The leather strings on your western saddle are called latigos. The purpose of latigos is to allow the rider to tie various items that he may need to his saddle. Latigos were used by cowboys working cattle to carry ropes, water and any other supplies they believed they would need to survive in rugged terrain. Today latigos are often used by trail riders to carry supplies on the trail. You can add latigo strings to a saddle if it does not already have them.
Attach a small D-ring to the conchos on your saddle by unscrewing the concho from the skirt of the saddle and slipping the D-ring onto the screw that is holding the concho in place. Reattach the concho to the saddle. Make sure the D-ring is sitting at the bottom of the concho and is attached to the underside of it.
Fold your latigo in half and wrap it around the D-ring. Stick the two ends of the string through the loop that is created by the middle of the latigo. Pull down on the ends of the strings to tighten the knot. The latigo is now attached to your saddle.
Tie the latigo to your items using a basic knot or a bow similar to how you tie your shoelaces. A small bow works well because you can easily untie it when the time comes to take your item loose. The leather latigo does not slip loose easily and so you do not need a complicated knot. Just wrap the two strings around the item, twist them through one another and pull them tight to secure your item.
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Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.