Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

Last post 09-27-2010 11:33 AM by Qrtrhorser. 8 replies.
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  • 09-10-2010 8:27 AM

    Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    I have recently started using blankets and back cinches, and I am a little confused about proper adjustment of these.  I have seen some books say to adjust the back cinch so it's against the horse's belly, but then I go watch a trainer on television and he'll have the back cinch hanging about two inches off the horse's belly.  Is this a matter of opinion, or is there a proper way of doing this?

    Also, what's the proper adjustment of leg straps on blankets?  I adjusted one one time, and (thankfully it was a cheap fly sheet) the mare somehow got her leg caught up and ripped it to shreds.  But then again, I don't want it to be too tight, preventing the horse from being able to run around.

    Thanks!!

    "99.9% of horse problems come from either a lack of respect or fear--or both." ~Clinton Anderson
  • 09-10-2010 11:20 AM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    The back cinch should never be loose enough to risk the horse catching a hind hoof in it.  If a rider is working cows, the hind cinch should be snug against the belly (to serve it's purpose) to keep the back of the saddle stable when they dally.  Most people who ride a saddle with a back cinch will not be working cattle, thus tend to leave the back cinch fairly loose (enough to see daylight), but it should never be allowed to hang down far enough to risk catching a hoof.  And it should always have a hobble connecting it to the front girth to keep it out of the horse's flanks.

    Don't use blankets or sheets so can't help you there, sorry.

  • 09-10-2010 3:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    As txspots said, the back cinch should be tight enough to prevent a hind hoof getting caught in it. Sometimes a rider will start out with the back cinch pulled snug to the belly (but not tight), and then after the horse has been working a while, their belly draws up and the cinch gets too loose. (It would be a good thing at that point to tighten it again.) I have been involved in a wreck caused by a horse getting her foot through the back cinch - not one I was riding, but I was in the arena on my horse when it happened - and the mare totally destroyed the saddle, hurt the rider, and had soft-tissue damage to her leg. It really is a safety issue, not a cosmetic choice.

    With the blanket leg straps, I adjust them to where they cross far enough below where the "cheeks" meet so that they won't chafe as the horse moves around, and I cross one leg strap through the other. I've never had a horse catch a foot in one, although I did have a mare back up to a fence post to scratch her butt on and catch the leg strap on the post. I have no idea how she did it, but I had to cut the leg strap to get her loose! Thankfully, she just stood there without fighting when she realized she couldn't go anywhere, and I don't think she was there for that long from looking where she was standing. I swear, horses will find a way to get hurt or stuck in a padded stall!

     Hope this helps.

    Noel
  • 09-10-2010 10:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    I use a back cinch and blankets all the time. As previously said by others I adjust my back cinch so that it touches my horses belly as well. As we ride and the back cinch becomes loose I readjust it until its snug again.

     As for the leg straps on the blankets, I adjust them so that when the horse walks and the hind leg is fully extended out behind, the strap lightly touches the inside of the leg, not tight just brushes it gently. If the horse still tends to wreck the straps adjust them the same but cross them instead of laying against the leg. Ex. left strap to right hind ring, and right strap to left hind ring.

    Hopefully that helps

  • 09-11-2010 2:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    Thanks everyone!!!  Big Smile

    "99.9% of horse problems come from either a lack of respect or fear--or both." ~Clinton Anderson
  • 09-13-2010 12:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    My back cinch usually does not touch.  I'd say there's about an inch, maybe two between the cinch and their belly.

  • 09-13-2010 12:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    My flank cinch  is snug (not tight) - when I'm roping, or going to drag anything. I tend to have it a bit looser when I want to rein, as I don't want it tightening up too much on my gelding when I'm asking him to stop, as he'll be dropping his rear and really coming under himself rounded. That said, I don't like it really hanging loosely at all... if you do that, there is no sense even having a flank cinch at all!

     

  • 09-14-2010 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    true there's not much sense in having a back cinch if you never use it, but i do sometimes and need the option, just not often as i used to anymore.

  • 09-27-2010 11:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Proper Adjustment of Back Cinch and Leg Straps ?:(?

    Everyone seemed to ans your question but I just wanted to put in my 2 cents about training your horse to a back cinch... I had a horse that I "thought" was fine w/ a flank cinch and I had ridden him around in one a few times just touching his belly deffinelty not tight or loose for that matter and I went to sort cattle on him and because (I found out later) he was not broke to a back cinch I had a SERIOUS wreck, the kind I would not have lived thru if I didn't have a helmet on!  He bucked me off, and continued to buck like a broc and steped on my shoulder, chest, and head (broke my helmet)! 

    Now I ALWAYS prep a horse for a flank cinch before I "think" they are broke to it!

    But yeh as everyone said just little bit of daylight or touching the belly is good as long as your horse is broke to it!

    Larisa~

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