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AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 01:02 AM

needed - Fender / leathers advice
Hi everyone, I need some advice on leather or fenders. I am going to order a custom made Crates endurance saddle, made by Riders Choice.

They will make it anyway I want, as it is custom made.

I am used to English leathers, and hate hard, stiff western fenders. Plus I want to add wide endurance stirrups.

The company offered to make 2" wide straight Fenders/leathers, sort of like on Australian saddles.

I need to know about the wide Aussie style leathers, what are the pros or cons, and what does anyone suggest I of the saddles:

English style

Western style

Should I get the western or English style, and regular english leathers about 1" thick, or 2" thick Ausie style?

I want to order it next Monday...thanks!

Joe4d 04-21-2012 03:31 AM

I would go with the western, the fenders will break inand not be stiff for long. Ever noticed western riders dont wear half chaps or tall boots ?

AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 08:32 AM

Do you mean the western saddle? i don't know if I can use the western style with english stirrups. I am trying to make it lightweight.

I don't want western stirrups because they are too hard on the legs. The ones I have now are cordura, so that is soft & turns ok, but not leather.

I want the endurance saddle because no horn, or I could saw off the one I have now!!

Have you ever used Aussie leathers? I don't know if they are stiff like western ones...but i thought they might stronger or last longer than the english ones.

Thanks for the help!

Joe4d 04-21-2012 09:51 AM

i ride exclusively in aussi, The leathers are wider on the bottom, I think mine are 4 inch. But they are not any stronger than english. As the taper to about a 1 and 1/4th at the area that hangs on the saddle. So the whole only as strong as the weakest link part. You mentioned you wanted endurance stirrups, models are available for both fender types. I would prefer the set up in the bottom picture. Surely Crates would have endurance stirrups to go with the saddle.

AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 11:58 AM

I did not know that the Aussie leathers got skinny at the bottom, thanks for that info!! i guess they would wear out just as soon as english ones then.

Crates don't carry those wide endurance stirrups because they only sell what they make themselves.

What Jerry (the company rep) told me is to send them the stirrups I want on the saddle, and they will make me leathers/fenders to match it. So I thought about sending them the 2 1/2" wide at top ones, and having them make 2" wide leathers to match. The stirrups come in 1 1/2", 2 1/2" and 3" tops. They said no extra charge for this!!

I use a Aussie pad on him right now, it is 1" thick wool felt on bottom and wool fleece on top. Nice pad! So I thought to get the more english saddle, but their western style also has an extra flap to help the stirrups swing easy.

AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 12:05 PM

Joe, what is it you like about the second saddle? Also, do you use center-fire rigging? That is what I planned to get.

Saddle will have a Steele brand tree in it.

Joe4d 04-21-2012 03:59 PM

i had a simco like the bottom set up, I never understood why english riders always rode in tall boots or half chaps, and neither do most westernt riders. Those wide fenders move with your legs and they simply have nothing to rub on. go to the "whats ur ride thread in the endurance section. Good side view of my Aussi saddle. You can see what I mean about getting narrow at tom and bottom again. No idea how long they last. I keep mine oilded and so far have 300 miles on one pair. The are simple and easy to change though. Guess it is all about taste. I think the western style would be a buy and forget about. I mean when was the last time you heard of someone changing fenders on a western saddle ? And almost every tack store carries English leathers. Should tell you something right there.

AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 05:57 PM

You are right, I have never, ever heard of someone changing western fenders! I have had to change my english lethers quite a few times before though, they stretch out, esp. the near side.

That is what I was worried about, the thinner leathers breaking or needing replacing and the tree is a western style, so not sure how you go about changing them. I am trying to think ahead (for once).

Why do you like the Aussie stle then? And do you need tall boots or leggins to ride in it?

Ladytrails 04-21-2012 06:05 PM

I've had Aussie and Western fenders, and prefer Western. You can get some nice leather-wrapped endurance/trail stirrups and put them on your western-style saddle. They come in sizes to fit Aussie or English leathers as well as Western fenders 2 1/2" or 3" necks. I can recommend some really nicely made leather-wrapped stirrups from Crestridge Saddlery (Crest Ridge Saddlery Home) and they come in several very common leather colors so surely the Crates people could match the leather for you. Tucker also makes trail stirrups.

If you decide on the Western fenders, ask them to turn them for you so you have that already done before you get the saddle. That helps take the torque off your knees.

AnitaAnne 04-21-2012 06:24 PM

Ladytrails, I like that idea of asking the saddler to pre-turn the fenders. Maybe that would help, it sure couldn't hurt!

I really hate the idea of waiting 4+ weeks for a saddle to be made then waiting longer to turn the darn stirrups. Plus I like the freedom of the english leathers. i can't imagine what my friends would say if I showed up on the trail with such a western style saddle...the plantation style is more close normal...

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