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Boots are damaging saddle??

640 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  livelovelaughride
Has anyone ever heard of synthetic boots scratching and scuffing the saddle? I have Ovation Highlander Winter boots (English style). I love these boots because they are warm, they are tall, but soft in the leg (neoprene) and they hug my calf--no flapping or gaping AND they are 100% waterproof to the top! I have trudged through deep snow, deep mud, and puddles in these. Have been on my feet for hours in them, as well as riding comfortably in them. They are on their fourth Winter and just started cracking at the back of one heel. It's a stress point and I have to pull that one hard because of a knot of fabric that got bunched up under the lining there and pokes the back of my heel until I pull and pull and smooth it out when I get the boot on. And now all that stress as cracked it. THey are still useable, so far walking through snow my feet haven't gotten wet.

Now for the "but". But, they are apparently scratching the fenders of at least two different Western saddles I've used. I lease and these are not my saddles. I had though it was the stitching along the edge of the vinyl patch, but now I think it's the vinyl/plastic itself--even though it's smooth? I put clear packing tape on over the panels last time I rode and the tape stayed in place the whole time, and if anything the scratches were worse. So far, it's more scuffing/rubbing--it looks like scratches, but doesn't feel like scratches. Although I think over time they will get deeper. It's pretty bad looking, but I think they can be buffed out at this point.
I don't remember this happening on the old saddle I rode in for almost two years so I'm wondering if it's a difference in leathers? I've never heard of this happening and have searched and searched.

I can't afford (and don't even want) expensive leather boots that will be stiff on my leg and may not fit well (my calf and ankle are very skinny). I've tried some, and these are the best. They just happen to also be cheaper.
I don't even know what I would wear for a short boot in Winter in Wisconsin. I wear riding tights, so I'd probably have to get half chaps--and then there's some of the same problems possibly with scratching the fenders and then I'm not snowproof walking through mid-calf snow.

Oh, and to muddy the waters further, I just found out we're getting a different saddle! Hopefully we are getting one I tried out a couple of months ago and loved! But I have no idea if these winter boots will scratch that one too.

Probably going to try cutting the foot out of a sock and pulling that over the boots while I ride. That will look lovely!! LOL I'm a little worried about grip, but in the Summer, until recently, I was riding with jeans on over my short boots, so there was no grip there either.
If anyone has any suggestions I'm open to anything at this point. New boot recommendations, alterations to the current boot (I am waiting to replace them with the same pair until I have a fix).

These are my boots

Footwear Leg Human body Durango boot Boot
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Found a photo that shows the scuffing. It's maybe a tiny bit worse than this--two more rides after this photo.

Outerwear Photograph White Bag Sleeve
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I've known more than one person have damage from as well as having been told repeatedly that synthetic stirrup leathers and leather saddles don't mix. I'd say that holds true for synthetic boots as well. Another no go for me around any saddle are inside zippers. They can tear up a saddle in no time.
Yea, I had that thought, about the synthetic. The zippers are on the outside, so that's not a problem.
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Could you fit really large half chaps over the calf of those boots? Awkward, but might solve the problem.

I've also seen a type of leg warmer - like a look wool tube - worn kind of as a half chap. No idea whether it would stay up. You'd lose all grip though.
I just found some "boot gaiters" that wrap over your calf/boot, for hiking and such. I ordered two different types--soft fabric ones, like fleece, not nylon. Hoping this solves the problem. Otherwise, I like livelaughride's idea of putting leather pieces over the vinyl patch.
The vinyl panels are very smooth by the way--but rubbery--so a little sticky. A lot of the tall boots have them.
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I was trying to see if I had any pictures of my full western sheepskin seat saver as that one has flaps that lace on over the fenders, but I guess I don't. They're not cheap, but they might solve the rubbing, and if you check the endurance tack sale groups on Facebook, you might luck out on a used one.

ETA: Realized I actually had it here at home.
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YEa, I've seen those! That's an idea, but yea, at those price points I'm going to see if anything else will work first. LOL
Thanks everyone--great ideas! Very helpful!!
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Is the vinyl patch supposed to be 'grippy'? The texture, if it isn't smooth like leather, will or can scuff the fender leather. I had a pair of ariat chaps that had a suede leather inner that scuffed my western saddle. Quite irritating - I ended up putting leather pieces on top of it and no more scuffing.
I'm intrigued by the idea of adding a leather panel to my boot, where it hits the saddle. How did you attach yours? I'm thinking I'd probably just have to glue it? Small leather sheets are very cheap and I can get black so it won't be too noticeable that it's an add on. LOL And it won't be as hot as wearing a full fleece "wrap" over my boot, which is what I came up with yesterday--"boot gaiters".
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