Western Saddle Guide

Western Saddle Guide > Saddle Parts > Saddle Strings

The Saddle Strings

The saddle strings are the long, narrow leather straps that hang off the side of a saddle. They are used to tie gear such as slickers, lariats, saddlebags, and canteens to the saddle. But the main purpose of the the strings was originally to hold together the pieces of the saddle covering – the sheepskin, skirts, and jockeys – and anchor them to the bars. This assembly significantly improves the lifespan of a saddle and is still the construction method of today’s top saddlemakers.

A saddle string is usually made from flexible latigo leather and is 3/8” to 1/2" wide and 26” to 36” long. Decorative conchos made of either leather or metal act as washers and the string is then tied using the slit-braid method where one end of the string is fed through slots in the other end. The result is a very strong assembly with a finished look.

You'll find bundles of saddle strings available in the Tack Shop.

6-String Saddle by Dakota
There are four locations for saddle strings on each side of a western saddle:
  • On the rear jockey

  • On the “ear” of the seat jockey (the portion that curls up around the base of the cantle)

  • Below the base of the fork

  • On the front jockey

If a saddle had strings in all four positions, it's called an eight-string saddle. The six-string saddle, which omits strings at the base of the fork, is the most common arrangement on modern saddles.

tie-one-onMany manufactured saddles don’t come with any strings, but rather have Dee rings or screws. Strings can be added to these saddles. If your saddle is missing Dee rings, then the Cashel Company has come up with a clever solution for adding saddle strings called "Tie-One-On." This adjustable saddle strap system fits any western saddle, giving you rings behind the cantle, at the back cinch slots (to tie down your saddle bags) and at the pommel. Those Cashel folks are pretty clever.


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