The Horse Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me why English saddles seem to always have three billet straps when girths only have two buckles? I used to think it was in case one of them broke, you'd have another one, but that seems sort of silly. When I was looking up saddles for Pony, I noticed that the Thorogood saddle had a really weird (to me) billeting system, and they said that you could adjust which billet strap you used to get a better fit for the saddle. Is this the case for all English saddles, and I just had no idea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,105 Posts
I readily admit to not being an "English riding person" as much as Western, but I was taught that you can use the front two, back two, or front and back (skip middle) and could thus move the saddle forward or back an inch or two on the horse and had some options if you used a different girth. When I rode English in a close-contact saddle, the using the front two billets was more comfortable for my big-withered horse. When I used the same saddle on my other horse, I used the 1st and 3rd. A horse with a forward girth-groove may need a different billet adjustment than a horse with an average girth groove.



It's also a safety thing. If one breaks, you have a spare.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,747 Posts
Not only as stated above, it also allows the rider to find "the groove" that holds the saddle best in place so slippage is as nil as possible.
Same as a western saddle has different rigging locations of full, 3/4, 7/8 that I know of...different horses need and are more comfortable with their girth or cinch specifically located.
For me, I tend to use 1st & 3rd billet for girth and center billet to hold my saddle pad keeper in place.
:runninghorse2:...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
As others have said, it gives a choice of position on the horse, use whatever billets work best for a specific horse
I usually use first and third but could change if another combination suits the horse better

Also a back up if one billet breaks and this has happened to me at least on one occasion when jumping a stream I heard the billet break and stopped to switch to the unbroken one. I found that girths with elastic on the buckles helped a lot to prevent this from happening, a little more give for the horse and still keep the saddle from slipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't believe I had no idea about this until last week. I wonder if it might help, even if just a little, with my current saddle fit problems.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,678 Posts
I use first and third but have had a horse the worked better on 2 and 3. Does come in handy when one breaks. I'd say it is a combination as a good leather saddle is meant to last and that is a wear point that will wear out before the rest. Replacing them depending on construction can be difficult and so having extra keeps you from needing an immediate fix. Also safety, you can finish the ride with one if another breaks but at that point time for repairs. Replacing on my child's saddle was $300. That was parts and labor. 30 years old when we bought it. Had it 5 years of regular sometimes hard use and then time to replace. It should last another 30 with proper care.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top