, even after several hours of riding in warm weather. Maresy also doesn't react to having the cinch done up slowly with a leather latigo, so it seems to work.
                  It isn't at the knot where it seems to stick, but rather just the latigo wraps against each other. When uncinching, I pull up to release the buckle tongue, but then pulling the latigo out takes two hands, one to put next to the horse while I yank down to undo it. It I didn't put my hand underneath the latigo and next to my horse for protection, the latigo would stick to his skin and rub. It isn't that I am cinched tightly, but the latigo simply doesn't slide upon itself easily. Maybe it is too new and grippy...

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                  • #10
                    Why would it stick? If he's dry it slides, if he's sweaty it slides. I cannot recall that I've ever seen a horse's skin wrinkle up when the latigo slid past to unsaddle them?? You have the hair-side (slick) side of the latigo against the horse, don't you? I"ve had it be stuck to itself a little if it's really hot and soaked with sweat- but to the horse, gosh - I don't think so?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by beau159 View Post

                      This is personally why I prefer nylon latigos on my saddles, rather than leather. The nylon slides much easier.
                      The nylon also slide easier and will not stay tight as well.. The leather sticks to itself and there is less chance of a loose saddle.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Luseride View Post

                        The nylon also slide easier and will not stay tight as well.. The leather sticks to itself and there is less chance of a loose saddle.
                        If you have it knotted, or use the holes, how exactly will it "slip? Especially if you use the holes, it's not going to go anywhere.

                        I've never had a problem with a nylon latigo getting loose. (I don't use the holes; I always knot.)

                        Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                        I have known 2 horses that were allergic to neoprene.
                        I have one as well that is allergic to neoprene.
                        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by beau159 View Post

                          If you have it knotted, or use the holes, how exactly will it "slip? Especially if you use the holes, it's not going to go anywhere.

                          I've never had a problem with a nylon latigo getting loose. (I don't use the holes; I always knot.)



                          I have one as well that is allergic to neoprene.
                          I always know also, kind of like a custom fit but I have had the nylon slip. I also just like the leather better, I can see the wear easier and it feels better.

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                          • #14
                            I will switch between english girths and western girths depending on the situation. The saddle must have a D ring and if endurance preferably two if you want to center fire or V rig. The sizing of western cinch is smaller than an english girth for example a western 32" is an english 42". There are Western D ring to english girthing converters, or center fire english girth leathers (biothane) that are just as good. All girths/cinches are either fleeced or a form of neoprene padded foam underbelly covered topside by leather. My own endurance saddle is a hybrid with a western / english style seat, no horn english leathers and whatever cinch/girth I think is necessary to train the horse or what they seem to like. I never use a mohair or synthetic version cinch with an endurance saddle.

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