unless you have a really LONG buckle tongue, like found on some of the old-style string girths. I haven't seen any long buckle tongues on the modern type western girths with the bar across the cinch ring of girth.
Oh. Well maybe that explains my lack of problem. I only use the 'old style string girth.' That buckle is solid even with a loose girth (I tend to not overtighten after 'some' acceptable level of loosening unless I'm on an all day ride or on steep trails). I detest neoprene and don't like the look of the pseudo English girths I've seen. I also treasure my string girths for riding English.
I almost always have to tighten my cinch before loping...he absolutely HATES a loose saddle! I am going to use the knot for 2 reasons: one is back up in case my buckle breaks; and second, because I think it has a more 'western' look and is a better way to use the extra length than just draping it thru that slotted thingy.
Yes, the tongue does not extend beyond the "loop" on my cinch. I seemed to remember old ones where the tongue was very long, now that you mention it, but the last western saddle (other than the one I currently use) I used in the 80s (and it was old equipment then).
Like goodhors says, I don't tighten it again, I simply tie up the excess latigo. It won't hold the saddle steady if that tongue pops out, but it gives me a place between on and popping off suddenly (presumably I would notice it getting a wee bit loose).
I don't know - it may be me just being paranoid! I had a hard time getting my western saddle tied right enough when I was a kid and fell off frequently as the saddle slid frequently, so maybe that is the issue!!
A few years ago, I got to the barn just as my daughter was bringing the horses in. A riding accident next door and she overheard paramedics mention "life flight"...helicopter landed about 100 feet from our barn. A young man was riding hell bent for election all over their pasture when the cinch or buckle or latigo BROKE and he went flying! So all these experiences with the cinch breaking remind of that. I had forgotten about the incident.
The boy was fine after some temporary paralysis and I was really impressed with how well our boy handled the chopper landing so close...we had prop wash in the aisle...it was that close!