When on a trail ride, do you think it is necessary to do a cinch check (for tightening) before every single canter stretch? If the trail is about 2 hours long and you do 3 to 4 canter stretches? I feel a cinch check about 15 minutes after being on trail and before the first canter stretch is sufficient, but I wanted to know your opinion before making the rule in my program. Sometimes people complain about having to get Off their horse to check the cinch.
Good question! I think if you do a thorough cinch check before the first canter session that should suffice. I would avoid having riders dismount any more than necessary. It is just after the initial warm up that there tends to be major loosening of the cinch. It may be helpful to have the riders be aware of the feel of their saddle and ask them to let you know if the cinch feels loose or the saddle feels like it is slipping. Also, some horses that are particularly low-withered and round may need further tightening, but you'll know what individual horses (if any) you need to pay special attention to. The other problem to avoid, is getting the cinch too tight, which can also cause problems with cinch sores, cinchiness and bucking. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing :-) Sounds like you are already doing a great job and I would keep doing what you are doing.