This product is the best product I have ever received for review!
I’m not just saying that… I’m naturally a skeptic and I didn’t think that this cinch was going to be much different than the standard cinch when properly placed behind the shoulder.
Surprisingly, I was wrong. I could tell that it was different after the first ride, but I wanted to put it in a number of scenarios before I sang from the top of a mountain.
So here I am, at the top of the mountain, singing the praises of this cinch, because it works and it works better than I expected.
Total Saddle Fit sent me their Shoulder Relief Cinch for review and I agreed because the cinch made sense to me. As an accomplished horse person who has been saddling her own horse for decades, it is not news to me that the saddle should sit behind the shoulder allowing the shoulder to move in its natural -locomotive- manner. Setting the saddle in its most optimal spot becomes a challenge when you have horses with long sloping shoulders and short backs, a common conformation combination in barrel horses. Then you have the horse with less than prominent withers and it becomes even more challenging. Lucky for me, I have a horse that has been blessed with all three of these anatomical elements, long sloping shoulder, short back and mutton withered. His conformation makes him extremely athletic, but also makes it a challenge when positioning the saddle. I ride him in a 9″ gullet Crown C Martin Barrel Saddle with a 13.5″ seat and a 3/4″ Todd Sloan Felt pad. The saddle has a tendency to roll and when I set it back behind the shoulder the off billet from the saddle to the cinch is often at an angle. This didn’t happen with the Shoulder Relief Cinch. when I cinched it up, the angle of the off billet was significantly reduced and the saddle was snug (not over-tightened, like I usually have to make it) and didn’t rock.
For the first ride, I just loped circles and did dry work. When I was done, I went to unsaddle him and much to my surprise, not only was the saddle in perfect position, it was actually in a better position than when I had saddled. It had naturally put the saddle where it needed to be. In an effort to put it in multiple scenarios before singing it’s praise, I also practiced the barrel pattern, made multiple competition runs and then also took my breastcollar off of the saddle to see if that made a difference. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked just as well in those scenarios as it did the others.
Along with the well thought-out executed design the cinch is made with a plush wool fleece liner than can be replaced/washed and has a roller buckle making it easier to tighten. The cinch is more expensive than your standard cinch ($140-$170), but they provide a 30 day guarantee and the replacement covers($20-$40) cost slightly less than a most standard cinches.
You can check our their page and order at http://www.totalsaddlefit.com