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Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679667] Mon, 18 June 2012 15:48 Go to next message
  mingary  
Messages: 3094
Registered: December 2009
Troppo. Loco. Round the twist.
Hi all,

What is the main difference riding in dressage synthetic saddle to a leather saddle? Is one more comfortable?

Not sure if I want to buy leather or synthetic dressage. In saying that I prefer the very basic dressage saddles like bates with no knee rolls as I find them more comfortable

Suggestions / opinions
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679674 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 16:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  cocochanel  
Messages: 5670
Registered: February 2011
Step away from the computer,
To be honest... I'd only go for leather because of the look. Showing / Eventing - leather. Pleasure / Trails - synthetic.

Synthetic being as it's easy to clean and If I'm stuck in a downpour I don't need to care about getting the leather wet.

& whether it's comfy or not comes down to the brand IMO..


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679690 is a reply to message #2679674 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  jazir1787  
Messages: 10415
Registered: December 2009
Out of my way, I am in the midst of a hoo haa monologue
for a long time i had synthetics, still have them. but i love my leather saddle. it sits me quite a bit better than just a wintec, and it looks much nicer in competition

i still have a synthetic dressage and AP though, whatever suits the horse and the rider

the pony's saddle is also synthetic, but i havent done any riding in it yet


~ My treasures do not clink together and glitter...
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RIP Jazzy <3
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679697 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 16:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  mingary  
Messages: 3094
Registered: December 2009
Troppo. Loco. Round the twist.
Can you really see the saddle when riding??
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679725 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 17:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  galloping46  is currently offline galloping46  
Messages: 6359
Registered: August 2009
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I love my leather saddle; its a dressage though.
I also love my Jumping which is an synthetic.

leather looks nicer and IMo is "softer" than synthetic but theres not really a huge amount of difference.

When it comes to competing/showing etc Id go leather unless jumping but thats just me
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679763 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 17:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  Lovesagoodpaint  
Messages: 5231
Registered: September 2008
Step away from the computer,
Although i dont ride in dressage/AP saddles any more, when i did it was leather all the way for me ... if they are looked after they will last decades, which a synthetic wont ... I also find them far more comfortable to ride in. Synthetics to me are part of our disposable/throw away society .... they have there place mind you but i will always prefer leather.


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679773 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  chopin  is currently offline chopin  
Messages: 6201
Registered: March 2011
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I have a synthetic AP, but my daughter has a leather collegiate dressage, but if its raining, she will use the wintec at comps rather than get the leather saddle wet.
When I get better, well IF I ever get better, I hope to use the collegiate, puts you in a better position, my daughter looks great in it, but she has legs, I have stumpy short ones Very Happy
depends what you are going to be doing, higher level dressage or showing, or low level, lessons etc

try some out and see what you like
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679774 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  mamasue  
Messages: 1449
Registered: October 2011
Completely Insane
I have a leather Syd Hill which is more than 30 years old and it's both a beautiful saddle to look at and very comfortable. Has a fantastic seat. The leather is so supple.

As I've got older it's become a bit heavy for me to lug around, so I now have a Wintec Pro .. light & easy to clean.

BUT it will never have the patina & presence which the SH has.
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679797 is a reply to message #2679774 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 17:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  flaxen  
Messages: 788
Registered: January 2010
Level 1 - Advanced
Id rather have a older leather saddle than a new synthetic.
That said, I have owned synthetics before, and they do have their place, but not in a competition arena.
Id buy one for trails, at home training, or a for a young/unreliable horse where they might damage an exxy leather one.
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679894 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 19:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  cnotesjustfearless  is currently offline cnotesjustfearless  
Messages: 1806
Registered: April 2011
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Well......... I like the wintec synthetics - most other sythetic brands are yuck! - especially the wintec suede. however I found my wintec close contact too slippy. it wasnt suede. they are HEAPs easier to keep clean, dont get scratched etc. so it really depends what you need it for


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2679918 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 19:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  English Rose  is currently offline English Rose  
Messages: 8137
Registered: January 2009
Its my party and I'll hoo haa if I want to
I quite like the suede of the Wintec synthetics for jumping.

I have a range of saddles, both leather and synthetic and I love them all.


As long as the saddle fits the horse and you, I don't think it really matters.
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680064 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 22:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  gojumpingxx  is currently offline gojumpingxx  
Messages: 230
Registered: March 2012
Location: Whittlesea AR
Level 2
Leather looks better, feels better and lasts longer without looking "worn out". That said I have a synthetic I use for trail riding. Because they are cheaper and well "plastic" I don't have to worry if I scrape it on a tree, gets wet in the rain, gets muddy in a dam. My leather saddles are always kept covered and I look after them very carefully. I would never be comfortable taking either of my prestige dressage saddles on a trail ride, I would be so worried something might happen to them. So I guess it just depends on how you feel about your saddle.


Horses, horses, horses!
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680093 is a reply to message #2679918 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 22:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  ellabw6  is currently offline ellabw6  
Messages: 2397
Registered: January 2012
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hate hate hate synthetics!

Felt like it prevented normal movement for some reason Laughing


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680104 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Mon, 18 June 2012 22:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  country.cowgirl  is currently offline country.cowgirl  
Messages: 4185
Registered: March 2008
Location: Australia
Step away from the computer,

Leather
+'ves Looks nice, a well cared for leather should last longer, they are usually better made - you'll find few 'big name' synthetics, give the finishing touch for showing etc.
-'ves They take time to look after, they need regular care, they are expensive to purchase

Synthetic
+'ves Cheap, easy to care for (great for swimming in the creek, would CRY if my 3k dressage saddle went in the creek Shocked ) The suede types i.e. Isabella dressage is very 'grippy' so gives another sense of security (yeah go from that to a leather saddle and my butt is slipping all over the shop!)
-'ves Cheap and nasty, don't wear as well over the years, and well they just aren't that well made....

So what would I choose? depends on what it is for!
I have a 3k dressage saddle, my passion is showing (now dabbling in dressage) and that saddle is awesome for that!
I however also have kept the Isabell - it is easily adjustable if I get a new horse, or have a horse out of work changed shape etc. and it is good to ride in when it is raining etc. and I don't want to kill my good saddle!
I also admit to owning a wintec AP, again it was cheap, I don't use it much - mostly just jumping at PC and creek/beach riding, I don't care what happens to it and it is easily replaced. I have used it to break in, as again I don't really care if it is bitten, slammed up against the rails of the yard etc. would literally cry if that happened to my good dressage!

The fact my 3k dressage saddle is more comfy than my $300 AP should come as little surprise to many...
However my Isabella for the price tag I found comfortable...
I also found my instructors 7k dressage saddle more comfortable than mine, but couldn't justify spending more on the saddle than the horse!
You can find cheap comfortable synthetic saddles out there!


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680135 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 00:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  ponymad  is currently offline ponymad  
Messages: 3057
Registered: August 2007
Location: Bulla & Broadford
Troppo. Loco. Round the twist.
Honestly I prefer leather but have both.

I have a synthetic dressage saddle that I bought 10 years ago in a model run out for $300. That saddle has been everywhere, through everything, copped a beating and still looks pretty good. Fits my pony perfectly so I've had no reason to really get another.

I only prefer leather for the look I think!
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680136 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 00:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  martina  is currently offline martina  
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Leather any day Cool Cheers MARTINA


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680247 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 08:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  gohorsego  
Messages: 214
Registered: October 2011
Level 2
Normally I would go with leather but that was befor I had a horse that enjoys pulling them of the fence and tossing them in the mud!
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680376 is a reply to message #2679797 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 10:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  DerbyDowns  
Messages: 1811
Registered: February 2007
Location: Warranooke
Stark, Raving Bonkers
flaxen wrote on Mon, 18 June 2012 17:59

Id rather have a older leather saddle than a new synthetic.
That said, I have owned synthetics before, and they do have their place, but not in a competition arena.
Id buy one for trails, at home training, or a for a young/unreliable horse where they might damage an exxy leather one.


Why? I have ridden in my synthetics in competition for the last 19 years, winning at state level numerous times, in a variety of disciplines. The only competition I would say leather a must is the top end of showing.

One day I would like to be able to afford a good leather saddle, but would always keep my synthetic for everyday and wet weather. I agree there are some very cheap and nasty synthetics out there but the wintec range is practical, very acceptable range of saddles for those on a budget Smile

I have a wintec isabell that is at least 12 years old, has been ridden in just about every day of its life, at several times 5,6,7 & 8 times a day, and it is still going strong and still my main competition saddle.

I would prefer a well made (expensive) leather saddle over a synthetic but give me a Wintec over a cheaper leather anyday Smile


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680386 is a reply to message #2680376 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 10:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  keepingthepace  is currently offline keepingthepace  
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Registered: February 2010
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I personally prefer leather because of the look but I like my suynthetic as I don't have to oil it and it's easy to clean.
Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2680775 is a reply to message #2679667 ] Tue, 19 June 2012 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
  Ashlee&Storm  is currently offline Ashlee&Storm  
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Location: Broadford
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I much prefer leather... However I do agree that synthetic is a heap easier to look after. Smile
I have both but I rarely use synthetic anymore now that I have my good leather saddles. If I was trail riding or something like that though, I would rather have a synthetic. So I think it really depends what you are using it for.


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Re: Synthetic verses leather saddle [message #2682310 is a reply to message #2680775 ] Thu, 21 June 2012 10:34 Go to previous message
  KLB4  is currently offline KLB4  
Messages: 378
Registered: November 2005
Location: Albury
Level 1
I have both and I like riding in both. If I had to pick I think I would actually choose my synthetic.

I have a very old synthetic Isabell (about 15 years old?) and a leather one as well. They are different to ride in but they are also on very different shaped horses. I have no problems competing at a high level in a wintec, but I do not show. My wintec carried me through to FEI dressage and is still going strong.

I would never buy a smooth synthetic saddle but I find the Bates Equisuede very robust and lovely to ride in.

It really comes down to what you feel comfortable in. I have sat in some leather saddles that I found very slippery and horrible to ride in, and some synthetics that were just as bad. Unless you wanted to do high level showing I would happily go with either if if fitted the horse and me.

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