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A “cinchy” or “cold-backed” horse has a tendency to overreact and possibly buck when pressure is applied around his belly or flank area. It’s normal for a horse to feel reactive whenever this area is squeezed tightly. Horses hate tight, narrow spaces or feeling claustrophobic, so when you wrap a rope or girth around a horse’s belly and pull it tight, it can make the horse feel trapped and uncomfortable. Horses are also protective of their belly because they don’t have a lot of muscle or tissue there to protect their abdomen and organs. It’s a part of horses’ self-preservation instinct to be very protective of their bellies, their hocks and legs down to their hooves, and from their ears forward.
In the training guide, “Solving Cinchiness,” Clinton answers common questions about cinchy horses and explains how to build your horse’s confidence about being saddled and feeling the cinch tightened up on him. Read the article on the Downunder Horsemanship website.