Horse Saddle Rigging

Horse saddle rigging is the term used to describe the process of securing the horse’s saddle to the horse by way of a cinch or girth. This article will provide you with some of the basics of saddle rigging, including an explanation of the various rigging types and positions.

Some rigging is attached directly to the saddle tree (also known as conventional rigging) while other rigging is attached to the saddle skirt (in-skirt rigging).

Conventional rigging advantages

  • May be more durable over the long run
  • It can be easily repaired or replaced if necessary

Disadvantages

  • The rigging is bulkier under the rider’s leg

Advantages of in-skirt rigging

  • Allows the rider closer contact with the horse
  • The cinch doesn’t need to be pulled as tight

Disadvantages

  • Repairs require the entire skirt to be repaired or replaced

Flat plate rigging is a variation of in-skirt rigging that offers the best of both worlds. A flat metal plate is wrapped in layers of leather and riveted to the saddle skirt.

Advantages of flat plate rigging

  • There’s less bulk under the rider’s leg
  • Allows the stirrups to swing freely
  • Generally more durable than in-skirt rigging without the plate

Disadvantages

  • Repairs require the entire skirt to be repaired or replaced

Another variation to rigging is the option of attaching a saddle with one strap (single rigging) or two straps (double rigging). Single rigging involves the use of a single cinch strap while double rigging utilizes a cinch strap and a flank strap.

There are also multiple rigging positions that need to be considered. With single rigging, the cinch is placed more towards the center of the saddle to prevent the saddle from tipping forward. Below are the different rigging positions along with placement descriptions:

Full Rigging

  • In line with the horn of the saddle
  • You may want to utilize double rigging for this position by adding a flank strap when riding on hilly terrain.

7/8 Inch Rigging

  • In line with the back of the horn
  • You may want to utilize double rigging for this position by adding a flank strap when riding on hilly terrain.
  • 3/4 Inch Rigging
  • Halfway in between the center of the saddle and the full rigging position

5/8 Inch Rigging

  • Halfway in between the center of the saddle and the 3/4 inch position.
  • Center Fire Rigging
  • Middle of the saddle

Some saddles offer three-way rigging that enables you to choose from a 3/4″, 7/8″ or full rigging position.

How do you know what type of rigging to choose?

The proper rigging is determined by the type of activity you plan to perform. Listed below are some basics:

  • Endurance saddles usually offer a 5/8″ or a center fire rigging position with a wider cinch. The more centered rigging ensure the horse’s movements aren’t inhibited on long rides. The wider cinch provides more comfort for the horse and additional stability for the rider.
  • Rancher saddles are often used for a variety of tasks. I would recommend using a double rigging system for the more strenuous tasks.
  • Reining saddles are generally equipped with double rigging but many riders choose not to utilize the flank cinch.
  • Cutting and Roper Saddles are usually used for a more intense purpose than other types of saddles. I would recommend utilizing a conventional full double rigging to guarantee you have that added security needed.
  • Most trail saddles offer three-way rigging. If the trail is hilly, you should consider adding a flank strap to prevent the saddle from tipping.

Enjoy a safe ride!



Source by Beverly Fox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.