Saddle cinches are one of the most important accessories for horseback riding. They are a key element to keeping your saddle tied down and to keep you, and your saddle, from sliding off your horse’s back! The front cinch rigging, also called the girth, is used to connect your saddle to your horse and to keep it secured onto his back. The back cinch rigging, also called the bucking strap, is used to add extra security and to keep the back of your saddle from popping up! Back cinches are only seen in western riding and they are most often used for endurance riding, speed events, and ranch work.
A girth is the main cinch that attaches to the saddle. It attaches to the front latigo straps and goes underneath the horse’s stomach. Upon getting ready to ride, the girth is tighten so that the saddle is properly fastened to the horse. It is secured tightly enough so that the saddle does not slip once the rider has mounted onto the horse. Girths come in many different designs and are made with many different materials. Some of the different types of girths include rope girths, neoprene girths, fleece girths, and leather girths.
– Rope girths are made from a woven material and ensure a long last comfort for you horse while riding. They are usually made from a cotton/poly blend material and is one of the most tradition style of girths. They are designed so that no pinching occurs and will keep your horse comfortable during long trail rides!
- Neoprene girths are designed to allow air flow to be circulated and to aid in extra comfort for your horse. They are super easy to clean and only require a run down with a damp cloth! The neoprene material is designed to eliminate chaffing and rubbing and therefore, will not irritate your horse’s stomach.
- Fleece girths are designed with extra soft comfort and provides great air circulation as well. Fleece lined girths are also made to eliminate pinching for your horse and are made with an extra thick support. However, fleece lined girths can be harder to clean. Fleece girths are made with a thick fleece/wool material and can take a long time to dry after washing. Just make sure that you allow plenty of time for a fleece girth to dry before you use it again.
– Leather girths are most often seen/used for English riding. The sleek, smooth finish of a leather girth aids in style, as well as comfort for you horse. Leather girths help to reduce chaffing and keep your horse happy while spending long hours in the saddle. Leather girths are usually designed with elastic straps, at each end of the girth, that attach to the buckles. The elastic straps help to distribute equal pressure along the girth line and eliminates pressure point rubbing. Just like leather saddle, leather girths have to be cleaned and oiled regularly. This will help keep your girth in great condition and make it last longer!
Back cinches are usually used for Western riding. They help keep the back of the saddle secured down and keeps it from popping up. Back cinches are great for endurance riding, as well as speed events in the show ring. Back cinches are usually designed to attach to your girth and helps to prevent the back cinch from sliding too far backwards. Just like girths, back cinches also come in many different styles and colors. Some of these different types include smooth leather cinches, tooled leather cinches, and wide back cinches.
- Smooth leather back cinches are one of the most common and come in a variety of different colors. They are designed with a sleek outside and are about 2 inches wide. The underside of the cinch is usually roughed out. This aids in anti-chaffing and eliminates pinching for your horse’s comfort.
- Tooled leather signifies that a design has been hand carved into the leather. Tooling can take the form of a variety of different pictures and designs. Some of the most common tooling designs are basket weave, honey comb, flowers, and different inlay patterns. Tooled back cinches are most often designed to match a certain saddle. A back cinch that is designed to match your saddle, is a great way to complete your riding set! Basket weave and honey comb tooling are a versatile design and can match a majority of different saddles.
- Wide back cinches provide extra belly support for your horse and are usually used for endurance riding. With the extra wide back cinch, the weight/pressure is evened out. With the weight evenly distributed, the wide back cinch alleviates pressure points and eliminates irritation that can be caused by rubbing/chaffing. Endurance riders like the wider back cinch because it is great for going up and down hills. It prevents the saddle from popping while going downhill, while also giving your horse’s stomach that extra support.
Whether you prefer to ride with just a girth, or a girth and back cinch, saddle cinches are a necessity to riding! They are what keep the saddle secured to your horse and aids in the safety of the rider. To check out all our different girths and back cinches, go to Saddleonline today!