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Horses/cinch - tight

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Question
hello. after fastening the saddle, how to check whether the cinch is tight or not?

Answer
Rohit,

First off don't try to tighten the cinch all at once.  Set the saddle on the horse's back and draw the cinch up snug enough to keep the saddle from sliding around then do something else like adjust a stirrup, put on a breastplate, etc. and go back and snug the cinch up an inch or so.  Then do something else, maybe bridle the horse, and tighten it a little more.  You should be able to slide your fingers under the girth behind the horse's elbow.  I always check and usually tighten my cinch one more time before I get on because I will have walked the horse at least a few steps to the mounting block which lets them loosen up the muscles that many tighten up when being girthed.  It's referred to as the horse "blowing up" to keep the girth from being too tight.  You don't want to tighten the cinch so tight it makes the horse's eyeballs pop out, just tight enough to hold the saddle on.  If the rider is riding well balanced the cinch can be very loose and it won't really make a difference unless riding up or down hill.  Sort of like tying shoe laces too tight to where they cut into your feet and hurt.

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Lyn Kamer, C.E.S.M.T.

Expertise

Training, alternative therapies, saddle fitting problems, behavioral problems, endurance riding, driving, Mustangs

Experience

Horseman of over 50 yrs., certified equine massage therapist, trainer both riding and driving, long distance trail riding and driving. Both endurance and competitive trail riding and driving.

Organizations
American Endurance Ride Assn., Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Assn., New Jersey Trail Ride Assn., Aromatherapists International, American Mustang and Burro Assn., United States Trotting Assn., Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org., US Wild Horse and Burro Association

Publications
Trail Blazer magazine, AERC Newsletter, Hoofbeats magazine

Education/Credentials
Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist, Least Resistance Trainer, Certified Aromatherapist

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