Saddles:Synthetic vs Leather - your thoughts - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 34 Old 12-23-2013, 05:13 AM
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They're both okay, depending on the saddle of course. They're light, easy care and water proof.

I prefer leather. I've had a synthetic saddle for over 10 years and it has never "broken in" like a leather does. Some do to an extent but it's not the same. They often squeak and if they are synthetic on the underside they can maintain more heat. Leather saddles also have a high resale value.

Over all you get what you can afford. Synthetic saddles will always be the "cheap" ones. I've never seen a synthetic retail above 2 grand, once you get serious about any type of saddle you really have to get a leather. They're not bad but they're not the best either.
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post #22 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
For what it's worth, I haven't had any of these issues with my wintec, though it is the "equisuede" material. You can tell where the stirrup leathers lie, but if you brush the fabric then any marks will go away. Definitely no staining or discoloration, and I've actually found the seat to be fairly sticky. But... I've never ridden in any Wintecs other than those made of the equisuede or the much older, kind of canvasy fabric ones so I can't speak about the others. Not trying to change your mind, just pointing out that even in the brand there can be huge differences!

I think the Equisuede was the better thought out of their products lol. Because the one I had wasn't their super old style but whatever the stuff is they're making now without the suede type seats. So it was SLICK. Plus it wasn't the black it was the light caramel brown - no hiding those stains.

The equisuede style seats I actually did consider when I was looking for a new saddle way back when I sold my first Wintec. It wasn't horrible - there certainly are worst saddles - but I couldn't get over the "chunky" feeling of it (I rode in a Courbette Royale for years with no knee blocks) and the fact it always seemed to roll no matter what. Then all the crap I heard about the CAIR system... I just decided to stick with a nice leather saddle LOL.
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post #23 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CandyCanes View Post
As in they are leather saddles with a changeable gullet?
Yes. There are a few others too - Shires do one with interchangeable gullets (flocked one yesterday). Barnsby (iTree) uses a synthetic tree which is dealer heat-adjustable similar to Keiffer, and Whittaker can be factory-altered.

So if you're looking for one there is some choice
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post #24 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by unclearthur View Post
Yes. There are a few others too - Shires do one with interchangeable gullets (flocked one yesterday). Barnsby (iTree) uses a synthetic tree which is dealer heat-adjustable similar to Keiffer, and Whittaker can be factory-altered.

So if you're looking for one there is some choice
Thanks a mill... So flaming expensive though! I mean blimey!
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post #25 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 03:25 PM
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I work at a summer camp we have about 20 head and our saddles are both leather and Synthetic I use what I can find that will fit, I like the synthetic saddles they do hold up will if you take good care of them they don't hold up will to falls and stuff like that, I have found one saddle that had a broken tree after a horse fell over on it but hay a horse fell on it. The leather saddles need for care as far as oil and such, the synthetic don't seem to "fall apart" like a leather saddle can, leather dries out and breaks the others don't have that problem.

Now all that said, I personally HATE riding in the synthetic saddles I find them to be VERY uncomfortable. I have a very large leather western saddle that I like very much. At the end of the day, I like to think that my saddle could be past down if I take care of it, the synthetic saddle will always just be a saddle. Good luck what ever you end up with a good saddle that fits the horse and is comfortable for you to ride in is an investment take good care of it is should last you for years. (unless you are in showing, then you will need to changes saddles to keep the judges happy. :) )
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post #26 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 03:39 PM
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Every time I buy a new saddle I am talked into sitting on a synthetic one and they just don't feel as good as the leather ones IMO
I do clean my leather saddles but I'm not over fussy and they get a lot of use - a couple are now over 25 years old and one really comfortable leather saddle I have wasn't new when I bought it
I have had them re-flocked and new leather straps fitted over the years but otherwise they still look really great and well worth the extra cost - though a good second hand saddle with years and years of use still left in it need not cost any more than a synthetic one
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post #27 of 34 Old 12-24-2013, 04:08 PM
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marcel toulouse also has the genesis system.
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post #28 of 34 Old 12-25-2013, 01:32 PM
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I prefer leather. However I'm a traditionalist with alot of stuff including horse tack. Leather is heavier, and more maintenence but I feel holds up better than the synthetic stuff. I plan on having my saddle until I die and then maybe my grand kids will ride in it. Not many people have those kind of plans for a synthetic saddle. JMHO.
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post #29 of 34 Old 12-25-2013, 02:35 PM
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I prefer leather.

100 years later leather can still look good.

Synthetic doesn't wear or age well.
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post #30 of 34 Old 12-26-2013, 09:58 AM
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I had a synthetic saddle when I had my horse. It was easy to clean and light weight. I also like I could change the gullet system. I couldn't find a leather saddle the fit my horse unless I had to custom make the saddle. Which would cost me a bit of money. I mean I've ridden in both. I like them both equally. It's all in your preferences.
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