Items you will need
Cloth tape measure
2 stainless steel buckle D-rings (3-inch)
8-ply braided mohair string
Steel measuring tape
Mohair is a string made from either Angora goat’s hair or young kid goat’s hair. It is a superior material for making front saddle cinches because of the hair's properties of being very soft and slightly stretchy. Using braided mohair string to make a cinch allows a horse comfort and the ability to expand his lungs while under saddle. Measuring your horse correctly and calculating the cinch size is important for a good fit.
Stand next to the horse you are making a cinch for. Have the horse stand with his weight equally distributed on all four feet. Wrap a cloth measuring tape around his girth. His girth is around the barrel of the chest just behind the withers and elbows. Pull the tape measure tight and read the measurement in full inches.
Divide the girth measurement by 2 and subtract 3 inches to obtain the girth size needed. For example, if the girth measurement is 72 inches, divide 72 by 2, then subtract 3, for a total of 33 inches. This is the completed size cinch you will need, including the two buckle D-rings.
Tie a half-hitch knot on one side of one D-ring. Insert 6 inches of one end of mohair string through a D-ring from front to back. The backside of the ring is the flat side. Cross the 6-inch portion under the long end of the string. Hold the long end in one hand, bring the short end up and insert it in the loop near the D-ring. Push the knot up to the D-ring and pull the long end of the string tight.
Open a steel measuring tape and lock it at the cinch length. Lay the locked measuring tape on a flat surface. Place the rounded tip of the D-ring with the first knot on it at the 0-inch mark. Place the rounded tip of the second D-ring at the completed size mark.
Pass the long end of the string through the second D-ring and tie a half-hitch knot across from the first knot on the first D-ring. The string will be horizontal between each D-ring. Continue adding strings from the first D-ring to the second D-ring in the same manner until you have 17 strings aligned from the first side to the second side.
Cut the excess string off with a utility knife, leaving a 6-inch tail. Tie a double knot in the beginning and ending 6-inch tails on the top side of the cinch. Cut any excess string off with a utility knife. The top side of the cinch is the rounded side of each D-ring.
If your saddle has flat latigo straps to attach the cinch to the left side of the saddle, you can use a D-ring without the buckle. You will need a buckle-type D-ring for the right side of the saddle where the off-billet attaches. The off-billet has holes in the flat leather and attaches like a belt buckle.
Brush a mohair cinches after and before each ride to keep them from rubbing your horse raw under his chest.
- western image by thierry planche from Fotolia.com