Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Night Latch- Safety for the Old West Cowboy

In the old west, a cowboy may use the expression, “eatin’ gravel without stoopin’.” This means a cowboy has just been thrown from a horse!

Whether you are an old west cowboy or a “cowboy” of today nobody wants to be thrown from an out of control horse.

Part of the traditional cowboy’s bronc gear was a Night Latch or “Oh Damn strap”. This night latch is still very handy today.

A night latch is a safety strap attached to a saddle to help you stay on an out of control horse. You are using the strap to form a loop to grab like a suitcase handle (or bareback rigging.)

The saddle horn is an option, but with a night latch, you can pull yourself down into the saddle, which gives you greater leverage than holding the horn.

Try this experiment; next time you in your saddle-

First hold the horn, then grab the lariat rope strap or front saddle strings and pull yourself down, imagining the feeling if your horse were acting up. You should feel more secure.

But remember: the rope strap or saddle strings are too light to serve the real purpose.

This is one method used to rig a traditional night latch:

Use a four foot length of catch rope.
Double the rope.
Run the looped end of the rope through the gullet of the saddle from the front.
Run both free ends through the loop. Leave enough room to slip your hand between the saddle and the rope.
Twist the ends around the loop and back through themselves, as shown.

Buckaroo Leather has two night latch styles available- pictured to the right

3/4" harness leather with a stainless engraved buckle
1/2" cotton rope.

Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving
the Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality
American made leather horse tack.......

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