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Speaking of cinches

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  • Speaking of cinches

    When I got my first horse 36 years ago, I had a western cinch that went thru the cinch ring and back up to the saddle ring where I tied a knot. A 'thru-around-over-and back down' knot, like a man's tie.

    Does anyone do that anymore? Seems like they are all buckles now.
    Ride like you mean it.

  • #2
    I still tie the latigo regardless of the cinch having a buckle.... I do use the buckle for the off billet though.


    • #3
      Still tie the latigo. Both sides too, but I'm old.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • #4
        I tie if it's leather, but use the holes if its nylon (both of my current saddles have nylon so I'm buckling, but I do know how to tie haha)

        Off billet on one saddle is leather, one is nylon.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


        • #5
          I well recall 'the knot,' but even in the 60s, if the girth had the slot for the excess latigo, I used it in lieu of tying off so long as there was a buckle on the girth. I only use leather on both sides, myself. But if I'm using other saddles and have any doubts, I'll tie.


          • Original Poster

            My latigo (I call it a cinch strap) is very long. I think I'll start doing the knot again to use up the excess and to be "cool". I'm old too!
            Ride like you mean it.


            • #7
              I tie. I know it's silly, but I can't bring myself to trust the buckle. Guess I'm just old.


              • Original Poster

                Hmmm...never thought about the buckle breaking but wow..so possible! Almost like the time my bit fell apart while we were cantering down the road!

                I'll be tying for sure now!
                Ride like you mean it.


                • #9
                  Always tie.
                  Ulysses- the most perfect all-terrain vehicle ever. Hencho en Mexico

                  Mr. Walter Bumblepants - Foster Dog Extraordinaire


                  • #10
                    You ALWAYS tie the latigo in case the buckle lets go, after you have been riding a while. I know of a couple accidents, people thrown and badly hurt, when the girth buckle let go of the untied latigo strap.

                    This happened with leather straps, nylon wasn't popular with that crowd.

                    I have had the cinch buckle drop out of the hole with a nylon strap, but with the end of latigo tied down, the girth didn't fall loose. So around here, the latigo is ALWAYS tied down, even if the girth is also buckled.

                    I use a half-breed strap on the off side, buckled to girth, but the longer strap end is tucked down in girth keeper and has never come loose because the other (near) side latigo keeps it pulled tight.


                    • #11

                      Had a buckle tongue break once.
                      Last edited by gaitedincali; May. 21, 2013, 03:49 AM.


                      • #12
                        I used to always tie - my cinch didn't have a buckle. Then, when I got Ben, I had to get an extra-long cinch, and it has a buckle on it. Since then, I've gotten lazy - I don't tie the latigo. I use the buckle, run the end through the D-ring an extra time, then up through the keeper.
                        Life is short. Ride your best horse first.


                        • #13
                          Help me understand.. Why do the buckles 'let go', do you mean break? They look so much stronger than the buckles on English saddles and those billets are not tied off. I am confused.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by csaper58 View Post
                            Help me understand.. Why do the buckles 'let go', do you mean break? They look so much stronger than the buckles on English saddles and those billets are not tied off. I am confused.
                            You've got me, I haven't had it happen in 55 years of riding. Not that I rule it out. I've seen one pelham break in 42 years of foxhunting, so you never say never. Come to think of it, lost a stirrup leather hunting a full gallop, the bar had popped loose due to what turned out to be a crack in the tree. No harm luckily. But then I maintain my tack and check it as I tack up, kind of like a pre-flight on an airplane. And, minor point but food for thought, as with many things you get what you pay for- making sure you get good quality in your tack is way cheaper than medical bills.

                            I can see how the buckle might pop out if you don't pull the latigo back down to ensure that that little prong thingy is properly seated, maybe.


                            • #15
                              I come from a hunter background and yet I'm struggling to trust the buckle, because it doesn't really seem to be buckled, to me. So I buckle, then tie, when using my western saddle. Probably unnecessary, but it looks like that tongue could easily slip out.


                              • #16
                                My experience, is that cinch/girth loosens as you ride. When the cinch loosens enough, that buckle in the latigo strap will move, often works the buckle tongue out of the hole.

                                I do warm up the horse, tighten girth again after the first 15 minutes, and usually again after an hour. I just find that horse ridden during lessons or over long times, continues to loosen their girth. This is both riding English or Western, on a variety of breeds, girth loosens over time.

                                This loosening effect is why you ALWAYS check girth before mounting your horse! Doesn't matter if you just checked 10 minutes ago, you check girth again for tightness before putting your foot in the stirrup and mounting up. Time savings of 5 seconds checking girth, is NOT WORTH having the saddle slip sideways or come completely ungirthed as you ride.


                                • #17
                                  We buckle the off billet and tie the latigo on all of our trail horses.


                                  • #18
                                    The only buckle issue in 30 years that I've seen was a Weaver Smart Cinch where the tongue was too short. the mare lost a little water weight, the cinch got a bit loose, and literally fell out of the leather latigo. Not a bad wreck fortunately, but it did allow the saddle to roll. I burned that cinch- bad mojo

                                    You cannot buckle + tie - that is crazy talk in my book.

                                    Buckle it.
                                    now snug that tongue down good and flat and tight by adjusting the tension on the latigo itself, as Beverly put it I can see how the buckle might pop out if you don't pull the latigo back down to ensure that that little prong thingy (tongue) is properly seated, maybe.

                                    If you then turn right around and snug it up AGAIN to tie it off, well Hell's bells you just unbuckled it


                                    • Original Poster

                                      A very interesting thread...glad I asked!
                                      Ride like you mean it.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                        You cannot buckle + tie - that is crazy talk in my book.

                                        Buckle it.
                                        now snug that tongue down good and flat and tight by adjusting the tension on the latigo itself, as Beverly put it I can see how the buckle might pop out if you don't pull the latigo back down to ensure that that little prong thingy (tongue) is properly seated, maybe.

                                        If you then turn right around and snug it up AGAIN to tie it off, well Hell's bells you just unbuckled it
                                        You don't snug it twice. You tighten once, fasten the girth buckle into latigo if you are using buckle. DO get the latigo hole down on that buckle tongue! Good of you to mention that.

                                        THEN you tie off the latigo strap in the saddle cinch ring with the cinch knot. You don't pull and tighten again, you just have tied down the end of the latigo strap so it can't come off the cinch ring.

                                        It really isn't that hard for the cinch buckle tongue to work out of the hole in a latigo, unless you have a really LONG buckle tongue, like found on some of the old-style string girths. I haven't seen any long buckle tongues on the modern type western girths with the bar across the cinch ring of girth. You would THINK the pull of the cinch around horse should keep that tongue in the latigo hole, but it DOES NOT. The least bit of slack will allow that buckle tongue to come loose. So you are safer to use a cinch knot for the latigo strap-end going into the saddle cinch ring, even if you use the cinch/girth buckle for holding your adjustment on horse.