Replace billets on saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-24-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Replace billets on saddle?

My billets are absolutely disgusting and they're grey rather than black. It's a used saddle but everything else is in great condition. It came like that and no amount of soap seems to help it. It's flecking and cracking and just not in good condition at all.

Is there a way to replace the billets on my saddle or am I stuck with what I got?

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post #2 of 15 Old 12-24-2011, 10:25 PM
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Good news and bad news. Good news is, yes, your billets can be replaced. Bad news is, you shouldn't do it yourself, and in most cases won't be able to. You will need to send it to a saddlery to have them replaced.

If it's only cosmetic, I wouldn't worry too much as when you are riding, they won't be seen. If the leather, however, is what is in really bad condition, I would replace them.

Be careful with trying to soap and clean them too much, as this will only make it worse. I actually cheat and put a leather dye on mine that our local saddle shop suggested to make mine look better.
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-24-2011, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I didn't expect to do it myself :P I have no experience with it. But I'm glad it can be done! It'll probably be something I'll do sometime next year.

I didn't know that about soap.. thanks! :)

As for the leather.. it's rough and cracking. I have no idea how old it is but it was all curling and stiff as a board when I got it.
I'll try to get some pictures later.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-24-2011, 10:46 PM
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If it's stiff and cracking, I would try conditioning it a little, just to get it more flexible, but I would be careful because if they are in really rough condition, they could break during a ride, and that is very unsafe. Check them before every ride to make sure none of the cracks are going completely through to the other side.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-24-2011, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, will do!
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-26-2011, 11:52 AM
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The grey billets are a special tannage so don't oil them. They are very strong and flexible.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-26-2011, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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A special tannage?

Shoot I forgot to take pictures... I don't know if they were once black but they're stiff and thicker, which I guess is good. My trainer hasn't said anything about it so maybe it's fine..
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-27-2011, 08:45 PM
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What is a billet? Is it the girth strap? I really should know this!

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post #9 of 15 Old 12-27-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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It's the straps on the saddle that attach to the girth through the buckles :) On an English saddle! I'll grab you a picture from google:

http://www.reactorpanel.com/images/billets2.jpg
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-31-2011, 12:13 AM
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Oh dear, I think I need to replace mine as well!!

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