January 30, 2014

Oh the Latigo.....

I see the function, I can even embrace the versatility of being able to change up a saddle, replace straps etc. without bringing to the saddler...but honestly western saddles are a bit complicated! Needing to have leather working skills what not something I imagined upon buying a saddle!

First we have the long latigo used to attach the girth to the saddle and tighten it.  I think I have that down.  I get it.  It's a bit bulky and not necessary...I think there are better ways to cinch a saddle but it goes with the western tack.  I get it. I wanted to moved my girth from the 3/4 position to the front position or ring on my saddle.  I think it will fit better on Dani.  So I had to cut the leather tie off the latigo to move it and therefore could not reuse the string.

I found some saddle string that was 1/4 inch in thickness.  Anything local I found was too thick and you have to put this through double thickness in one of the holes, I needed something skinnier.  I was surprised I couldn't find what I needed locally though.  Guess people cut their leather but I want to keep my fingers thank you....anyhow.  

Here's the process after much searching online to figure this out.  I ran the leather through the two bottom holes on each side of the strap.

Then I took the two ends and fed them threw the single hole on the backside....

And finally the front side of the strap.  This took a tool to pull centimeter by centimeter of leather through the tight hole.  I also greased the lace with some saddle soap which seemed to help.

The backside has a twist on one part of the lace, it's supposed to lay flat, whatever.  It works and it went through the hole.

The loose ends on the front side were then placed under the lace that went through the original two holes.  I trimmed it up after this picture a little so the excess wasn't so long.  You can see the crimp marks I made while trying to get this sucker through the holes and tight.  

It was tough!  I beat the crap out of that leather.  Perhaps there is an actual tool for this?  Better method??  I just got the job done and now my latigo is secured where I want it.

Now, for the off-billet, it's different.  Of course right?  Can't have three holes there, no let's have two instead, just for fun!  The first time I had the thing tied on I just knotted it.  Nothing pretty and probably not the most secure.  What I did this time was thread double thickness leather lace into one hole but leaving a little loop open.

Then I ran that double lace back through the second hole and then tucked in the excess in the loop on the front side.  Voi-la!!  Much more secure than a shoelace knot!

Again the back side twisted but the lace went through the holes and the off-billet is now aligned in the correct position.  All done!


Kalin said...

I HATE switching out latigos. Hate it hate it hate it. I love Western but I'll admit, English is much easier when it comes to tacking up, haha!! I always force my mom to do it.....she gets it done in 10 seconds flat and I just sit there like "what" :))

Anonymous said...

And you know how the latigo gets a bit sticky and hard to pull smoothly, especially when humid? You may already know, but some baby powder/ talc on the latigo makes it slide much better.