View Full Version : Weird type of leather on Courbette Charles de Kunffy saddle?

Sep. 18, 2010, 05:33 PM
First of all, I apologize for not having a photo but my camera keeps dying on me... :mad:

I just picked up a used Courbette Charles de Kunffy dressage saddle. The leather it's made out of is unlike anything I've ever seen, and I'm hoping just by my description that maybe someone will know what I'm talking about. The leather is all wrinkled - the seat, flaps, the entire - but it's like the wrinkles were pressed out, because the saddle is completely smooth. They're not wrinkles from wear, because they are everywhere and look exactly the same all over. It also feels a lot more grippy than "regular" leather, even after I cleaned it. Could this be buffalo hide, maybe? :confused:

I'm going to try and resell it because it doesn't fit my horse, but I'd like to know what kind of leather it's made out of so I can add that to an advertisement. Does anyone have any ideas?

EDIT: It's an older model and looks a lot like (might actually be) this model, except mine is black and in better shape. The leather on this saddle looks similar to what I have on mine:


Sep. 18, 2010, 05:43 PM
I have had this exact old saddle for many years. I have been told it is buffalo. If you don't mind me asking, how much was your saddle?

I love the close contact and open seat of this saddle. Unfortunately, it is way too narrow in the gullet for my horses.

Sep. 18, 2010, 05:49 PM
I paid $375 - it's a 17" wide tree. Considering how balanced and comfortable it is, and considering the quality of it, I thought that was a fair price. I sat on it in the store and was in love instantly, but it didn't even come close to fitting my QH when I tried it on her today. :mad: It's such a nice saddle and I SO badly want to keep it forever and ever, but I don't think even reflocking it would make one bit of difference on my broad-shouldered, roly-poly mare. So, onto eBay it will go...boo. :(

Sep. 19, 2010, 05:16 AM
I have that same saddle for schooling and it looks just like that. We call it the ashtray saddle, because it is SO not pretty.
But it is a very comfy saddle. Love riding in it, just ugly as heck.

I also paid about the same as you. They are nice little saddles, but I have been told that the leather on all those models (or most of them) all turned that wierd splotchy color.

I do think the model runs a wee narrow; the med seems to only fit my fairly narrow mare. Did not come close to fitting my gelding, yet he is in a med Albion.

Probably a good idea to know what cm tree you need and go by the cm rather than the med or wide...I collected several saddles before I finally got the fitter in to help me. Could have saved a LOT of money! =)

Sep. 19, 2010, 09:11 PM
it might be schrumpfleder that kind of leather is known for fading.

Sep. 19, 2010, 09:25 PM
I actually have three of these saddles, and love them.

The leather is supposed to look like that. The first one I saw was a saddle that was used in the lesson program for the stable I worked for in the early 90s. We called it the "elephant hide" saddle, because that's what it looked like. There's nothing wrong with the leather, and it's actually quite comfortable and durable. It might be buffalo, but I couldn't tell you for sure. All I know is, I loved that particular CdK then, and I REALLY love it now. Most comfortable, durable saddle I've ever ridden in. :yes:

Sep. 19, 2010, 10:03 PM
most likely water buffalo

( not Bison bison buffalo)

very tough leather. Hard to cut has been the downfall of many saddlemakers. Hard to work with hard on the hands

Sep. 19, 2010, 10:46 PM
That would make sense. Leather that's hell on the hands would be hard to wear out, and wear really well. This stuff does - trust me. :yes:

And actually, I think it's really pretty, and very cool. :yes:

Sep. 20, 2010, 09:13 AM
I think the leather looks pretty cool, too! The one I have is not worn or faded at all like the saddle in the photo - in fact, there's really no wear on it anywhere, except a little bit of smoothness where the leathers hang. It's so comfortable and balanced and grippy...gah, I'm so sad it doesn't fit my horse. :( I highly doubt I'll ever find one of these that's wide enough for her. I don't think they were designed for "stout" horses!

Oct. 3, 2010, 05:45 PM
There's nothing wrong w/ the leather it's BUFFALO/BISON leather. All of the older de Kunffy's are made out if it.

Great saddles and great leather! It's grippy and wears like iron.

Oct. 3, 2010, 05:52 PM
You all are right. This leather is buffalo leather. It is dyed with Analyne dye however. It is known to fade. It is why the Kieffers turn green with age.
It is great leather and wears like iron. It can be re-dyed but it can cost alot.
They are great using saddles.
Too bad it doesn't fit your horse. But there is someone out there who needs it.
Wish you the best in re-homing it.
regards, sadlmakr

Oct. 3, 2010, 05:58 PM
Hands down the best saddle I've ever owned!!! I had a gray one (yep bought it gray). Unfortunately, it does not fit any horse that I own and the tree is broken. So it actually got to retire in my house.

LOVED that saddle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Oct. 4, 2010, 12:58 AM
I have an old one sitting here that I got in 1979. Really comfortable. It used to be my favorite for starting babies as it wasn't to deep so felt safer in it. Great old saddle. 31 yrs old (the saddle) & going to use it again to start 2 more youngsters.