What Is an O-Ring on a Saddle?
- An o-ring on a saddle is a simple circular shape, usually made out of metal, that holds the rigging of a saddle onto its base. In short, it is a simple ring in a rounded shape. This ring holds a loop near the seat of the saddle to the straps that tie to the horse, known as rigging, according to Russ Fawson, a saddle maker. When a rider is on a saddle, the o-ring is located near the thigh of the rider, midway down on the leg.
- Many saddles have different styles of rings. The ring does not have to be in an "o" shape. A saddle may also have a "D" shaped ring, which, instead of being circular, is flat on one side but rounded on the other. If you see this style of ring on a saddle, the saddle likely does not have an o-ring at all. Some custom-made saddles can also use leather, instead of a metal ring, to hold rigging into place.
- The o-ring holds billets in place. The billets are the long--usually leather--straps that hold the base saddle on the animal. Without an o-ring, the billets would not stay in place.
- If an o-ring is not secure, the straps will not hold to the seat, causing the saddle to loosen from the horse. Broken o-rings should be replaced promptly. Saddles intended for decoration only may be missing billets and o-rings.
- Many online options exist for finding a replacement part to a saddle. For example, RideTreeless.com has many options for saddle parts, as well as entirely new saddles. Parts can be custom ordered from them online. Russ Fawson, a saddle maker, provides buyers a full list of accessories on his site at RussFawson.com. If the billets are also damaged, a full set of new rigging equipment may be necessary.