If you take one of our horseback trail rides, using our horses and saddles, you will perhaps notice that many of our saddles have a front cinch, but no back cinch. This is because of the purpose of the back cinch. For the most part (at least as far as I am concerned personally) the back cinch is useful for primarily two things- for keeping the saddle in place while roping cattle and for keeping the saddle in place on a bucking bronc.
1. For Roping. Whenever you dally the rope around your saddle horn with a live cow on the other end. the saddle will be pulled forward and the back of the saddle will be lifted up. The back cinch will greatly help keep your saddle from pulling forward over the horse's neck and will also keep the back of the saddle down on the horse's back where it belongs rather than lifting up in the air and putting pressure on the horse's withers.
2. For Riding Broncs. When a horse truly goes to bucking, not just a crow-hop or two but true bucking with the hind feet perpendicular and the front feet in the bit, the back cinch will keep the saddle secure so that, as in the case of roping, the back end of the saddle does not come up in the air.
Since we will not be roping cattle or (hopefully) riding bucking broncos here at Rising K Ranch, we are left with only two reasons why we might, at times, use a back cinch for a trail ride in the Utah Mountains.
1. Your horse has a rather round back with little withers to hold the saddle in place. In this case the back cinch adds just a little more support to keep your saddle from sliding around forward, backward, or to either side. When a saddle is able to slip around very much, not only does the rider risk falling off, but more importantly a horse may get sores, just like if you were to wear a poorly-fitted pair of shoes.
2. Your saddle is one that we use quite often for roping or on a round horse and we simply saw no need to take it off- after all, it doesn't hurt to have a back cinch on your horse, even if you don't particularly need it.
Whenever you find yourself looking for adventure out here in Utah in the Zion National Park/ Bryce Canyon National Park area, I hope you will drop in for an unforgettable horseback riding adventure!