Repairing girth straps?
A pack rat invaded the tack shed a couple years ago at the Renaissance festival grounds, and ate up the girth straps of one of the dressage saddles.
Its an older saddle, but I really like it, but I worry the straps will snap on me. Is it possible to repair them? The only other options are english saddles which I don't particularly care for.
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Girth straps can normally be repaired, but how easily depends on how the saddle is constructed and they're attached. Because they're so critical you'd be best getting a competent saddler to do it - long dressage girth billets aren't cheap because of the amount and thickness of leather, and those which run through the knee roll can be a fiddle to replace.
I always say if they're damaged enough to make you worry, they need changing. Girth straps take a lot of strain and it's not worth the risk of one failing.
I've ridden the saddle post packrat, without problems, I just don't want to risk any strain. Hopefully I can buy it off the owners, as they were wanting to sell some of their tack. But not sure if they are going to. So here's hoping!
Do dressage saddles have flocking that need to be removed/fixed?
It depends on the model. Most do but some have foam, like close-contact jumping saddles, and that can't really be adjusted.
That's not an issue as far as the girth billet repair is concerned. To replace them on most leather saddles you have to take down at least the front of the panel, where it attaches at the pommel, to be able to get at the girth webs (unless they're very long). You don't have to remove the flock or anything like that.
Sorry if you already knew the last bit :)
I didn't know that at all, thank you for the information!
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