Guide to Cinches

By Michaela Gannett  •   4 minute read

Guide to Cinches

Choosing a new cinch can be very daunting. There are so many shapes, styles and features on the market today, how do you know what to choose?

When shopping for a new cinch, there are several things you should consider:

  • Material – What is the cinch made of? Is it comfortable for the horse? Appropriate for the environment you ride in?
  • Shape – Am I getting the proper shape for my horse?
  • Functionality – Is this cinch easy for me to use? In addition, is this cinch appropriate for my horse?
  • Size – Am I buying the correct size for my horse?

Let’s take a minute to briefly review some of the quality handcrafted cinches by Weaver Leather, using the above criteria. Keep in mind there are more options available, but here are a few popular styles that will help you the next time you cinch up.


  • Soft, luxurious, durable, constructed from cording from Angora goats or alpacas
  • Woven with precision by skilled craftspeople in Mt. Hope, Ohio
  • Naturally wick away moisture, expand to allow breathability & maintain shape
  • String cinches are popular because they are a natural material against the skin; believed to be good for horses with allergies to synthetic materials and also over time will gather a small layer of horse hair, understood to gain additional comfort
  • String cinches feature 3 rows of weaving compared to industry standard of 2 for maximum durability
  • Recommended to clean cinch regularly by brushing dirt off and occasionally hand washing with a hose or bucket then hang drying; drying processes may take up to a few hours in the sun
  • Stainless steel hardware for exceptional resistance to corrosion and durable strength
  • Contoured shape and roller bar on the buckle allow for a straight and easy pull when cinching


  • Patented from a white cool flex foam which doesn’t absorb heat like a traditional black neoprene, keeping the horse cooler longer
  • Molded airflow channels maximize air circulation and provide breathability and flexibility
  • Padded flex edges eliminates pinching and extra cushioning provides ultimate comfort
  • Lightweight, quick-dry
  • Available with the Patented Roll Snug® Cinch Buckle for a smooth, easy, straight pull every time
  • Very easy to clean & low maintenance – simply hose off and air dry in no time at all
  • Unlike a string cinch, very little burs & stickers can find their way
  • Stainless steel hardware for exceptional resistance to corrosion and durable strength
  • With maximum cooling features, this cinch is excellent for long rides on the trail, ranch & arena work
  • Designed by industry experts


  • Wide range of material options
  • Neoprene is known to be comfortable and easily prevents buildup of dirt, debris & spread of fungus
  • Wool blend & felt lined versions conform to the horse for comfort, retain great strength & are breathable
  • Neoprene is very easy to clean but also known to crack over time, not recommended in areas with very high temperatures
  • Dust & hair can gather easily on wool & felt; cleaning with a brush, hosing or pressure washing and air drying is recommended to prevent built up fungus or rubbing/chaffing on the horse
  • Wool & felt are very versatile in multiple climates and also provide protection behind the buckle from directly being on the horse
  • Stainless steel hardware provides exceptional resistance to corrosion and durable strength
  • Features the Patented Roll Snug® Cinch Buckle for a smooth, easy, straight pull every time

As you can see, materials are very key when it comes to the functionality of your cinch. Remember each horse/situation may be different, so multiple options are good to consider and always choose quality for your horses comfort.

STYLE: STRAIGHT vs ROPER? All of the above cinches come in both shapes. How do you choose? There is no right or wrong answer, both get the job done!

  • Traditionally known to be used in roping events
  • Great for ranch work (where a cow may be dallied to the saddle horn)
  • Wider shape helps distribute the pressure across a larger surface area, holding the saddle securely in place and allowing comfort for horse
  • Used for trail riding to prevent saddle from sliding forward or backward in extreme terrains
  • Popular everyday go-to option; great for the arena, speed events, trails and pleasure riding


This can be treated on a broader platform. A cinch is measured buckle-to-buckle and typically available in sizing increments increasing by 2”. There are so many ways to measure your horse for a cinch and choose the best selection. Honestly, there could be an entire article on this alone all based on opinions. We recommend that you refer to your local trainer, experienced friend or industry expert for tips.

Weaver Leather partners with a great team of industry experts from Ken McNabb, Richard Winters, Brad Barkemeyer & more! Feel free to check out our website for great videos on choosing the best cinch size.

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