View Full Version : Bartville's "soft but strong" Jockey's Favorite Leathers ...?

Fractious Fox
Apr. 2, 2011, 05:30 PM
I need a new pair of leathers, like yesterday. I currently have a pair of calf wrapped w/ nylon core stirrup leathers. I need calf wrapped leathers for my saddle. I was flipping through the Bartville catalog and saw their "Jockey's Favorite Stirrup Leather", described as "soft but strong, nylon centered and double stitched. These stirrup leathers slide through saddle bar easily when adjusted up and down."

Has anyone seen these or purchased these before? I see they are not the "low profile" design of the Prestige calf leathers or their knock offs, but I'm curious about the other aspects. They don't say "calf wrapped", but they do look like wrapped leathers, so I thought it would be worth asking on this forum - I know a lot of COTHers are Bartville fans, and I won't be able to call Bartville until next week.


Apr. 2, 2011, 05:54 PM
May I ask you a question Fox? I don't have a catalog & am curious -- do they offer fancy stitching on any of their items? Getting ready to mail my little packet of the Amerigo-like breastplate photos, and wasn't sure if this was something they 'did.' Thanks ;) Sory to hi-jack!

Apr. 2, 2011, 06:13 PM
Fractious Fox - huge Bartville fan here and also the owner of a calfskin jump saddle. It is my impression that the Bartville stirrup leathers are all regular grain leather, but I hope someone will come along who's actually seen them and prove us wrong. The regular nylon-core stirrup leathers (just below the Jockey's leathers) are definitely grain leather.

I finally killed my Prestige leathers after four years of use, and they've since gone up $40 in price, and they've never matched my saddle anyway so I'm shopping for alternatives. I have ordered a set of the Thornhill "Softy" nylon-core leathers for $64.50 shipped. I wish I could get my hands on the Bobby's calfskin nylon-Core leathers, but they're very hard to find these days, and the Ebay vendor who still stocks them doesn't have the color/length that I need. And although the Toulouse nylon-core leathers are one of the nicer products they make, I've seen how their saddles wear and I don't care to find out if their leathers behave the same way.

Fractious Fox
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:07 PM
Goodmorning, It is really hard to see in the catalog whether the bridles or other items have any fancy stitching (really dark photos), but I would probably call them and just ask. Maybe also ask this question on the recent "Bartville custom work" thread..? A bunch of people seemed to have used them for custom work, and I'm sure you aren't the first wanting fancy stitching! :)

jn4Jenny, thanks for that extra info on alternatives! My current ones are the Toulouse ones and I don't recommend them.. one of the leathers stretched so much that there is an inch and a half between two of the half inch holes! I thought the whole point was that they didn't stretch.. sigh.

Please keep us posted on the thornhill leathers. They look interesting.. so are they wrapped in grain leather or calf?

Maybe someone who has bought the Bartville leathers will chime in!

Apr. 2, 2011, 07:29 PM
I am in the same boat, has anyone tried the Smartpak leathers? Tempting because they look like a good value. Thanks!

Apr. 2, 2011, 07:30 PM
I have bought and adjusted the Bartville leathers. They do slide easily in the keepers and stirrup bar. They have not stretched in the 4 or so years that I have owned them and do not feel bulky under the leg. Other people have ridden in my saddles as well as me, and no one has said anything about them being to bulky. The leather itself is nice and soft.

Fractious Fox
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:48 PM
Ahh! So we have a winner! Thanks Ajierene for your input! So, can you tell us if they are grain leather or calf leather?

Also, general question just to make sure I'm on the same page as everyone else. I have a calfskin leather saddle, so that means I need calf wrapped leathers, right?

Riverpup, I didn't know smartpak had leathers.... I'm going to go and check them out. I'd be willing to buy from them due to their great customer service.

Apr. 2, 2011, 08:15 PM
Ahh! So we have a winner! Thanks Ajierene for your input! So, can you tell us if they are grain leather or calf leather?

Um....maybe? I am thinking calf leather, but cannot recall exactly at the moment and won't be near my saddles until Monday afternoon. If no one answers by then, I will answer Monday evening. I never noticed them clashing with my saddles.

I really do love the leathers and my trainer and most of her students use them as well. My trainer is the one that told me what I would get from Bartville the year I was going on my tax refund shopping spree (two saddles from Dover, but bridles and leathers from Bartville - cheaper and higher quality).

Apr. 2, 2011, 11:10 PM
I actually have seen the Bartville leathers in real life at the store !! :)

I thought the Jockey leathers were a funny brown color. They might darken up with wear though. I have a black saddle and they only come in brown, so I passed on them.

I did buy the black nylon core leathers which are beautiful. They are on the thicker side as compared to the Prestige leathers that I am replacing. I am quite disappointed in the Prestige leathers, they are thinner and calf skin covered, but they are also shredding and falling apart. And double the price of the Bartville leathers.

So far the Bartville nylon leathers have softened up beautifully and look great. No signs of wear so far and they are about 6 months old.

As for the fancy stitching, I am sure if you ask they will do it for you. The Amish tend to make and prefer plain looking stuff (I think that is part of their religion) But, for outsiders, I think they will make anything up you want. Their concept of fancy stitching basically means straight lines of stitching on the top and bottom so you should probably be very specific in describing what you want.

Apr. 3, 2011, 06:43 AM
I have the Jockey ones. I actually really doubt they're calf.

As far as the fancy stitching goes, I would draw/include a picture of exactly what you want and ask if they can do it, but honestly, I am not sure they are set up for it machine wise. They also seem to only use brown thread on the bridlework. I definitely always specify when I take halters in if I want them to match or if they are just turnout halters.

Apr. 3, 2011, 07:47 AM
The only thing I didn't love about the jockey leathers were the number of holes. My galloping days are over & I don't need to pull my Stirrups all the way up to Jockey length anymore. I have the nylon lined regular leathers and couldn’t be happier. They do seem a bit bulky at the start but break in beautifully.

Apr. 3, 2011, 10:42 AM
I have the Jockey ones. I actually really doubt they're calf.

As do I. "Thin, soft, flexible leather" is not equivalent to "calf leather." The Passier nylon-core stirrup leathers, for example, are very nice and supple but they are definitely not calf leather and I wouldn't chance to put them on my calfskin saddle. Ditto with the Smartpak leathers. (Can you tell I've shopped long and hard in this area?)

Fractious Fox, the Thornhill "Softy" leathers are definitely calfskin. They are listed as such on multiple vendors' sites, including one vendor that is a longtime Thornhill saddle rep so I assume she'd have accurate product info. Who knows how they'll hold up, but if you want to see some better pictures, this Ebay vendor has some:

Apr. 3, 2011, 11:17 AM
I bought a pair of jockey leathers too off of ebay. I don't know what brand they are, but I do like them. They seem very strong. The only issue I have is the color. My saddle is a copperish color and they are pretty light, but I hope I can somehow darken them.