Saddle Rigging Hardware

The rings, dees, and plates that link the off billet, flank billets, and latigos to the saddle are known as saddle rigging hardware. The style of rigging a saddle has is determined by its type, arrangement, and location on the saddle.

saddle ringsRigging hardware is essential for securing the saddle and should be of good quality. Brass, bronze, and stainless steel are the best materials for hardware. Nickel-plated steel or aluminum are used for lower-quality hardware. The plating on steel can wear away, enabling it to rust, and aluminum is a weaker material.

Round or flat stock can be used for the hardware. The rider’s legs will be less bulky with a flat stock. There are three basic shapes to consider.

  • 2 to 4 inch diameter circular ring.
  • 3 to 4 inch broad Dee (or “D”) ring shaped like the letter “D”.
  • A slot is cut into the flat plate. Plates can be built into the saddle tree or into the skirts and come in a range of shapes and sizes.

rigging plateThese rigging hardware types can be found in combination on a saddle. For example, the front rigging may have an in-skirt rigging plate while the rear rigging may have a circular or dee ring.

The rigging gear on both sides of a well-made saddle will be at the exact same spot. Off-kilter hardware can cause the saddle to become unstable and shift on the horse’s back.

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