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Roller Buckles on Girths

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  • Roller Buckles on Girths

    Are girths without roller buckles harder on billets than ones with, or are rollers strictly for rider convenience?

    I want to get as much use out of my billets as possible, so I was wondering about this. Some of my favorite girths and ones I've been interested in buying are older with no rollers, and I've wondered about having new buckles put on or if it is even necessary.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I am not sure I have used an English girth in the past ten years that *didn't* have roller buckles. I guess I assumed they were standard?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      I am not sure I have used an English girth in the past ten years that *didn't* have roller buckles. I guess I assumed they were standard?
      They are now, but my older girths that I love don't have them. They are easily 30+ years old, but have amazing leather on them that has held up really well and seems to work well on even sensitive horses. I like using them, but if the buckles are harder on my billets while tightening and might wear them out more quickly, I was thinking of having them replaced. If not and it's just for ease of tightening, I'd like to leave them as is.

      I've also seen some older high end girths for sale I was interested in that didn't have them, but the leather was really nice.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can probably add rollers to those buckles, or have someone do it - without even having to unsew to replace the hardware.
        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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        • #5
          I've had rollers leave little indents on the flap, so maybe no rollers is better if less convenient
          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            It really depends on the quality of the buckles. I had a pricy (relatively) synthetic fluffy girth that had horrible rollers that gouged the heck out of my billets, and a cheapo that was fine. I really prefer my old girths with nice smooth non-roller buckles.

            Comment


            • #7
              You can also consider if the girth buckles have sharp edges that bite into the leather. Many are themselves rounded. If the hardware is solid and not plated a file might be of use to round off corners.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

              Comment


              • #8
                No matter your girth - use your billet guards to protect the underside of your flaps! It seems roller buckles especially have slightly longer. more pronounced and pointier (sharper) pins.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                  You can probably add rollers to those buckles, or have someone do it - without even having to unsew to replace the hardware.
                  Good idea! I didn't know if this was possible or if the whole buckle had to be replaced!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                    I've had rollers leave little indents on the flap, so maybe no rollers is better if less convenient
                    I think I've noticed those on saddles, too. I have them on the underside of my billet guards.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Saskatoonian View Post
                      It really depends on the quality of the buckles. I had a pricy (relatively) synthetic fluffy girth that had horrible rollers that gouged the heck out of my billets, and a cheapo that was fine. I really prefer my old girths with nice smooth non-roller buckles.
                      Oh no! My old girths have smooth, kind of rounded edges as well. I have one with roller buckles that has one roller that has kind of separated in a spot and has a sharp edge, and the roller is stuck. I don't use that one in fear of it cutting my billets or saddle.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                        You can also consider if the girth buckles have sharp edges that bite into the leather. Many are themselves rounded. If the hardware is solid and not plated a file might be of use to round off corners.
                        My old girths with non-roller buckles have smooth, rounded off edges, luckily!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Joyrider View Post
                          No matter your girth - use your billet guards to protect the underside of your flaps! It seems roller buckles especially have slightly longer. more pronounced and pointier (sharper) pins.
                          Yes, definitely! My billet guards aren't removable from what I can tell, as they attach all the way up to the top of the billets.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Even if you use billet guards (always!), bad rollers will gouge the billets themselves, so you'll have to replace them more often.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Saskatoonian View Post
                              Even if you use billet guards (always!), bad rollers will gouge the billets themselves, so you'll have to replace them more often.
                              That's true. I've noticed gouges from bad rollers on billets on other saddles as well.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                What really kills your billets is the "spring" buckles. Makes it so easy to tighten the girth, especially when you're mounted, but eventually will wear a center groove in your billet!

                                I have a new Stubben girth that doesn't have rollers, which kind of shocked me. I'm not sure if any other company is making them sans rollers these days.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by 173north View Post
                                  What really kills your billets is the "spring" buckles. Makes it so easy to tighten the girth, especially when you're mounted, but eventually will wear a center groove in your billet!

                                  I have a new Stubben girth that doesn't have rollers, which kind of shocked me. I'm not sure if any other company is making them sans rollers these days.
                                  I'm not sure I've used those, but I can see them doing that. I haven't seen a new girth without rollers in a long time, either.

                                  Comment

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