How to Tie a Saddle Bag on a Horse

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Saddle bags are fastened to your horse's saddle using either clips or ties, depending on the style of the bag itself. Saddle bags must be fastened onto the saddle securely and are used to carry an assortment of different supplies.

Step 1: Find the D-Rings

Locate the D-rings on the saddle. There should be at least two at the front of the saddle near the conchos on either side of the pommel. The pommel is the front of the saddle and the part of the saddle that the horn sits on top of. D-rings also may be located at the rear of the saddle on either side of the seat, attached to the skirts. D-rings are small metal rings that are built into the saddle and specifically designed for attaching equipment.

Step 2: Attach the Saddle Bag

Choose the D-ring that you want to attach the saddle bag to. If the saddle bag has a clip, you can fasten the clip to the D-ring and you are done. If the saddle bag ties onto the D-ring, you will need to use a basic knot to tie the leather straps, also called latigo, together and attach the saddle bag to the D-ring. Use whatever style of knot you are most comfortable tying that will hold securely during riding and can be undone relatively easily if necessary.

Step 3: Check Your Placement

Take your horse on a short, brisk ride to determine if you have placed the saddle bag properly and make sure it is tied on snugly enough. Ride your horse at all speeds. Check to make sure the bag does not flop, bounce, rub or bang around in a way that will cause you or your horse discomfort during the ride.

Tip

    • If you are planning to use multiple saddle bags, evenly distribute the weight of the saddle bags. Don't put all of your saddle bags on one side of the saddle.
    • A number of saddle bags don't require any fastening. The most common designs fit either over the saddle horn or across the back of the saddle and don't require tying to stay in place.
    • Not all saddle bags are made the same. You may have to adjust the bag a couple of times before you find the most comfortable way to carry it on your saddle and your horse.
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