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Replacing Billets

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  • Replacing Billets

    How much is it generally to replace billets on dressage saddles? If I was to order the billets who could replace them with the old ones? Could a shoe repair place work?

  • #2
    Hi, I just now am having to do what you are doing. Very timely. I just received and paid for the billets and am looking for a shoe repair person to put them on. I asked the saddle fitter I purchased them from what the normal process was and she said finding the shoe repair person was less expensive and time consuming than sending the saddle off. I have no spare. My billets were around $16 apiece not including tax. I have an Albion (love it!) I have not yet asked the cost of putting them on. I am trying to find someone who will do it while I wait (I would make an appointment) so I don't have to leave my saddle. The main thing the saddle fitter told me was to make sure whoever put them on did not put them on backwards (rough side up Let me know what you find out!
    www.musicalfreestyles.com
    CenterStage Musical Freestyles

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    • #3
      Where did you order your billets from? I've got to get my jumping saddle ones done.

      Nancy!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by CenterStage View Post
        Hi, I just now am having to do what you are doing. Very timely. I just received and paid for the billets and am looking for a shoe repair person to put them on. I asked the saddle fitter I purchased them from what the normal process was and she said finding the shoe repair person was less expensive and time consuming than sending the saddle off. I have no spare. My billets were around $16 apiece not including tax. I have an Albion (love it!) I have not yet asked the cost of putting them on. I am trying to find someone who will do it while I wait (I would make an appointment) so I don't have to leave my saddle. The main thing the saddle fitter told me was to make sure whoever put them on did not put them on backwards (rough side up Let me know what you find out!
        Where did you order your billets? What type did you buy? I'm thinking of getting Gary Mundy to make them for me.

        I also do not want to leave my saddle somewhere. But do the shoe repair people know how to put billets on? I wouldn't want them to fall off in the middle of a ride...

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        • #5
          I had them replaced on my jumping saddle. For three it cost me $90. I would assume it would cost the same for a dressage saddle. This included the billets.

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          • #6
            I called the saddle fitter who is also an Albion distributor. She sold me the saddle so she new exactly what I needed. Call the closest sales rep that distributes your particular saddle in the area. If you tell them the model/style of your saddle they should easily be able to tell you which billets you need and order them for you. I live in an area where it is fairly horsey. The shoe repair person had already worked on billets so he knows what to do. It could not hurt to remind or show someone exactly how it needs to look or how strong it needs to be just in case. If you bring the saddle to the shoe or leather repair person, they should be able to look at it and see how strong it needs to be sewn and what materials were used originally. Don't try to just explain it. Mine came with pre punched holes so they will need to be sewn by hand and not a machine.
            www.musicalfreestyles.com
            CenterStage Musical Freestyles

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            • #7
              When I had my billets replaced about two years ago, it costed in the vecinity of $125. I had a saddler do the work, and luckily, I have one locally at the moment. I would never take a saddle to a shoe repair person if any of the billets go through the leg rolls...only if the billets just get sewn on a tab that is already coming off the tree. My Albion has the front billet going through the leg roll, and the saddle must be opened in order to attach the front billet properly. The back billet is a normal sort of tab attachment. Do not leave your saddle at the repair place, but make an appointment to actually wait for the work to be completed. Shoe repair places do not have good spots on which to rest saddles, and unless they are very careful, you will get your saddle back with scratches. Ask me how I know!

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              • #8
                When I had the billets replaced on my jumping saddle, I sent the saddle to Quillin's and they replaced them for me. I did not have the replacement billets, so Quillin's had to supply those, and as you can imagine, they used absolutely top quality leather....those billets will probably outlast me. I do not remember the cost. I believe I was without the saddle for about 2 weeks.

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                • #9
                  Mine are both nylon down to a point, then the leather is sewn onto the nylon from there. So I used a local cobbler who has a sterling reputation. He said it's functionally no different than resewing the end of a belt, in fact he charged me the "belt rate" of $5 per "belt" times "four belts".

                  I brought him two pairs of plain black stirrup leathers, the good thick Amish kind. There is a local tack wholesaler in my area who sold them to me for $17 per pair, and I needed two pairs (for 4 billets total) so that was $34. My cobbler charged me $20 to measure and attach the new billets. So all told, the replacement cost was $54. I did leave the saddle in a big plush carry case and asked the cobbler to keep it in the carry case whenever he wasn't using it. It came back scratch-free.

                  If the billets had been more elaborate, like if the leather had to attach directly to the saddle tree or directly to the point billet, I would have paid the $$$ to use a master saddler instead.
                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                  • #10
                    It really depends on where and how the billets attach to the saddle. My AVG saddle has billets which are sown onto nylon straps which come out from under the saddle leather - so easy to replace the billets. I've seen other saddle where you have to take the saddle apart to replace the billets.

                    I'd let a shoe repair shop fix the AVG billets but NOT any billets where the saddle had to be taken apart.

                    I've been charged only $20 for replacing the AVG billets, whereas local leather fixer lady here charges $65 I believe for the other billet replacements.
                    Now in Kentucky

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                    • #11
                      I sent my saddle to Fennells in Lexington to have the billets replaced, I think it was around $100 for four. It's been several years, but I don't think it took more than a couple weeks. Just don't send it during the Lex. Jr. League Show in the summer; they get kind of busy then.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop

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