View Full Version : Who else prefers short billets....

Carol O
Jul. 25, 2011, 12:26 AM
... and why are they so rarely available?

Now that I have some low back pain I miss the ability to tighten the girth by simply grasping it and rocking up onto my toes.

Jul. 25, 2011, 01:14 AM
I also love short billets. I am primarily a hunter rider and accustomed to short billets and don't find buckles under my legs obtrusive at all. I do have difficulty findinding nice long girths in black however. I have to shop the German tackstores, since most of their jumper folks use black tack too there are a lot more options.
I ride a lot of young and/or spooky horses, and while my back doesn't bother me, I am not comfortable leaning so far down to tighten my girth with the long billets/short girths. Just not as secure when I'm off balanced and a sudden spook happens. My dressage saddle has short billets and no one even notices when I'm riding.

Easy Choice
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:24 AM
I vote for short billets too. Makes it simpler when switching saddles and easier on the wallet. Also would like to find a black AP girth with the sheeps skin on one side and elastic on both ends.

Jul. 25, 2011, 01:46 AM
You can have the long billets made into short billets. The first dressage saddle I had, a L&R, had it's billets shortened by the previous owner. Personally, I do not like them as they are a little... lumpy, shall we say. I understand the tightening the girth issue though, as I am still, after 32 years in the saddle, unable to tighten with one hand, I always have to use two, for whatever reason.

Jul. 25, 2011, 01:54 AM
Maybe I'm just an insensitive clod, but I honestly don't notice the difference between billet types once I'm in the saddle.

I own one saddle with long billets, and all the rest are short, though, so maybe I'm just used to it.

Jul. 25, 2011, 10:32 AM
I just bought a saddle with short billets. I don't notice a difference in feel when riding, but I find it *harder* to tighten the short billets. Maybe when you are tall, the "rocking up on your toes" doesn't work.... And I've never been able to tighten either of them from the saddle.

EF -- which German tack stores? Are you buying abroad?

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:43 AM
I prefer to feel a horse, not buckles. I have also never felt the need to tighten a girth while mounted.

Jul. 26, 2011, 09:33 AM
3Spots, I shopped primaily at Kramer and Losedau in Germany while living there for 4 years. Now I occassionally will purchase something on line from them. Luckily the DH is German and can help me translate the websites. Shipping isn't cheap though (nor is the tack when you figure the dollar/exchange rate, but for the right item it can be worth it.) links below

Jul. 26, 2011, 12:18 PM
Thanks, EF!

Jul. 27, 2011, 02:00 AM
I prefer short billets largely because my horse prefers short billets. He doesn't like the buckles behind his elbow with long billets. He gets really short strided and moves without bending his knees and its like riding a jackhammer.

The short billets don't bother me. The buckles wind up behind the bend in my knee and I don't even notice them.

Jul. 27, 2011, 10:31 AM
Yeah, I think that the bulk is not really that noticeable and does NOT make a difference in how a rider rides their horse, so I never understood the need to make dressage saddles all have longer billets--when most horses actually go better in short billeted saddles.

Some don't mind, but there is a difference and most are just a bit happier with the long girth. I think our horses put up with a lot of stuff just because we're sold a bill of goods. :yes: If it's advertised as making the rider's instantly better or making us more comfortable, we go for it. Never thinking that our horses are probably always a bit uncomfortable just because they have to carry us around. ;)

Jul. 27, 2011, 09:57 PM
I don't have a preference of short or long billets, feel or comfort-wise.

However, I have a jumping and dressage saddle and I wanted to be able to use the same girth for the both of them. The dressage saddle was used and the billets needed to be replaced, so I just had the repair person put in short billets. :)