Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Synthetic vs. Leather

Here's my take on this issue.

I have a Bruno DelGrange Pro jumping saddle. It is absolutely the best saddle I have ever owned. It keeps my leg and position perfect and secure over any jumps and fits my horse like a glove. However, I have no indoor where I board and I like to trail ride and hunter pace. The Delgrange was bought at a time in my life when I had the money for such luxuries. Now, the thought of using that saddle in the rain or on trail where it could get wet, scratched or otherwise damaged makes me nervous, since I can not replace it. So I took the plunge and bought a dark brown Wintec 2000 for the rain and the rougher rides.

It was a strange feeling in the beginning to ride with it but I quickly got comfortable with it and now the DelGrange only comes out for lessons and the occasional show. I live in the Wintec 2000. It seems to fit my horse well, it's very comfortable for long trail rides and lots of galloping on hunter paces. If I am going to be in the saddle for a long time, I will use a sheepskin saddle pad to give my horses' back extra cushioning and the sheepskin "breathes" well. The equisuede seat is grippy without compromising freedom. I especially recommend it paired with suede full chaps or Kerritts' "Sit Tight" breeches on those blustery winter days when horsey hasn't seen a saddle or rider in a month due to lousy weather!

The Wintec does almost the same as the Delgrange for me, but the deeper seat of the Wintec 2000 is actually more comfortable for longer rides. I do have the Cair and the gullet system. I never used the gullet system because the medium width gullet that came with the saddle seems to suit my horse perfectly.

So, I have actually surprised myself with how much I enjoy the Wintec. I was always a "leather snob" but as my time has become more valuable with so many more responsibilities, I have to give the Wintec a thumbs up!

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