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So I realize that the most obvious answer to my question would be to buy new saddle straps or a new saddle. But, i am not in the position to do that right now. So i was wondering if you guys have any tips. My saddle is pretty old and the leather straps taht go through my girth are starting to deteriorate and just fall apart. is there anything that i can put on it to stop , slow or better yet repair this process?

thanks
 

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Are you talking about the billet straps? Many need replacing after so many years. They're under a lot of stress, so it's not unusual for them to wear out.

There's really nothing you can do to stop the deterioration, especially if it's gotten to the point where they're stretching and breaking.

Billet straps are much less expensive to replace than a whole saddle.
 

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Billet straps are much less expensive to replace than a whole saddle.
Or the doctor bills if your saddle comes off when you are riding. Once leather has gotten to the point that it is deteriorating, you can't stop it. You can extend the life of a saddle with proper care and storage but there comes a time when things need to be replaced. If the tires on your car are worn to the point of the belts showing, you need to replace them - if you can't afford to, then you need to stop using the car until you can. Same with the billets on your saddle - it is a huge safety concern.
 

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So I realize that the most obvious answer to my question would be to buy new saddle straps or a new saddle. But, i am not in the position to do that right now. So i was wondering if you guys have any tips. My saddle is pretty old and the leather straps taht go through my girth are starting to deteriorate and just fall apart. is there anything that i can put on it to stop , slow or better yet repair this process?

thanks
I agree with Speedracer and iridehorses - if the girth straps (billets) are on the way out you really need to get them changed before one breaks.

I've found the most common reason for premature billet wear is using a girth with rusty buckles. Rust makes the buckle surface, especially the tongue and roller, rough and this grinds away at the leather like sandpaper.

The other problem with cheaper girth buckles is the rollers spreading. The exposed sharp edge this leaves can cut into the leather.

Girth billets ought to last for years. My first saddle, bought in 1972 and used continuously until 1995, had just one strap hole starting to tear, and that was on the setting most often used.
 

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Agreed re: billet straps. My favorite, softest and comfiest English saddle, now about 25 yo, is out of commission bc where the billets are sewn to the saddle, the stitching needs replacing. I need to get the saddle down to my Amish tack shop to fix that, repair the 2 small holes on the cantle, and I'll also replace my billets bc they've stretched. I keep my saddles cleaned and oiled. This is how long--not the years, but the amount of wear and tear--a leather saddle should last before repairs. If you just need to repair and replace parts and your saddle was well made, you are money ahead.
 
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