Have you ever seen an accident caused by a latigo or off billet breaking? Too many people have stories of totally preventable falls from worn out latigos. Latigos, also called billets, are the straps on either side of your saddle that attach your cinch to your saddle. It doesn’t matter if they’re made of leather or nylon; they will wear out someday.
The strap on the left side is called a latigo. The strap on the right side can be either a single strap called an off latigo (off billet) or a doubled strap called a double off latigo. Since there are 2 layers of leather going through your saddle Dee in a double off it’s much safer than a single off. Latigos can also be made of nylon but nylon tends to wear out quickly and can tear. Nylon also wears your stirrup leathers out where it rubs.
Checking latigos for wear is important but often overlooked or forgotten, especially the off side latigo. The off side rarely gets adjusted so it isn’t handled often. It’s under your fender where it’s not easy to see unless you make a point of looking at it. If you have young kids make sure to check their latigos too. Follow along on the video as I show you important areas to look at to see if your double off latigo needs to be replaced.
Inspect the entire strap for weak spots and age. Make sure the leather is pliable. Look for elongation of the holes in the straps. It’s especially important to check for wear where the cinch buckle attaches to the latigo or double off. It’s equally important to check where it’s folded over the D rings of your saddle. These are the spots where the most pressure is applied. If there are any problems replace the strap(s) immediately. This is one piece of tack you really depend on! See how to attach a new double off.
I make all my latigos and double off latigos by hand, one latigo at a time. They’re made of dense, tight-fibered latigo leather and they’ll be the best you’ve ever felt. They are cut to just the right thickness so they won’t leave a lump under your fender. There are a variety of sizes to choose from and we can custom split your latigo if you’d like. If you have any questions please write firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 817-312-5305.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!