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Decker versus Saw Buck pack saddles I prefer Decker pack saddles as they have half breeds with one inch thick felt and wooden side boards to protect the pack animal when packing. Additionally, if a pack animal with a Saw Buck rolls down a hill when horse packing the wooden crutches on a Saw Buck are broken. What you have left you is useless on your pack trip. I had the misfortune of rolling a horse with a decker pack saddle and both the pack horse and pack saddle survived

Also, if you have a pack horse with a sawbuck that gets lose and runs underneath some low branches the crutches can break off.

The advantage a sawbuck has is the 2 cinches which helps stabilize the pack saddle and load better. However, experienced packers have no problems with a decker and a single cinch. If you want 2 cinches a decker pack saddle can be made to accomodate 2 cinches. The 2 cinch option on a decker normally costs approximately $100.

Quarter Breeds A quarter breed is a piece of canvas, with appropriate slits for decker rings, that protects and helps keep clean the half breed and pack saddle. If you are packing out elk quarters without a mantie or pannier a quarter breed would help protect your pack saddle.

Lash Cinches When you put a lash cinch on panniers or manties you prevent the pannier or manty from sliding back on the horse’s side when panniers/manties hit a tree or rock. Consequently, when using a lash cinch the pannier or manty hits a tree, there is no give, and hitting a tree/rock will jar the horse and possibly force it off a narrow trail.

I prefer not using a lash cinch. I prefer to have my panniers slide back if a pannier hits a tree or rock so it does not jar my pack horses.

Using a Lash Cinch A lash cinch is a cinch with a hook on one end and rope attached to the other cinch end. Some people use a lash cinch to secure a top pack or also secure manties. Throw the rope over the top pack and place the cinch under the horse. Run the rope through the lash cinch hook. Pull up hard on rope to tighten around horses stomach and then tie a diamond hitch. Attach excess rope to pack saddle securely. Some inexperienced horses will buck if they unexpectedly step on a dangling lash cinch rope.

Top Packs are commonly used on pack saddles. However, top packs raise the center of gravity on the pack saddle which causes more rocking of the load. Top packs need to be low, compact and as secure as possible. Check your pack and cinch more often when using a top pack. Higher top packs increases the likelihood the pack saddle will rock and slip to one side possibly causing a wreck. Use a lash cinch if necessary to keep a top pack secure so it will not shift.

There is an old saying, " If you need to use a top pack, you also need another horse."

Never have a round rolled tent a top pack as it will slide to one side and cause a wreck.

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3071 West Twin Road, Moscow Idaho 83843, 208-882-1791, 2002
208-882-1791, 1-800-234-1150, FAX: 208-882-4297