Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Help for a Girthy Horse

Do you have a cinchy horse? Follow this step-by-step advice to modify his behavior.
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help for a girthy horse
When horses are sensitive to having the saddle cinch or girth tightened, they often react by pinning their ears, kicking, tensing their body and moving around, or similar behaviors. | Photo: iStock
Cory Kieschnick, assistant professor and Department of Equine Science and Management chair at Delaware Valley University, also contributed to this article.

Q.My 17-year-old mustang shakes his head every time I cinch him up. Even if I pretend to tighten the cinch, he does it. I’ve never been rough or tightened it too fast. How can I change this behavior?

Ronella Clegg, via Facebook

A.When horses are sensitive to having the saddle cinch or girth tightened, they often react by pinning their ears, kicking, tensing their body and moving around, or similar behaviors. This is often referred to as a horse being “girthy,” “cinchy,” or

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Angelo Telatin, MS, is assistant professor at Delaware Valley College Equine Science and Management department in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and a British Horse Society fellow. This qualification is only awarded to those considered to be reliable ambassadors of the sport. His master’s thesis in equine behavior compared equine training techniques and the psychology of learning. Find out more at www.angelotelatin.com.

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