Saddles:Synthetic vs Leather - your thoughts
 
 

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Saddles:Synthetic vs Leather - your thoughts

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        12-22-2013, 02:53 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Saddles:Synthetic vs Leather - your thoughts

    Just curious as to what people prefer when it comes to saddles. Leather vs Synthetic. What are your thoughts on either. Just trying to figure out what I would like better. Cons and Pros of both would be wonderful if you have the time. Thanks for helping. :)
         
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        12-22-2013, 02:58 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    I really like leather... I hate synthetic (don't ask me why), but I have to get a synthetic, because some have changeable gullets, which my horse needs. Miserable really... If only leather saddles had changeable gullets :(
         
        12-22-2013, 03:15 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    The only pro to synthetic is weight. Leather is more durable, it resists tears and abrasion better.

    Most synthetic saddle (western) are also built on a synthetic tree, I really hate those. They tend to have shorter bars that can bother longer backed horses. For me, the weight is not an issue, I am a fairly strong man, but kids and smaller women may not be able to through my 67 lb wade on a horse.
         
        12-22-2013, 03:20 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    I have a synthetic Albetta & I LOVE it. It's light & easy to clean. I have not had any fit issues with our morab mare
    EmilyJoy likes this.
         
        12-22-2013, 03:41 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    I purchased my first synthetic saddle not so long ago - an Australian style. I've got to say I like it - lightweight, comfortable and virtually no heavy cleaning needed; surprisingly it seems to fit all my horses well (I ordered it with my "medium back" horse in mind). I have no idea how long it is going to last - I guess that question needs to be asked of me 20 years from now (I've certainly had all my leather saddles longer than that).
         
        12-22-2013, 04:28 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CandyCanes    
    I really like leather... I hate synthetic (don't ask me why), but I have to get a synthetic, because some have changeable gullets, which my horse needs. Miserable really... If only leather saddles had changeable gullets :(
    Bates? Kent & Masters? GFS?
         
        12-22-2013, 04:41 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    I have both leather (english ap and western pleasure) and synthetic saddles (wintec dressage). I find the leather tack to have more 'stickability' to it. With the wintec I do find I can slide across the material easier than with leather.

    Synthetic is much easier to care for. Haven't had to buy any leather cleaner or neatsfoot oil for my wintec over the past 18 years, lol.

    Synthetic may not 'mold' to your horse as well, as the material does not act the same as leather. This could compromise saddle fit, especially on a hard to fit horse.

    If given the choice, I will always go with a leather saddle over synthetic.
         
        12-22-2013, 05:21 PM
      #8
    Started
    I love leather! My english saddle is synthetic though. I refuse to purchase a synthetic western saddle.
         
        12-22-2013, 07:12 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I prefer leather. It comes to fit me better. I've found leather saddles to be better made (including the tree) than any of the synthetics I've seen, too.

    I would rather buy a well-made, used leather saddle of any discipline than a synthetic.
         
        12-22-2013, 07:47 PM
      #10
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sorral3    
    the only pro to synthetic is weight. Leather is more durable, it resists tears and abrasion better.

    Most synthetic saddle (western) are also built on a synthetic tree, I really hate those. They tend to have shorter bars that can bother longer backed horses. For me, the weight is not an issue, I am a fairly strong man, but kids and smaller women may not be able to through my 67 lb wade on a horse.
    Another obvious pro to synthetic is ease of care. I totally understand why some prefer leather, but I don't think anyone can argue that wiping a saddle off with a damp cloth is more difficult than grabbing the saddle soap :P

    I have a synthetic Wintec isabell dressage saddle. No tears or anything on it, but it has started to show wear over the 7 or so years that I've had it. It's super light and easy to care for, and wears pretty well. But... one day it'll probably wear out. If you take care of a good quality leather saddle then it'll last forever.

    Some synthetic saddles look great, and some look obviously fake. It's really a matter of preference, though. I have both (I use my synthetic Wintec most frequently, but I have a leather close contact, western, and australian saddles), and I love all of them. Leather looks nice, but it's a pain to have to maintain saddles that I hardly use.
         

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