Let’s talk about your Cinch
A common question I get in the saddle shop is “what kind of girth or cinch works best?”. Well, there are many different types of cinches out there, so for this discussion we will discuss the three main categories.
I prefer to use mohair or alpaca, because I prefer to use a natural product. I have great luck with them. Unfortunately, you have to wash them occasionally due to the fact that they will take on dirt and grime.
Mohair and alpaca do stretch so you might want to take this into account. I encourage my customers to use pure natural cinches. Many companies use a blend to reduce cost, so be careful.
Another popular style of cinch are neoprene. Neoprene cinches are often sold as non-galling, but this is not true. I often see galled spots on horses and with the owners in disbelief. Neoprene can and will gall some horses. In addition, they to have to be washed occasionally. Neoprene is much easier to clean however, and with proper use they do tend to gall less horses.
Owners also use neoprene cinches to prevent saddle slippage, which often has nothing to do with the cinch and more to do with saddle fit. Neoprene cinches do not stretch much which helps them to stay in place a little better.
Rayon and cotton blends are often sold as pure cotton so be careful. Rayon gets hard over time and like nylon will create friction and galling is much more likely. The price of Rayon is much cheaper, so many customers are attracted to these for the money reason. I don’t stock these because I have seen so many problems associated with them.
The number one thing I see as a cause of galling is the weather and a soft horse. The best cinch can sometimes gall if the horse hasn’t been ridden and the weather is hot and humid. I tell many of my customers this:
If you work in an office and aren’t a carpenter then your hands may be soft. Therefore, if you go out and swing a hammer all day you can expect blisters. If you swing a hammer some every day your body compensates and you develop calluses. Horses are no different, if you haven’t ridden in a while and ride a week in August weather… he will probably gall.
I encourage customers to condition their horses slowly to let their bodies harden before they go and ride for days on end. I hope this helps and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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Get out there and saddle up – Ryan
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