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View Full Version : Buffalo leather - is it "THAT" much better?



Gloria
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:01 AM
The buffalo leather upgrade over the regular leather on an Albion dressage saddle is over $600:eek:

Is it "that" much better?

Anyone has buffalo leather? Love it? Hate it? Worth the $600?

I would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks in advance.

Calhoun
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:07 AM
The saddle company I ordered my dressage from did it for free or very little cost. I like buffalo leather better than the leather on my Kieffer . . . but not for $600. Is the whole saddle made from buffalo? On my saddle it was just the seat.

meupatdoes
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:09 AM
The buffalo leather upgrade over the regular leather on an Albion dressage saddle is over $600:eek:

Is it "that" much better?

Anyone has buffalo leather? Love it? Hate it? Worth the $600?

I would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks in advance.

I have one saddle in the Ultima leather and two in the plain leather.

I can not detect a difference when I ride in them.

Also, I just got a brandy new jump saddle in the plain leather, and a hunter trainer was like, "Wow, what a nice saddle, what kind is it?" and couldn't believe that it was only on its 5th or 6th ride with how soft and broken-in the leather already was.

For a hunter trainer to think a saddle is nice without knowing what brand it is or how much it cost is a revolution in itself, but the plain Albion leather is obviously holding its own against saddles that cost twice the price.

;)

easyrider
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:45 AM
I like smooth, non-grippy leather. I think I'm in a minority though.

GreyDes
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:50 AM
My Smith Worthington is buffalo leather, but it was the same price, or maybe a small upcharge from regular. It definitely wasn't $600!

I do like the buffalo leather a lot. It's got just a little extra grip to it that helps me stay stable in the saddle. It's tough, and seems to wear well. I use my dressage saddle for trail riding, and there are no visible nicks and scratches on the saddle, despite going through some pretty rough trails.

Oh, and there's basically no break-in time. It comes soft from day one. The one minor downside is that it's not as "pretty" as regular leather. It's got quite a bit of texture, and you'll never be able to get it to shine up like regular leather.

So, I'm definitely a fan... BUT... I don't know that I like it so much better that I would have paid $600 more for it...

mickeydoodle
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:29 PM
I have buffalo leather on the flaps of my Custom saddle- I do not like it, and would order bridle leather (or whatever you call plain saddle leather) next time. I found it stiff and hard to break in, and somewhat more slippery than the seat which is plain leather.

dghunter
Aug. 3, 2011, 01:41 PM
I hate buffalo leather. I feel like it never looks as clean and isn't as easy to ride in. My plain leather Custom took zero time to break in. It's been wonderful and I could ride it in it all day. I just absolutely cannot stand buffalo leather. I realize I'm a minority though *shrug*

reefy!
Aug. 3, 2011, 01:42 PM
Hmm. I actually do love my buffalo leather! It is super grippy and was broken in pretty much from day one. I've had some interesting moments in it and I have to say, in my jumping saddle (plain leather), I probably would have come off. Knee rolls probably add to the security but really, I love it.

That being said, I also tried a Black Country dressage saddle with their Vintage print leather (think that's what it's called) and it was just as nice as the buffalo that I ended up with (different saddle brand). So, I think I'd not want to pay an extra $600 for it unless you had a chance to compare it in person to decide.

I am planning on upgrading my jumping saddle to a BC with the vintage leather - that's how much I loved it!

atlatl
Aug. 3, 2011, 02:28 PM
I love the buffalo leather on my Trilogy saddles. I think the real test is durability so ask me again in 10 years.

Stratosphere
Aug. 3, 2011, 07:36 PM
I personally love it on mine. I have it on the seat and the knee rolls and it is super grippy, comfy and durable (it's on a 10-year-old JRD saddle and the buffalo shows no wear at all, but the smooth leather portions do).

I think it saved me from coming off more than once on my old lease horse, who had a wicked, athletic canter-halt-spin-bolt spook.

horsetales
Aug. 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
I love mine, but it wasn't $600 more. Today, I don't know if I would pay that and I know I like it. If I hadn't ridden in it, I really doubt I'ld pay that difference.

buck22
Aug. 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
Another buffalo leather lover here, its soft, sticky and wears well. Currently have it on my Cardanel. Bought my saddle used however, I don't know if I'd pay $600 upgrade for it, I'd have to really like it on that particular saddle to pay that much.

mickeydoodle
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:36 PM
I wanted to add, that i did not find mine to be soft and sticky, but rather to be hard and slippery= different leathers from buffalo's????

meupatdoes
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:57 PM
I wanted to add, that i did not find mine to be soft and sticky, but rather to be hard and slippery= different leathers from buffalo's????

I like all my Albions but the plain leather is softer and stickier than the buffalo. I agree with the harder/slippery-er verdict.

atr
Aug. 4, 2011, 12:19 AM
I think there's two different things being talked about here.

Buffalo (water buffalo or Memel) is thick, grainy, wears like iron, but quite soft and supple especially for how thick and grainy it is. I ordered this for my super-nice, custom made, big birthday gift, GP trail riding, beating through the brush saddle, because I intend it to see me out... But I have no illusions that it's going to be completely "me shaped" until I've ridden in it every day for several weeks.

Completely different from, say, the "Elite" leather on my very nice Trilogy dressage saddle, which if anything is rather softer and stickier than a standard saddle leather and was, and remains, "me shaped" very quickly.

millerra
Aug. 4, 2011, 08:44 AM
I have a county dressage saddle w/ it...

Soft and sticky, yes. Easy to break in, yes. I still hate it because it never looks clean. There is dust in the creases that I just can't get out... I don't like it to the point that when I got my next county, a jumping saddle, I downgraded the leather to smooth. And guess what, the saddle was still soft and easy to break in...

carolprudm
Aug. 4, 2011, 09:04 AM
I have a county dressage saddle w/ it...

Soft and sticky, yes. Easy to break in, yes. I still hate it because it never looks clean. There is dust in the creases that I just can't get out... I don't like it to the point that when I got my next county, a jumping saddle, I downgraded the leather to smooth. And guess what, the saddle was still soft and easy to break in...

AHHHH but you must treat the buffalo like the royalty that it is. No common sponge, it likes only ultra plush velvet washcloths

millerra
Aug. 4, 2011, 02:49 PM
Ohhh. But no one around here gets treated like royalty except Mr. Important, the horse.

Poor saddle. It's treated like a commoner.

MariaV
Sep. 20, 2011, 05:00 PM
I have an Arc De Triomphe saddle in full buffalo, the upgrade for ADT is $400 but I was discounted that price. It was definitely worth it for me, the leather was already broken in on day one and is wearing very nicely after about four months of at least one ride a day. I was also told I could ride in jeans and I wouldn't injure it.

WoofNWhinny*
Sep. 20, 2011, 08:03 PM
I have a buffalo leather saddle (not Albion) that I LOVE. I bought it new and it still started out softer than a well-used and well-broken-in, 20-year-old County (which can't compare in any way!), and has just gotten better.

I also have a new regular leather (i.e., not calf-skin) saddle that I've oiled, condition, rolled the flaps, and hand-worked to soften it and it's got a LOOOONNGGG way to go to ever approach the buffalo leather's softness and broken-in feel.

If I had a choice, I'd definitely choose buffalo, but, I can't say if it's worth $600 or not. I guess the answer on that would be how well it holds up over time compared to non-buffalo, but, in my case, I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of that buffalo leather saddle every time I use it for however many years it lasts. :yes:

alto
Sep. 20, 2011, 08:12 PM
What brands are your buffalo & regular leather saddles?
(pictures are always a nice bonus :winkgrin: )

vali
Sep. 20, 2011, 09:59 PM
I faced the same dilemma when I ordered an Albion two years ago. The regular leather saddle has the same knee pads and seat, it's really just the flap that's different. I felt like the buffalo was almost too sticky, in that my full seats would stick to it too much. I got the regular leather and it's broken in and worn very nicely. I've been happy with it, and so has my mare.

Gloria
Sep. 20, 2011, 10:27 PM
Since this threat resurfaced, I thought I'd give a quick update for those who are interested.:)

I got a demo last week (Albion Buffalo leather) to test. It was very nice; brand new when it came and like some reported, felt broken in after one ride.

Glad to hear that they still work well after twenty years of usage.

Ah and the $600 difference includes a girth and a pair of leathers, so it isn't just the leather upgrade.;) Still quite a big difference, but not as shocking.

Strange that my full seat breeches don't stick to it like some reported. There is extra grip but I was able to move around quite easily. Maybe something to do with the material/type of breeches? I remember I had one pair of Kerrit that literaly glued to my Black Country (smooth leather) to the point that I had to pull them apart everytime I posted up - very annoying. Can you imaging trying to do a simple leg yield, and ending up busy pulling your breeches away from the saddle? Got it returned after riding in them for 15 minutes.

alto
Sep. 20, 2011, 10:59 PM
$600 for buffalo & girth & leathers that all match the saddle - I'd do it :yes:

TheHorseProblem
Sep. 20, 2011, 11:26 PM
Soft and sticky, yes. Easy to break in, yes. I still hate it because it never looks clean. There is dust in the creases that I just can't get out... I don't like it to the point that when I got my next county, a jumping saddle, I downgraded the leather to smooth. And guess what, the saddle was still soft and easy to break in...

It is probably fat, not dust. Buffalo has a high fat content, that's what makes it so much grippier. (Don't you feel better now?:)) I can check with the local saddle consigner as to how she gets them to look "clean."


What brands are your buffalo & regular leather saddles?
(pictures are always a nice bonus :winkgrin: )

Mine is a Lemke Buffalo Deluxe. It was about $3000 and that included a free custom fit a few months after I bought it and it had settled.

http://www.legacyhillfarms.com/Saddles%20for%20sale2.htm

Scroll down to the one under the Hennig. That's what mine looks like.

ACP
Sep. 21, 2011, 01:04 AM
My sister and my daughter both have buffalo leather on their 'Arabian Saddle Company' dressage saddles. They ADORE their saddles. It doesn't look as clean and shiny as regular leather but it is very soft and comfy, felt broken in right away. I think there was a price difference, but am not sure; my sister got hers second hand and I no longer have to buy my daughter's tack, thank God!

CelticRiverDance
Sep. 21, 2011, 10:39 PM
I own a plain leather Albion SLK and had an Albion Platinum Genesis Ultima (buffalo hide) dressage saddles. Love them both. The Albion Platinum's buffalo hide was not sticky to ride in or difficult to clean. I actually never felt any difference while in the saddle between the 2 types of leather. The Platinum's seat and knee roll part of the flap are plain leather. It is only the back part of the flap that has the buffalo hide on it.

If given the option, I would get the buffalo hide. Love it because the buffalo hide saddle never showed any wear from the stirrup leathers at all.:) It was great. My plain leather saddle looks much older then the Platinum did because of the wear marks.:(