English stirrup leather opinions:real leather or synthetic - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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English stirrup leather opinions:real leather or synthetic

I was wondering about everyone's opinion on stirrup leathers. My friend/trainer just bought her daughter a nice synthetic saddle for her birthday, we don't have a lot of tack stores in our area that sell English tack and she needs stirrup leathers for the saddle. She new I was looking for a girth for my horse and asked if I could order a pair of stirrup leathers for her daughter and she would pay me back. As far as I know she was hoping for synthetic ones to match the saddle which seem to be really hard to find. Does anyone have any experience with the synthetic ones or have you been able to find real leather ones that match a synthetic saddle well. Also, what is the quality of synthetic stirrup leathers? I have a used synthetic saddle that I got from her but the stirrup leathers are real leather. The quality of my saddle is great I just can't speak for the quality of synthetic stirrup leathers. Also, if you have them or have used them where did you find them, I'm having a very hard time finding them
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 07:33 AM
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Welcome to the Forum...

I believe using real leather on a synthetic saddle is fine but the other way around of synthetic on real leather saddle flap is not...
Most synthetic saddles I see have real leather leathers on the saddles...
Don't think I have ever seen synthetic leathers on a real leather saddle though..

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 07:39 AM
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Here you go...2 large reputable tack shops that carry synthetic leathers...

I personally have never used synthetic leathers...
My saddle is leather and has leather fittings.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 08:07 AM
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The idea of not using real leathers on a synthetic saddle came about for two reasons - they'll sometimes leave a grease mark on the flaps, and some leather dressings (mostly old fashioned natural neatsfoot, which was quite acidic) can damage plastic. My only experience of the latter was with a Thorowgood Griffin temporarily stacked beneath an older leather saddle and the leather sweat flap edges caused the Thorowgood flap plastic to bubble where they touched. Griffins had a composite flap using a thin decorative outer layer, which was probably the reason as I've never come across the problem since.

Personally I prefer leather leathers. The synthetic versions are usually plenty robust enough - plastic over a webbing core - but they can crack, much like synthetic girth straps, and can be hard to adjust in winter cold because they get stiffer. They don't stretch, though, unlike leather, even the 'non-stretch' leather-covered web types which stretch at the holes. Nowadays there are a lot of cheap 'English' drum-dyed leathers around which are more prone to stretching, especially since most riders don't rotate them or check the lengths regularly. Traditionally, leathers should have the skin (smooth) side innermost, same as girth billets (but rarely long dressage or monoflap billets because the flesh side tends to look not as nice in full view) but most cheaper ones don't.

Buffalo hide leathers are strongest. They stretch a lot, so are not to everyone's taste, but they rarely break.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 09:15 AM
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Wintec has synthetic leathers to match their saddles.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 11:52 AM
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I have a pair of Wintec synthetic leathers that I use on my synthetic saddle. The reason I got them is because the buckle on my regular stirrup leathers was rubbing my leg raw. They work great but they're a bit light for my liking. I always prefer real leather over synthetic, but in this case the real leather ones were hurting me. I wish they'd make some webbers that were leather instead of synthetic.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 12:24 PM
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I bought a pair of synthetic leathers used at a consignment shop. I like that they do not stretch. They work great with my wintec saddle.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! I found a set of Wintec synthetic leathers on Doversaddlery.com but the only size they have in stock are too big for my friends daughter. I might check Stateline tack although I'm kind of leery of ordering from them because I've only ordered from them once and when I got the items I ordered they didn't match the description on the website at all and their return process is horrible so now I'm stuck with something I can't use. I just don't want my friend to wind up in the same situation. I did find a set of Henri de Rival Vegan synthetic ones on Dover's website. Has anyone used those and if so what did you think of them? They aren't very expensive either so if they are good quality I'm willing to spend the money
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-08-2020, 10:01 PM
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My husband has Wintec Webbers on his Wintec saddle and likes them. My sister also used Webbers on a riding vacation and loved the easy adjustment. Many reviews agree with that. I see them offered on the Dover link given above. Riding Warehouse also has them.

I agree, while I do use State Line Tack for a particular supplement that they have cheap, and some cheap odds and ends, I don't buy items from them that I have any expectation I might need to return.
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