Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Back in March, I asked my Social Media followers a question with regards to girth straps and which side is the ‘right’ side.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

Well, before you all shoot the messenger or complain to your saddle supplier or fitter, what I am about to tell you is what is known as the ‘correct’ way.

Ask your Saddler/Saddle Fitter

This doesn’t mean that you have to go straight out and have your straps changed, but if you want them to be then this is a relatively easy job for your saddler or saddle fitter.

The ‘Correct’ Way

Girth straps should be stitched into your saddle with the dull side up (shiny side facing down) with the holes punched from the shiny side.

An awful lot of saddles are made with the girth straps the other way round (shiny side up). This is predominantly due to consumer requests.

As Saddlers, training for our City and Guilds Saddle Making qualification, we are taught to do everything the correct and in some cases the traditional way.

This includes hand-stitching girth straps into saddles with the dull side up because that is the safe and most durable way for them to be done.

Customer’s Preference

Most customers don’t like the look of the girth straps this way round and therefore request that they are stitched with the shiny side up.

This is fine as long as the best British leather is used and they are checked on a regular (annual) basis.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will last as long and could be liable to split or tear through the holes quicker than if they were fitted the ‘correct’ way.

If You’re Concerned

If you feel you want to maintain your saddle girth straps for longer then speak to your saddler or saddle fitter and they should be able to change them around or replace them if required.

If you have any questions then feel free to send them to me here.

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