DIY: Cantle Bag

I have a small collection of saddle bags from SnugPax and Stowaway, which are great. However, my lightweight minimalist Pandora saddle has motivated me to trim down how much stuff I carry.

My needs are to carry water, snacks, first aid kit, spare hoof boots, and have a place I can tie an extra jacket if needed. I went through my old saddle bags and was amazed at how much random stuff I had collected in there, and would probably never use. I decided to condense my first aid supplies into just what would fit in a small thin cantle pack. The pommel pack can fit all my water and snacks, and has tightening straps that can hold a rolled up jacket.

I ordered an inexpensive fanny pack that seemed like that approximate measurements that would fit D ring to D ring on my cantle. Bonus: they come in colors! I originally got light blue when my saddle was gray, but after repainting my saddle blue the colors clashed so I bought another fanny bag in black. Check your saddle for measurements and search on amazon or ebay “fanny pack”. There are TONS of shapes, sizes, colors and prints to choose from.

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I trimmed off the straps and melted the cut edge to prevent fraying. I lined up the bag on the saddle and marked where the saddle’s D rings lined up to the ends of the bag. I punched a hole in both ends of the bag where it was reinforced where the straps had been attached. I used a soldering iron, but a hot nail would work too.
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I attached it to the saddle with small zip ties. Voila! Small no bounce cantle pack.

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Since this bag is too small to fit extra hoof boots, I attached them upside down to the bag, secured via their own velcro around the bag like they attach around the horse’s pastern. I like this set up much better than my old SnugPax cantle bag with hoof boot pouches (which I do like, but it is more bulky). This works great with my Pandora: small, lightweight and secure with no bounce. You’ll have to experiement with other saddle and bag shapes to find the right set up.

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Here the boot is twisted out of the way to show how everything is attached

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6 Comments

  1. lanabarkman

    I love this; I’m so thankful I ran across your blog. What boots to you use? Are they preventative or for a problem? Also, do you camp with the horses frequently? If so, do you use portable corrals? I’m thinking of building a pvc set at home. I apologize for all the questions, but I love the ideas and wisdom. Thank you!

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback! :)

      I use Easyboot Gloves mostly. My horse is barefoot, so she needs boots for fast rocky rides. I like to carry a spare in case I lose a boot. Even when I ride barefoot, I usually carry boots just in case she seems tender footed. Also, I use plastic EasyShoes for competitions sometimes, and I carry spare boots then in case I were to lose a shoe on the trail.

      I do camp with horses, used to quite frequently, now mostly just at endurance rides recently. I use a high line or a high tie on the trailer. I’ll write a blog post about my camp set up next time I go. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • lanabarkman

        Thanks for all your insight! My gelding has the hardest little black feet, he’s great barefoot. My husband’s mare can get a little tender, but we don’t ride on rock enough to justify shoes. I appreciate you sharing!

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  2. Great set up Kirrily! I was just messing around with packs/attachments yesterday. I’m very minimalist also. I love the fanny pack idea- thanks for the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jinx

    Great idea. And how do you like the Pandora saddle? Is it comfy for both you and the horse? Easy to stay centered?

    Like

    • I love the Pandora. It encourages a balanced position for me so I feel better over long miles. The seat is hard, but I added a yoga mat under the sheepskin and that works great (there’s a post on here about it). The super light weight is nice too, especially saddling up for the last loop on a 50! ;) My horse moves out better in it than my other saddles, so I think she likes it too.

      Like

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