Thursday, June 2, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Reparing Saddling Equipment with Rivets

We are gathered around the repairing bench watching and learning how to repair saddles and all the riding material like bridles, stirrups and latigos. During our Horse pack trip, when I was leading my horse by walking in front of her, I lost the reins for just a second and Nadilla stepped on them. She pulled up with her head at the same time and the leather of the reins snapped. It can happen that some of the leather pieces of the saddle or the bridle breaks during a trip. You use what you have to make it hold until you can use the right tools to repair it properly. In this case we just cut a slit in the leather near the end and made it pass through itself to make a loop around the bit.

The material is checked before every ride and if some parts look damaged, they are brought to the repair bench. The material is really good quality so instead of throwing it away, everything is repaired on site.The bridles often break at the reins because horses walk on them or they get caught on something on the trail. Sometimes it can happen on other parts too.

The first step for repair would be to take all the broken pieces away. Then take a new leather part to replace it. Most pieces of the bridle are riveted together, so we need to do holes in the leather parts first to be able to put the rivets in it. This needs a lot of strength, as leather is not that easy to punch. When the right size of rivet is found you put both pieces together, put the rivet in the holes and put a washer on the other side. With pliers you hammer the washer down until it squeezes both leather parts. With cutting pliers you cut the rivet part that is too long and with a round hammer you hit the rivet to make it flat, round and smooth, holding the washer in place.

When the bridle is completely repaired it is first checked by an expert and after that it can go back with the other ones and be used on the next trip.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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