Hair-based cinchas have been used for centuries.
By Mike Easton
From the mountain tops of Mongolia and the plains of Argentina, the rolling hills of Scotland and the western ranges of America, hair-based cinchas have been used for centuries. They were made from wool, mohair, camel hair, horse hair, leather and even human hair. However, over time riders and makers of tack learned that mohair was one of the strongest, softest, and most manageable of fibers to use to create the most durable and beautiful cinchas.
Then, in the 1960s, about the same time synthetic saddle pads showed up on the market, so did synthetic cinches. They became the rage and were promoted on the basis of strength, ability to keep clean, cheaper and “less cinch soring of the animal.” Their popularity also eliminated the production of cord, and in particular mohair cord cinchas.
As the informed rider began to notice how saddle soring issues were being reduced with correct saddle fit and wool based saddle pads; they then transferred this knowledge back to what happened to the old-fashioned mohair cinchas. The dedicated equine enthusiast realized that “newer is not always better.” Slowly, the demand for mohair cinchas began to rise again.
Riders saw that mohair provided them with the same benefits as wool felt saddle pads. There was less cinch soring, no sweat galling, no strength deficit, it kept the animal cooler and was definitely nicer in appearance. They did find more issues with cleanliness maintenance, but saw too much total benefit with its use to ever consider synthetic type cinches.
Cinchas maintain the same world-class status with their cinch program as they do with their saddle pads. Using only the finest 8 ply mohair available, twisted with minimal tie breaks and consistent tensile strength, the cinchas are all hand tied by one of the most highly trained and experienced tiers. In the production of cinches they must all be hand tied to maintain the correct length during use and correct relax when not in use. Each cinch is then made individually as a piece of art that provides function and beauty.