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Felt Weaver Smart Cinch Review


Below: A new Weaver Smart Cinch showing the buckle.

A brand new felt Weaver Smart cinch

Review

About The Smart Cinch

According to the Weaver Leather company their Smart Cinch is "smart" because of the unique two-bar design of the buckle on the left-hand side, or "near" side, of the horse. When pulling a cinch snug using Weaver's two-bar design the latigo is first passed through the top bar, then back up through the D-ring of the saddle, then down and through the bottom bar. This means that, unlike most other cinch buckles that only have one bar, the latigo does not rub against itself as it goes through the buckle, which eliminates a potential source of friction that may cause a cinch to be difficult to snug.

In addition, the Weaver Smart Cinch has rollers across each bar to further contribute to the ease of snugging the cinch. Lastly, the cinch buckle is also narrower and straighter than most other cinch buckles, a design, according to Weaver, that allows for less "play" when snugging a cinch and helps to ensure a straight pull.

Below: A look at the Weaver Smart Cinch buckle. The latigo is passed through the top bar, up through the D-ring on the saddle, then back down through the bottom bar. With this design the latigo does not rub against itself as it goes through the buckle.

Close up of the Weave Smart cinch buckle

 

Below: A "regular" cinch buckle. The latigo is passed through this type of buckle twice during the saddling process, allowing the latigo to rub over itself where it passes through the cinch ring.

Close up of a regular cinch buckle

 

Why We Bought A Smart Cinch

Our decision to purchase our first Smart Cinch didn't have anything to do with the design of the buckle. We simply like a felt cinch and the only one we could find at the time was a Weaver Smart Cinch (they come in felt, mohair, and neoprene). We've had several of them since then (all felt) and they have held up well. We also think they are a good value for the reasonable price you can usually find them for.

Do They Make Snugging A Cinch Easier?

Now, as far as whether or not the Smart Cinch design makes the cinch easier to snug up during saddling......yes, it's a little easier but we aren't blown away by the difference.

However, several of our friends disagree. One morning after gathering cows and calves we lead our horse up to three of our friends and asked them to loosen, then tighten, the cinch and tell us if they thought it was easier than usual. We got one "maybe, a little" and two enthusiastic "Yes! I think it's definitely easier."

Later we approached a different friend and also asked him to loosen and tighten our cinch. He was very definite about how much easier he thought it was to snug the cinch, and even asked us where we got it.

About The Rollers

There is one thing we don't like about the Smart Cinch: When the cinch is new the rollers are noisy. They rattle and clank, softly, all during the saddling and unsaddling process. Once a Smart Cinch is broken in, though, we don't hardly hear the rollers anymore. We think it's because they quiet down with use but maybe it's because we've just gotten used to them.

About The Tongue

There's one more thing we'd like to mention: The tongue on the buckle of the Smart Cinch is thicker and wider than on other cinches we've used. When you saddle up for the first time you might notice the tongue takes a little extra push to get it through the holes in the latigo. After the first few rides our leather latigos were re-shaped to the new tongue and we didn't notice it anymore.


Instructions: How To Use The Weaver Smart Cinch

Saddling a horse with a Weaver Smart Cinch is a slightly different than with other cinches.

Below: Take the latigo under the top cinch bar. See the yellow arrow.

The latigo going through the top bar of the Smart cinch buckle

 

Below: Now take the latigo back up through the D-ring of the saddle like usual. See the white arrow.

Passing the latigo through the D-ring of the saddle

 

Below: Last, take the latigo down and under the lower cinch bar (green arrow) and snug the cinch like usual.

The latigo going through the bottom bar of the Smart cinch buckle

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