Archive for July 7, 2009

Double Trouble   Leave a comment

There was a nasty wreck over the weekend, but not as bad as it could have been.  It was caused by a double-rigged saddle — or, more accurately, by forgetting you had one.

Western saddles may come with either one or two cinches.  Most of the saddles we have are single-rigged, with only one cinch.  It actually holds the saddle on the horse.  But in Texas, especially, the double rigging, with both front and back cinches, are popular.  They are very practical in roping, where the back, or flank, cinch helps to keep the saddle from tipping up and pinching the horse’s withers when a steer hits the end of the rope.

There are several things you have to remember with a double-rigged saddle.  You don’t do the back cinch up tightly, but it must be tight enough that a horse stepping over a log, say,  doesn’t put a foot through it.  You must have the little strap that connects the two cinches fastened, or the flank cinch can ride back to a point on the horse’s belly where it becomes a bucking cinch.  And you must follow the rule that you do up the back cinch last, and undo it first.  This is what our boarder forgot. 

When she went to pull off the saddle with the back still done up, it ended up under the horse.  The horse took off bucking and kicking, and before he rid himself of the saddle, he met up with the county’s barbed wire fence.  He was scratched up, but should be fine.  The saddle, though, may have been a fatality.

I wanted a picture of a double rigged saddle to illustrate the point, but it was hard to find one.  We own a lot of saddles, from a cavalry McLellan to a synthetic, but few that are double rigged; it’s more of a Texas thing.  I did find this one, though.


It obviously hasn’t seen any use for a long time.  Part of the back cinch is missing, but you get the idea. 

I guess the moral is that if you have a rear cinch, again, do it up last and undo it first.  Or you can end up in a world of hurt.


Posted July 7, 2009 by stablewoman in Uncategorized