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April 22, 2005

Saddle Ties

If you have a horse trailer with a saddle rack in it, you may have noticed that you need to tie down your saddles so that they don't shift around or slide off while you are driving.

When I bought my horse trailer, I found a little sticker inside the door that says you must tie down all saddles on the saddle rack. You might think that the weight of the saddle will hold it in place, but even when I drive carefully and turn gently to give my donkeys a smoother ride, it seems like every so often I still have a saddle that slides off if I don't tie them down.

For a long time I wondered what I could use to tie them down and hold them in place. Then I came up with a bright idea. You might like to try it, too, if your saddle rack is designed to work like mine.

I measured and bought two bungee straps for each saddle position on the rack. I bought the black rubber kind instead of the rope type of bungee because I think it doesn't stretch as easily, and is more likely to hold the saddle down better.


Before I go driving somewhere with my trailer, I place the saddles on the saddle rack. If they are nice saddles I may cover them with a cloth to protect their finish. Then I pull a bungee cord across both sides, and hook them down. The bungee cords are easy to hook up and undo, and so far they have done a great job of holding my saddles in place while I'm driving down the road.


Warning: I don't recommend using bungee cords in areas around donkeys, mules, horses or other livestock. If they put extra strain on the bungee cords, the bungees can come flying apart pretty quickly, and can cause some disastrous results. My saddle rack is way back inside my dressing room, and no where near where the donkeys can reach it. There is also not a lot of pressure on the bungee cords - just enough to hold the saddles in place. So I feel pretty safe with this arrangement.

The black rubber bungees also seem like they might be less likely to come apart as they attach with a hook that hooks through a hole in the black rubber instead of a wire wrapped around the end of the bungee cord, although if put under enough pressure, I'm sure the metal hook would bend too. Just use them wisely.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at April 22, 2005 06:49 AM