Synthetic Leather Tack Question
 
 

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Synthetic Leather Tack Question

This is a discussion on Synthetic Leather Tack Question within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Allergicto synthetic tack for horses
  • Haigh quality saddlery hors india

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  • 2 Post By Saddlebag
  • 1 Post By freia

 
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    07-09-2013, 12:29 PM
  #1
Foal
Synthetic Leather Tack Question

I live in the UK, and one day I plan to compete at a decently high level (perhaps not Olympic yet ha ha). However, I was wondering if you have to ride in a pure leather saddle at these high levels (i.e. You never see Ben Maher compete in a wintec saddle lol) or can I keep to riding in something that is synthetic or "leather look" ... if that exists.

And are there any synthetic leather bridles, etc?

With the whole leather industry, I want to try and steer away from it as much as possible. I currently have a pony, which I just ride around for fun in a simple headcollar and bareback.

Any advice?

Same for western saddles as well - if you know of any brands/rules.
     
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    07-09-2013, 12:51 PM
  #2
Showing
Once you get past open shows and the very lowest levels, you should always ride in leather tack. If you don't want to show to the higher levels or just decide to putz around at open shows, synthetics are fine.

Yes, they make synthetic bridles. Biothane, equileather and nylon are all used to make synthetic tack.

Not sure what you have against the leather industry, but you don't HAVE to use leather if you're not showing seriously.
     
    07-09-2013, 01:07 PM
  #3
Yearling
Mind me asking the adversity to leather? I know my old trainer was actually allergic to leather, but she showed in the A circuit with the mules (NASMA). She didn't toss the leather, though - she wore gloves constantly. Kept herself covered up. You simply can't be picky when it comes to those high levels - it's either the leather, high end, clean look, or you best go home. It sucks to be honest with you. It shouldn't be a fashion show. But at that point, it's really just respect to the judge and the show. Sorry :/
     
    07-09-2013, 02:36 PM
  #4
Foal
It sounds silly, and perhaps hypocritical, but I don't really like the idea of leather not being a byproduct of the meat industry. Most leather comes from cows (in India in may cases) where the meat isn't eaten, and the animal is killed for just one thing (as opposed to being killed for meat, and having the leather as a byproduct, etc). But massproduced stuff is often always from cows that aren't used for meat, as it's cheaper. That's all.

It's no big deal if there are no alternatives to leather. I don't have to show at any high levels. But I don't like using leather that's not really a byproduct of the meat industry, where the whole animal is "put to use"... as opposed to killing animals just for one thing, if you get me?

I can look around for saddle brands that have policies on the leather they use though.

I'm tired, so this post may not make a lot of sense... and sorry if it doesn;t lol
     
    07-09-2013, 04:49 PM
  #5
Showing
That may be leather from India but cattle aren't killed for their hides. If the animal dies it's hide is quickly salvaged. North Am. Leather is a by-product of the meat industry. If everyone rejected the use of leather, the farmer would get even less. If you wish to go synthetic there are now brands that look like leather and even with synthetic the more you pay the better the saddle and fit.
freia and NaeNae87 like this.
     
    07-09-2013, 05:00 PM
  #6
Showing
As Saddlebag stated, leather is very much a by-product of the meat industry. Cattle are never just killed for their hides, as even in India there are people who eat beef.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that some cattle were only slaughtered for their hides, and that's where the leather industry gets it. They don't; they have contracts with all the big beef manufacturers.
     
    07-09-2013, 05:02 PM
  #7
Green Broke
It's fine to start out in synthetic tack, but the higher you go in the levels, the better the tack you'll want (and need!). There may be some high-end brand of synthetic saddles out there, but I don't know of any. I rode in a Wintec for years when I was just leasing, and had only ridden in better saddles that didn't fit me particularly well. When I finally bought my own saddle, it was night and day the difference between the Wintec and the new one. I never realized how much I was fighting the Wintec to stay in a good position. It's not because the new saddle was leather, but because it was a higher quality saddle from the ground up (or should I say from the tree out?) If I could get that same saddle in a high quality synthetic I think it would still be just as good.
     
    07-09-2013, 07:19 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeamusCrimin    
It sounds silly, and perhaps hypocritical, but I don't really like the idea of leather not being a byproduct of the meat industry. Most leather comes from cows (in India in may cases) where the meat isn't eaten, and the animal is killed for just one thing (as opposed to being killed for meat, and having the leather as a byproduct, etc). But massproduced stuff is often always from cows that aren't used for meat, as it's cheaper. That's all.
I'm not sure where you got this info from, but it's quite wrong.

Most English leather comes from South America nowadays, simply because cattle roam large areas free of barbed wire fences so there's less scarring to the hides. Also, they don't have age/slaughter rules like the UK, and older cattle produce better quality leather.

The hides come in raw to be tanned here, and are a by-product, if you like, of the beef industry. There's very little waste.

Indian leather comes from a variety of sources, but agriculture there works largely on a subsistence level so they're not going to waste carcases either.

I appreciate the fact an animal is killed to provide its hide, but buying leather is actually more 'green' than buying synthetic fabrics, which use oil as a base. It's discouraging waste while at the same time reducing our reliance on fossil fuels :)
     
    07-09-2013, 07:27 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Once you get past open shows and the very lowest levels, you should always ride in leather tack. .
I should point out that a customer of mine finished third (and best Section D Cob) in the Welsh Large Breeds Ridden Championship at Olympia Horse Show a couple of years back, using a tatty old used Thorowgood synthetic saddle I'd sold them, because 'it fitted the mare best'.

They were delighted! I was embarrassed

But it just shows you don't always need to use leather
     
    07-09-2013, 07:35 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
Most English leather comes from South America nowadays, simply because cattle roam large areas free of barbed wire fences so there's less scarring to the hides.
Oh that's fascinating. It makes perfect sense. Who would have thought.

I'm not a vegetarian. Since my meat-eating habit forces the slaughter of animals, I intensely support making use of every single gram of that animal. If an animal should have its life taken for the use of humans, we owe it enough respect to not let any part of the animal go to waste. I see no problem in using the hide. Off my soap-box now...

And as mentioned earlier, the really good saddles and bridles are going to be leather. If you want something really nice, you'll be unlikely to find something synthetic that measures up to the leather tack. That said, on the more moderate end of the price-scale, I think many of the synthetic brands offer a much better quality saddle than similarly priced leather makes.
NaeNae87 likes this.
     

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