The nightlatch, also known as a safety or security strap, is a thin strap that wraps around the front of the saddle’s fork. A nightlatch provides a secure grasp for the unpredictable nature of horseback riding.
Because its original purpose was to provide a hold for a rider who would sleep on a night ride and trust his horse to find his way home, this strap was given the term nightlatch. A nightlatch, on the other hand, benefits all riders.
People starting colts usually always have a nightlatch on their saddles, which they will slip their hand through when they mount. They are prepared to face any challenge.
A nightlatch is not as ubiquitous on recreational riders’ saddles as it should be. Horses are skittish and move rapidly because they are prey animals. A tight hold is essential, and a nightlatch gives a convenient strap to grab onto.
You can make your own nightlatch out of a dog collar or a piece of rope, but Horsewoman Karen Scholl sells well-made and attractive nightlatches.
Karen Scholl has created a fantastic little video on the nightlatch. On her website, she also has a fascinating audio interview with Western Horseman on the strap. On her nightlatch page, it is in the upper right corner.