View Full Version : Three billet straps - can't find a girth, help!

Flying Hearts
May. 6, 2012, 11:36 PM
I bought an old European imported Keiffer saddle and it has three billet straps. I can not find a girth for this saddle anywhere! I am currently just tucking the extra strap away, but that isn't going to work when I show. I don't want to remove it, I like how adjustable it makes the saddle on different horses. Does anyone know where I can find a girth with three buckles (all the same size, not two normal buckles and one little one, I did find a girth like that)?

May. 7, 2012, 12:17 AM
I have three billets and just tuck one. No one has ever said anything at shows

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
May. 7, 2012, 12:17 AM
You won't find a 3 billet girth. Just use the 2 billets that work for your horse. Normally the 1st & 3rd billets with the middle one free.

May. 7, 2012, 12:58 AM
You use the two billets that make the saddle fit best on your horse.

I had 3 billets on my Borne. My gelding has wide, big shoulders so I didnt use my point billet (the front one that comes down near the knee block) as that will apply more pressure up by the withers. That girthing system is good for horses that have higher withers, like TBs. I actually just had my saddle adjusted and my fitter went ahead and unstitched the front billet for now but its easy to have her just sew the leather back onto the nylon should I decide I want it back.

Also, there is no reason why you cant just tuck the 3rd billet away. Thats all you can do. No problem showing like that either.

May. 7, 2012, 01:04 AM
Most saddles have three billets, one extra in case one breaks. You should be using the outside billets and save the middle one as the "extra". Just tuck it away.

All girths are two billets, so you are good :)

May. 7, 2012, 01:07 AM
Every saddle, except a few (very few) have three billet straps.

May. 7, 2012, 01:28 AM
Every jumping saddle has 3 (or 4!) billets.

Most dressage saddles are made with 2, but there is webbing installed for 3 or 4 possible locations.

Some makers started putting on a third billet, with the expectation that the owner would cut the stitching on the one not needed (not cut the billet, just the stitching - thus easily reattached by a leather repair person).

There were a handful of dressage saddles made with a leather strap attached to the flap, which was to hold the flap down. I had a County Competitor like that (really old one) and I cut off the extra strap. You could find girths with a center, small buckle for that, but it was 1/2", not 1" like billets.

not again
May. 7, 2012, 09:54 AM
I have four billets on my new Stubben and find it makes it very versatile.

May. 7, 2012, 10:21 AM
Every saddle, except a few (very few) have three billet straps.

Don't tell that to my 3 dressage saddles that only have 2 billets (on each side) each...

May. 7, 2012, 11:01 AM

OP I know this picture doesn't show it but the description should be what you are looking for. I would call to be sure.

May. 7, 2012, 11:18 AM
I've never (in 20 years) seen a dressage saddle with 3 billet straps on each side. I currently own a Hennig, a Schleese, and a Custom Saddlery saddle, in the past have owned Amerigo, County, Jaguar, and multiple other Hennigs, and all had 2 billets on each side.

H/J saddles all have 3 billets on each side, but dressage? I've never seen it.....

May. 7, 2012, 12:33 PM
Oh, yeah, some do come with three or even four billets!

My old Passier had three short billets per side. As others have said, just use the first and third (in most cases).

I have a student with a Reactor Panel saddle that has four billets. She just tucks the extras into the keepers on her girth. Another student has a saddle with three long billets. Two in the "normal position, one is a point billet. The extras are there to suit horses with different girthing needs -- some need a point billet, some do not.

OP, does your saddle have short billets or long ones?

May. 7, 2012, 12:36 PM
you can find 3 buckle girths and in fact i have one :) I found mine at a used tack shop... its a bit beat up buy hey it works... i hated tucking the extra strap in.

you can also just have the extra removed if you want..... i never did but thought about it a lot!

i think i am going to sell my 3 billet saddle so if you want a 3 buckle girth.......

btw: My new Stubben has 3 billets - altho one is short :) one of my Kieffers has four and the other two lol!

May. 7, 2012, 11:13 PM
Ditto to those saying I have owned over 5 dressage saddles myself and my friends have owned numerous ones as well and this custom Borne is the first one to have 3. All of my close contacts and all purpose saddles have had 3.

Flying Hearts
May. 8, 2012, 01:51 AM
Uh guys? I'm not crazy... and maybe your stuff looks ok with one strap tucked away, but mine looks awful and it won't fit into the keepers on the two buckle girth I'm currently using. And again, I do not want to remove any of the straps as they are spaced far apart and they make the saddle super adjustable on different horses!

For those who don't know and think I'm making this all up, there are girths like this one out there: http://www.equinenow.com/store-item-98301

On some of these, the middle roller is small and those are for saddles with straps off the flap. Others have three that are the same size. I haven't been able to find one that is actually quality... most are cheap synthetic girths with no elastic at all. Any leads on a nice leather one?

May. 8, 2012, 04:41 AM
Why not special order a girth from County etc if you want a particular shape/spec's?

Foxhunter has 3 buckle dressage girths by Harry Dabbs & Lovatt & Ricketts listed - limited sizes left but also on excellent clearance pricing :)

May. 8, 2012, 08:39 AM
If you are attaching and tightening all 3 billets, I'm not sure I understand how it makes the saddle more adaptable.

A part of me thinks that those dressage saddles that are designed with 3 (or 4) billets should be made with short billets, that way they can be used with a standard long girth.

My current saddle has webbing for a 3, a V webbing for the rear girth (I like this design), a strap of webbing for a non-point billet, and a point billet, which comes out of the enormous knee rolls...too big & too forward, but that is irrelevant to # of billets.

May. 8, 2012, 11:07 AM
Here are several that I found that seem to be currently available. Third buckle often offset, but doesn't seem to be smaller in most of these.




http://www.uberhorse.co.nz/shop/Girths+%26+sleeves/EA+Mattes+3+buckle+straight+edge+lambskin+dressage +girth+10cm+wide.html (this is in New Zealand, but sure you could get it in the US as it is Mattes)

http://www.foxhunter.on.ca/tackshop/strapgoods2.htm (scroll down to the Harry Dabbs 3 buckle girth)



May. 8, 2012, 06:10 PM
BUT OP wants a nice leather one with 3 equal buckles
- no photos on the H Dabbs or the L & R so OP will need to contact Alan at Foxhunter for details ...
or Kieffer as they may have a few girths still lying about in the warehouse that were made for that saddle billet system.

May. 9, 2012, 06:23 PM
3 buckle girths are for saddles that have a billet, or whatever you want or should call it, on the flap. They were a rage there for a while some/many years ago.

True that many dressage saddles don't have 3 billets any more but traditionally all english saddles have more than 2 billets.

If the billet is distracting and OP can't tastefully tuck it away, have it replaced with a slightly shorter one that doesn't extend beneath the bottom of the flap so it doesn't show.