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Shoulder Relief Cinch™ - WESTERN

The Shoulder Relief Cinch™ improves saddle fit, provides elbow clearance and increases horse comfort! See the full description below...


  • Description
  • Customer Reviews

A Freer Stride

The patented (US Pat D917109) Shoulder Relief Cinch is the only one of its kind on the market. It actually changes the angle and placement of the latigo on the horse to prevent the saddle from being pulled into the shoulder blades, resulting in a free shoulder and better saddle fit.  

How does it work? The shape of the Shoulder Relief Cinch allows for the center of the cinch to sit in the horse's natural girth groove, while the sides are recessed backward and attach to the latigos farther back on the horse's body compared to a regular cinch. This design makes the latigos more perpendicular to the ground and neutralizes forward pressure on the saddle (from the pull of the latigos).

A Better Buckle

The Shoulder Relief Cinch is outfitted with the patent-pending Balance Buckle™. It is the strongest buckle on the market, made of 304 stainless steel - most other cinch buckles are plated iron. Functionally, the Balance Buckle™ is next level. The flat horizontal portions of the buckle keep the cinch evenly tightened on the horse's body. Since the Shoulder Relief Cinch is a unique shape, it really benefits from this feature.

For a deeper understanding of the Balance Buckle™ scroll to the bottom of this page.

Elbow Comfort

The shape of the Shoulder Relief Cinch also makes it great for elbow comfort. The cutaways in the cinch pull it back away from the horse's elbow. 

Super Durable

In addition to the strongest buckle on the market, the Shoulder Relief Cinch is fully backed with nylon webbing from end to end.  This gives it the resilience of webbing, while still maintaining the look and feel of leather.

Used at the Highest Level

The Shoulder Relief Cinch has been used at NFR, the World Equestrian Games and other high level events. The above photo is NFR competitor Sarah Rose Waguespack. 

Felt, Fleece & Neoprene Liners

Lastly, the Shoulder Relief Cinch uses a removable liner system.  You can choose between limestone neoprene, 100% wool felt or 100% wool fleece.  They simply peel on and off, so one cinch can be used with many liners.  A common practice is to keep 2 liners, so one can be in use while one is being washed. 

If you need even more comfort, there is also a StretchTec version of this Shoulder Relief Cinch available here: StretchTec Shoulder Relief Cinch

The Shoulder Relief Cinch is available in BLACK and BROWN leather in even sizes 24-36 inches.


What size Shoulder Relief Cinch do I need?

We target approximately 8 inches from the tip of the buckle to the bottom of the saddle rigging. The most important element of fit is to be sure the buckle sits higher than your horse's elbow. Watch this video for more clarity:

What type of saddle will a Shoulder Relief Cinch work with?

The Shoulder Relief Cinch is designed for a Western saddle, but will work well with all saddles that use a single latigo style cinching system. In many cases trail style saddles will also use this type of cinch.

If your saddle is English (or uses an English style 2 billet system) checkout our most popular English girth here:

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StretchTec Shoulder Relief Girth™ - English

Will this cinch help a sensitive "cinchy" horse?

In many cases, yes. We've had hundreds of customer reports of Shoulder Relief Cinches improving their horse's attitude while cinching up the saddle.

I want a standard buckle, not a Balance Buckle. Is that an option?

At first glance the Balance Buckle can be off-putting to some, as it is a departure from what we're used to. It's important to note that the unique shape of the Shoulder Relief Cinch really benefits from this buckle. It makes for more stability and better pressure distribution overall. And it will function well with just about every latigo/rigging setup that a standard buckle will.  

If you still aren't convinced 😉, we do offer a Shoulder Relief Cinch with a standard shaped buckle via our Shoulder Relief Cinches in limited edition colors. You can see them here:

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Shoulder Relief Cinch™ - Limited Edition Colors

Which liner should I get and what's the difference between each material?

The Shoulder Relief Cinch is offered with 3 liner choices:

1. Limestone (Natural) Neoprene

2. 100% Wool Felt

3. 100% Wool Fleece

Most riders order what their horse is already used to riding with.

Neoprene is the most popular liner material, as it's the lowest maintenance and easily handles every climate condition. Additionally, it lasts a very long time. However, a very small percentage of horses do not respond well to neoprene and can see minor skin irritation.

Wool felt is the another popular option, as it is a natural material that breathes well and wicks moisture (just like a felt saddle pad). Felt requires a little more intensive cleaning than neoprene and needs to be left in a place to dry between rides.

Wool fleece is the best option for sensitive horses. It's the softest material we offer and still carries the breathability and moisture wicking benefits that wool is known for.  It requires the most time cleaning and will need to be left out to dry between rides. Wool fleece also wears out the quickest of all the liners, so many riders elect to buy a spare and alternate them.

In a Nutshell


Offset from center to buckles redirects the billet line to keep the saddle off the shoulders.


304 stainless steel make this the strongest buckle on the market, with endless fit capabilities. 


Peak pressure in regular girths is at the elbow. The cutback sides move girth away from horse’s elbow to alleviate this pressure.


Choose between limestone neoprene, 100% wool felt or 100% wool fleece.  Liners peel and stick with velcro, enabling 10 second liner changes.

Why the Balance Buckle?

The Shoulder Relief Cinch has a unique shape, and a unique buckle makes it perform even better. We custom designed the Balance Buckle™ to give even pressure distribution and symmetrical placement on the horse's body. Here's how it works:


The flat horizontal bars on the Balance Buckle™ keep the latigo and off-billet centered, with an even pull over the surface of the cinch. It prevents the sloppy unstable pull of a traditional cinch buckle, which is a huge complement to the function of the Shoulder Relief Cinch.


The 2 off-billet attachment positions allows for fine tuning of the cinch over the horse's sternum. This is a feature unique to the Shoulder Relief Cinch because is performs at its best when it is symmetrically centered over the sternum. 

Example: If the cinch is slightly to the right of the sternum centerline, you would move the off-billet from the bottom to the top position on the buckle to allow the cinch slightly more length to center over the sternum.


Many brands claim they use "stainless steel" buckles, but that is not true - they are wire buckles with a thin stainless plating.  The Balance Buckle™ is made of 100% 304 stainless steel. It is the ONLY buckle on the market made of this material (and costs 4x more to manufacture than a regular cinch buckle), and is by far the strongest buckle on the market.

In Its Natural Habitat

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