Western Saddles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Western Saddles

Do you prefer a real saddle or the lighter weight synthetic saddles and why?

We are just getting back into horses after 30+ years. We have both types of saddles and I'm wondering what the real difference is besides weight.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kntry View Post
Do you prefer a real saddle or the lighter weight synthetic saddles and why?

We are just getting back into horses after 30+ years. We have both types of saddles and I'm wondering what the real difference is besides weight.
I prefer real leather. Synthetic is nice, but if I'm going to ride, leather is my favorite, although its way more expensive than most synthetics. I dont really have a reason why I like leather better, I just do.

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 10:51 AM
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For light pleasure riding, I like the synthetic. It is comfortable and easy to maneuver up onto a tall horse (I'm short). A well broke in leather saddle is hard to beat though. It's just putting in all those painful years breaking it in...
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 10:56 AM
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I prefer a good leather saddle myself but with a synthetic you don't have to worry about it getting wet or muddy.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 11:01 AM
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It depends on the person. I like how much of a beating leather can take, but if I had my dream saddle I'd have that black synthetic (not the cardboard looking crap, the good stuff like Abetta) saddle with me right now. My reasoning is because I have a small horse and always feel a little bad putting a 50lb leather saddle up on her.

I like the feeling of a well broken in leather saddle, but I like synthetic more because I think it has more feel to the horse. :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 11:18 AM
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Leather. Tradition. Nothing wears like a leather saddle, nothing has the look, the feel, the scent, the class, of real leather. A good leather saddle will last a life time and can be passed down - synthetic will never have the same feeling.

A good leather saddle may weigh 40 or even 45 lb. while a synthetic only ~20. The 20 or 25 lb difference doesn't make a difference on the horse.
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Last edited by iridehorses; 11-11-2011 at 11:22 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I've been told the same thing about synthetic. I've only used the synthetic once and didn't really like the feel of it.

Koolio, do you have any pics of your Dapple Gray? After Buckskins, they're my favorite.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 12:35 PM
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i prefer leather myself. i find it just feels better, its more comforable i suppose. plus every synthetic iv ridden in had plasic sturrups. HORRIBLE. in my opinion of course lol

Beauty is not diminished by those who refuse to see, hear,feel or in any way sense it. If you refuse to see beauty its you who is weakened.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 09:25 PM
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Both have their pros and cons.

Leather saddles are beautiful, classic and can last decades WITH PROPER MAINTENANCE :) A well broken in leather saddle can be very comfortable - but it does take a while to get there.

On the other hand, a synthetic saddle is lighter, low maintenance and I don't feel nearly as bad when something happens to it. Wet weather rides? No problem. Scrubby, tight trail? No big deal. Saddle gets knocked over - just pick it back up. Also, some of the synthetics are really pretty comfy right from the start.

Its more a matter of preference. I prefer the leather-style synthetics to the fabric/cordura styles, but thats just me.

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
~Author Unknown
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-11-2011, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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It seems most people prefer the leather. My husband surprised me in April with a handmade saddle. The state prison has a craft fair twice a year here. The inmates sell their crafts to the public. He found this saddle. It's gorgeous.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Saddle - 4-15-11.jpg (69.1 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg Saddle engraving 4-15-11.jpg (60.6 KB, 147 views)
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