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Latigo saddle knots Leather vs Nylon

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  • Latigo saddle knots Leather vs Nylon

    I was told tying a latigo knot with a nylon latigo is not safe (it can slip). Leather latigos can be knotted (cowboy knot, Latino knot) and are safe. Thoughts?
    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....

  • #2
    I tied knots using a leather latigo eons ago as a kid, but as an adult have always used the hole and keeper of the buckle. I have never had an issue with leather staying tight with using the buckle, and I have fairly athletic horses that I showed as cutters and now ride as trail horses. But, I also have fairly well fitted saddles that do not shift much, it at all.
    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


    • #3
      For years always used a leather tie strap and knitted...but have come to find using the holes and tab on the cinch is much less bulky and easier for me to tighten appropriately. When making the switch to method also switched to a nylon tie, again finding it to be less bulky. I do still use a leather off billet though as I like the look better.
      The best little horse show series around!


      • #4
        Full hitch is all I have ever used. I'm not really envisioning the other two. When I got the saddle it had some very lumpy knot tied with a nylon latigo and I teased it loose and put back what I knew. If it was a cowboy or Latino knot it wasn't letting go for anything.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • Original Poster

          Full hitch knot is the same as a cow hitch/cowboy/saddle/latigo knot.
          If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


          • #6
            Eh...wouldnt use nylon anyway. It’s hard to work with, never softens with use and never gives to subtle movements in the horses body as leather does. And it can rub.

            Dont think nylon will snug up like leather will, even with a proper Latigo knot and you can’t sort of slip it a little tighter or looser like you can leather.

            Nylon is just not a good choice for a Latigo cinch closure. Because there is no give in it, don’t care for it with a buckle either but it’s cheap and durable if that’s your need.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              I use both nylon and leather but like the leather a lot more because it "sticks" better. I do not like using the buckle as I feel it is either a little to tight or a little to loose.

              You do have to check with wear on the leather but that is just part of checking equipment anyway.


              • #8
                Another one who prefers leather but prefers to use the buckle on the cinch and holes on the Latino to tighten my cinch...mainly for the reason of I hate having bulk under my leg and two, I feel more secure buckling as opposed to tying a knot. They can certainly slip loose.
                All my saddles are very well fitting so I never feel the need to cut my horses in two with the cinch, if I’m “between” holes I’ll always opt for the looser one.


                • #9
                  I use Nylon. I had a leather Latigo snap in half while I was tightening a saddle. Nylon seems to work fine. I always tie my cinch. Never used the buckle. Never found that it loosens.


                  • #10
                    Well, I am kind of like the guy wearing both a belt AND suspenders. I use the buckle holes in a latigo, then knot the end on the upper cinch ring. Just a bit of extra safety. No loose strap ends to flap around. I don't really think the nylon slips, as more the that horse changes during a ride so things may not stay as tight as they were an hour ago. This happens with both leather and nylon during ride times. You will want to pull the forelegs forward to get any skin wrinkles out from under the cinch as the last step before mounting, to prevent sores from snug girthing.

                    We always do a girth check 15 minutes into my warm up, then again at 30 minutes. After that you will want to check girth hourly. On long rides, not offered water for a couple hours, horses do "shrink" enough to make a girth dangerously loose. Having seen saddles turn, dealing with injured riders, I take frequent girth checking, VERY SERIOUSLY.

                    And seriously? Get off your horse to adjust the girth! Much safer. His back probably needs a rest from your weight, you will be less stiff at the end of the day after walking a few steps before getting back on.

                    I like leather for softness, sticking to itself, but they can stretch, need constant upkeep to know they are safe and keep getting more expensive.

                    I like the strength of nylon, not thick under my legs, inexpensive, never stain the horse and washable in the washing machine.

                    I do use a leather off-strap, halfbreed style for more adjustability fast, between different size horses.

                    I want to be able to remove my latigo fast, easily for cleaning and checking wear at the fold. I have broken a latigo strap not checking for wear at the fold. Glad I was just girthing up, not on the horse!


                    • #11
                      I have a nylon cinch and tie a latigo knot, but I have a Smart Cinch.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CanterQueen View Post
                        I was told tying a latigo knot with a nylon latigo is not safe (it can slip). Leather latigos can be knotted (cowboy knot, Latino knot) and are safe. Thoughts?
                        I always use nylon and I always knot them.

                        Never once had one slip. Never. (and I barrel race, which means doing things at high speed and high force)

                        So you can absolutely knot nylon latigos and be perfectly safe.
                        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                        • #13
                          Worn a leather belt too many years to believe a thick leather strap will expand with breathing or moving. My nylon latigo has never rubbed. Or come loose. Easier to adjust than my leather ones.


                          • #14
                            I grew up with leather and so believed it was better. Then I bought a saddle that came with a nylon latigo. I said I was going to replace it with leather, but you know, Procrastinators-R-Us, and after using the nylon for a while decided that I liked it just fine. Better, in fact, than leather.

                            I don't tie, though. I use the buckle. When I got my first cinch with a buckle end, I was like goodhors - belt and suspenders (my Grandpa always wore both), but I eventually stopped tying and have never had any trouble with just the buckle.

                            Also agree with GhR009, leather stretches over the long term, but not so much in the short term. I don't believe it expands with breathing and moving enough to be noticeable or make a difference.
                            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                            that's even remotely true."

                            Homer Simpson


                            • #15
                              With regard to the original question, it has been my experience that nylon sometimes slips but leather almost never does. If you're going to tie but not buckle, you'd be safer with leather. If you plan to buckle the latigo, it probably doesn't matter.


                              • #16
                                As much as I am stuck in my ways and I always use leather on both sides of my cinch I will say it really is a personal preference. I wouldn't say nylon or leather is better or safer by tying or buckling. I remember seeing nylon more often in humid areas.
                                Either way, make sure you do it right and check your equipment often.

                                It spins people out when they see how we cinch up on a dropped rigging. Click image for larger version  Name:	20190905_174012.jpg Views:	1 Size:	23.2 KB ID:	10472125 ​​​​​​​