Roughout leather?

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Roughout leather?

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  • Smooth leather vs roughout on saddles
  • What makes roughout leather for saddles

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    11-06-2011, 06:34 PM
Roughout leather?

I've been looking for a new training saddle for western schooling. A lot of the models I've been looking at, are roughout leather instead of the smooth.

I generally prefer smooth leather, but the roughout is kind of starting to grow on me.

So, if you have a roughout leather saddle, how do you like them, vs smooth leather?

How do they wear and last? Do they take the same cleaning routine, smooth leather would?

My only hesitation on them, is I've seen how some older ones smooth out where your legs would be, and although you can't see it when you're riding, it still just doesn't look good... Opinions on that?

I've been looking mainly at Billy Royal and Circle Y saddles, along with a couple others.
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    11-06-2011, 06:47 PM
All rough out saddles will smooth out from use. Until they do they can casue some real friction burns. They are meant to give you grip when you are riding and do a great job of it - which is why most training saddles are made that way.

You can keep up the knapp on the saddle by using a brass bristle brush to rough up the roughout. You can't oil the roughout or it will smooth it out - cleaning comes just from brushing it.
    11-06-2011, 07:23 PM
I use roughout saddles for barrel racing. It helps keep me in the saddle more. I prefer roughout to smooth.
farmpony84 likes this.
    11-06-2011, 07:24 PM
Please don't get caught up in the term "training saddle". That was just another marketing gimmick. Many have fiberglass trees which fracture so one has to be careful there. A regular trail saddle will do fine as long as you don't try to pull calves or heavy timber with it. The real light roughout on those training saddles soon make it look like it's been thro a war.
    11-06-2011, 08:36 PM
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Please don't get caught up in the term "training saddle". That was just another marketing gimmick. Many have fiberglass trees which fracture so one has to be careful there. A regular trail saddle will do fine as long as you don't try to pull calves or heavy timber with it. The real light roughout on those training saddles soon make it look like it's been thro a war.
I wouldn't ever buy anything because of it's name. Training saddles and reiners are basically the same in build, and that build is what I prefer for an all around schooling saddle. Trail, barrel, ropers, all those others don't have the correct build and balance for what I'm most comfortable in.
I feel basically the same about the light roughout. But when you're in the saddle, it's not noticeable, so the only reason why I'd consider it..

I was debating between the Billy Royal Rowel reiner, and their pro work saddle, which is roughout.

Iridehorses- How grippy is grippy? I could see that being a bit restricting..

I wish I had a good local tack store around so I could sit in some, and see for myself..

It sounds like they're easier and quicker to take care of though...
    11-07-2011, 07:04 AM
It is gripy enough to be a real aid in holding you in the saddle. I remember one roughout saddle that I got a few years ago and instead of breaking it in, I went on a heavy duty trail ride with it - right out of the box. When I got back to the trailer, the inside of my knees were a bloody mess from the friction.
    11-07-2011, 06:38 PM
Hmmmm. I may not like something aiding in holding me down. I prefer full motion for when it's needed.

I think I'll just get the reining saddle that's smooth leather and not worry about trying something new.. Thanks for all your replies guys!
    11-07-2011, 06:51 PM
I love my roughout saddle and will likely never ride in anything else again. It does give more grip, but I never felt restricted by the stickiness. It can cause some nice rug-burns on your legs until it get broke in but once it is, it's awesome, IMHO.

Mine has slicked down a bit since I bought it but I can still feel the slight grip that it offers more than on a slick saddle. It comes in really handy when I'm riding colts that aren't entirely predictable LOL.

Mine has darkened in the places where my legs rub, but like you said, nobody can see it when I'm riding so I really don't care LOL.
    11-08-2011, 04:14 PM
Roughout leather is grippy - yes, grippy enough to draw blood in some cases.

It does discolor with use and smooth out over time. Also, you can damage it with improper cleaning.
    11-08-2011, 04:25 PM
Super Moderator
I have a rocking r that is so comfortable. I absolutely love it. If only it fit my horse... I need to take pix and run an add to sell it :(

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