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Any way to convert short billets to long billets, without going to a saddler?

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  • Any way to convert short billets to long billets, without going to a saddler?

    I know they make english to western, and western to english girth converters. How about AP saddle to Dressage saddle billet converters?

    I have an AP saddle with short billets, and a wide as a tank horse who is also chubby right now. She wears a 54in girth that fits her just fine, but me having to tighten the girth up high really hurts my lower back. My back is kind of messed up to begin with from my mare's younger years trying to convince me she was a bronc horse..

    Tightening the girth on a Dressage saddle doesn't hurt my back, because it's so much lower. Is there any way to use a short Dressage girth on an AP saddle, without taking it to a saddler and having long billets installed?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

  • #2
    use a girth extender-

    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,300.html

    buckle them to the 1st or 2nd hole on your AP's billets...then buckle the dressage girth to them. It will look funny but who cares?

    Comment


    • #3
      Spare billets are sold by leather supply companies.

      So long as there is no point billet (attached inside the panel, so you'd need to drop the panels to replace that one) if you know how to safely sew on the billets, using appropriate grade thread, you would cut the stitching for the old billets and stitch on the new, longer billets. The billets I've seen are pre-punched with the holes for sewing.

      To be honest, I know how to do it, and more than likely, I'd take it to a saddler.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by katarine View Post
        use a girth extender-

        http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,300.html

        buckle them to the 1st or 2nd hole on your AP's billets...then buckle the dressage girth to them. It will look funny but who cares?
        I'd probably need 4 extenders total to make a Dressage girth fit.. the saddle is really teensie compared to my mare.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
          Spare billets are sold by leather supply companies.

          So long as there is no point billet (attached inside the panel, so you'd need to drop the panels to replace that one) if you know how to safely sew on the billets, using appropriate grade thread, you would cut the stitching for the old billets and stitch on the new, longer billets. The billets I've seen are pre-punched with the holes for sewing.

          To be honest, I know how to do it, and more than likely, I'd take it to a saddler.
          It's a synthetic saddle, so I'm unsure if the billet changing would be different. Also, it has 4 billets per side, also making it a bit unusual.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            Then just stand on a bucket to girth her up so you are taller than she is and just use what you have already??

            Comment


            • #7
              How about a girth tightener? Be careful though it is easy to get TOO tight:

              http://www.freedomrider.com/Girth-En...Tightener.html
              I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

              Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Chardavej View Post
                How about a girth tightener? Be careful though it is easy to get TOO tight:

                http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/3099/BB99
                Interesting, I've never seen that before! Have you ever used one? Does it work well?
                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                  Interesting, I've never seen that before! Have you ever used one? Does it work well?
                  I changed the link, I saw an ad for it for sale and they showed how it's used. I've never used one but been thinking about buying one. What I've read about though is it can really get a girth too tight easily, you don't need that much strength.

                  http://www.freedomrider.com/Girth-En...Tightener.html
                  I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                  Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Chardavej View Post
                    I changed the link, I saw an ad for it for sale and they showed how it's used. I've never used one but been thinking about buying one. What I've read about though is it can really get a girth too tight easily, you don't need that much strength.

                    http://www.freedomrider.com/Girth-En...Tightener.html
                    Yeah I typically already know what holes I want the girth to be on, on both sides, so overtightening wouldn't be a problem. I also don't tighten all at once. I put the saddle on, attach the girth, walk her around a bit, tighten the girth. Put the bridle on, give her a treat, tighten the girth. Pull my stirrups down from being run up, put on my helmet, tighten the girth. etc, etc.
                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You would not want 4 long billets per side on a saddle. You should just choose the two that make the saddle balanced on your horse.

                      Extra, long billets are a PITA, since they flap about.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
                        You would not want 4 long billets per side on a saddle. You should just choose the two that make the saddle balanced on your horse.

                        Extra, long billets are a PITA, since they flap about.
                        So as a saddler, would you remove the other 2 billets then? It'd look kinda silly to have 2 long billets and 2 short billets on both sides!
                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          But would anyone see the short ones?

                          I need me a girth tightener, hands are both shot. I have to climb on the mounting block and that's to tighten a dressage girth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What about using a pair of stirrup leathers as a SUPER long girth extender??? You could buy the synthetic for extra strength (I've seen nylon stirrup leathers that are very cheap but would be very strong, too ).
                            It is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeano View Post
                              But would anyone see the short ones?

                              I need me a girth tightener, hands are both shot. I have to climb on the mounting block and that's to tighten a dressage girth.
                              Truth be told I didn't even think of getting on a block to tighten her girth.. but even that would be a problem, as I ride in pastures and fields a lot, no mounting block.

                              Flame suit zipped, I usually climb up onto a gate and vault onto her back as she walks by.. do as I say, not as I do...
                              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by NE_Rider View Post
                                What about using a pair of stirrup leathers as a SUPER long girth extender??? You could buy the synthetic for extra strength (I've seen nylon stirrup leathers that are very cheap but would be very strong, too ).
                                That's a neat idea, I never would've thought of that!
                                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                                  That's a neat idea, I never would've thought of that!
                                  I wish I could take credit for the idea, but years ago I saw a Percheron being shown in a hunter class, and the his people had used stirrup leathers as girth extenders (for a long girth, no less LOL!!!).

                                  I came very close to having to do this with my Perch/TB, when the 56" girth plus girth extender wasn't enough!!! Yes....I seriously believe my horse was laughing at me while I was telling her to "suck it in."
                                  It is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Any saddler or tack repair shop could make you a pair of custom length girth extenders.
                                    the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If it were my saddle, I'd leave the two short ones you do not want to use attached. Because, if you ever want to sell it, long billets can become short billets with a hole punch and a knife...and it will not affect the billet strength.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Is it a Thorowgood by any chance?

                                        You can change out their billets.

                                        You *could* also lace new billets to the old, the way that you lace a long latigo on. If you were to use parachute cord or similar, it would be just as strong as stitching... Four or five holes worth.

                                        It's strong enough for long latigos...
                                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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