Thursday, October 30, 2008

Buckle Down: How to Use the Near Side Cinch Buckle

I hope I'm not the very last person on earth to figure out the near side cinch buckle. If I am, well, I'm going to blame my lifelong preference for English riding.

Though I grew up riding English, I encountered enough Western saddles to learn the traditional latigo-tying method. You know, the one that leaves a knot under your leg and the tongue of the near side cinch buckle dangling uselessly.

None of this mattered when I was using English tack with billets and girths. But, when I fell in love with my Stonewall endurance saddle -- cinch, latigo, and all -- I knew I'd need to find a better way. Surely cinch manufacturers have a reason for including a near side buckle!

They do. Here's how it works:

Begin as usual, looping the latigo through the cinch buckle and back through the rigging ring. Instead of tying a knot, though, bring the latigo back down to the cinch buckle as if you were going to make another loop. Tighten appropriately, then place the buckle tongue through the nearest latigo hole. Be sure to get the tongue as far through the hole as possible.

Next, bring the latigo back up to the saddle rigging, taking care to press the tongue against the layer of latigo between the tongue and the buckle. This will prevent the tongue from coming out of the hole, which could result in the latigo working loose.

Secure the excess latigo by running it back through the rigging ring. Voila! A nice, neat, flat, secure cinch.

I know, I know. It doesn't look as secure as a knot. But I've ridden hundreds of miles and quite a few spooks using this method, and my latigo has never slipped.

Try it!


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Jonna said...

One other suggestion, which would require you to have enough latogo strap to do it with, is to run it diagonally over to your O or D ring off of your skirt (assuming your has one) It keeps just as well. I have a McClellan style saddle as well that we worked with a saddle maker on and this method also appears to work well.

Shana said...

I grew up riding English only and never could figure out why the heck there was a buckle there. That darn tounge was always hitting me in the ankle. Thanks for the insight! I am still not sure I get it entirely but it is nice to know there are some answers LOL

enlightenedhorsemanship said...

English riders have a pathological fear of those things.
I always step aside and let a cowboy do it, and then suffer throughout my ride from the bump.

Now Im going to have to print out these instructions and delay the ride while I work my way through. Will prevent a whopping bruise, though! Thanks!

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

Jonna -- Yes indeed, a latigo keeper or skirt ring would work too. :-)

Shana -- When you first try it, it looks "wrong" because only the tip of the buckle tongue remains in the latigo hole once you loop the extra latigo back up. Don't worry, though. It's supposed to look that way. ;-)

Kim (EH) -- You crack me up. Every. Day. Now, go forth and be bruiseless.

music in a bottle said...

Can someone please, please please! tell me what the brand name of the cinch in these photos is?

music in a bottle said...

New here, should I leave my e mail? If someone can tell me who makes that cinch, I would be so grateful!