View Full Version : calfskin wrapped leathers vs. traditional
Nov. 1, 2011, 01:45 PM
Looking at all the new calfskin wrapped leathes and comparing them to the traditional leathers.... I have used both. Just have a few questions to ponder.
(1) If you are riding in one of the high end french saddles (Devoucoux, Antares, CWD, Voltaire, etc.) that is either calfskin or buffalo, do the traditional leathers cause too much wear on the saddle? Is the calfskin easier on the flap leather? I have the calfskin leathers on a buffalo Antares saddle that the trainer has been using for herself and other horses (not on my horse, said it no longer fit my horse and I had to get a new saddle, that's another story). I just saw the saddle this weekend (hadn't seen it for a while) and the stirrup leathers are completely shredded and worn out. So, the saddle needs new leathers. Buy the wrapped leathers again (not cheap) or use traditional leathers? Hate to spend $150-$200 on leathers that will be shredded in 18 months because of heavy use.....
(2) Favorite brand of wrapped leathers. I had ordered some Antares leathers a few months ago for the new saddle and they have been on back order. I just received an email that the company doesn't expect them to be in before March 2012. So, I'm now on the hunt for leathers. Tell me what brand you have and how you like them, please.
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and opinions.
Nov. 1, 2011, 01:51 PM
What do you mean by "traditional" leathers? Do you mean nylon lined but covered in normal leather, or do you mean plain leather?
I only use nylon lined leathers, but I can't say say for sure that they are all specifically calf leather wrapped. They are wrapped in some wort of leather, though... I've used Bates, M Toulouse, and Prestige. I can usually find them for slightly under $100 a pair. I've used them on County, Antares, and Prestige saddles.
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:01 PM
Plain leather (no nylon lining) such as those made by Courbette. I used Courbette leathers for years and always loved them. Never wore a pair out although have had to have the stitching at the buckle redone on ocassion.
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:04 PM
I've never met a paid of non-lined leathers that didn't stretch out -- usually unevenly -- and I HATE that beyond all reason... I have enough trouble adjusting my stirrups to add that into the mix.
I have friends who ride in unlined leathers and it doesn't seem to do any damage. Antares, Bruno...
I guess I'm not totally sure what your specific question is. I would recommend lined leathers, but you don't have to spend $150-$200 on them...
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:22 PM
I've been using non-lined, "traditional" leathers (not wrapped in calfskin), on my Antares for probably the past 6 years and they've been fine. No damage to the saddle, and while the leathers have stretched out, it's nothing that I can't live with. I prefer leathers without nylon lining because I like to punch a good deal of half holes, which can be difficult with the nylon - I'd imagine the calfskin wrapping would also make this hard to do. My leathers may need replacing more often than the nylon-lined leathers but they were probably half the price so it doesn't make a huge difference.
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:26 PM
I prefer plain leathers, not wrapped. No problem with damage to the saddle, and if you buy good quality ones they stretch pretty minimally. I have a pair of Passier leathers that's still in great shape after 5 years, and only stretched about 4 holes over all that time. They cost around $100. I had a pair of the Courbette leathers before that, and also got many years out of them.
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:27 PM
hmmm...when I got my Antares saddle, they gave me a pair of the calfskin leathers. So far, they have been holding up great (its been about 5 months of regular useage), same goes for the saddle.
Have you tried getting in touch with your local Antares rep about the leathers? They may be able to contact other reps to see if anyone has some stock on hand still.
Nov. 1, 2011, 02:28 PM
Thanks, Fiction and others, that's the answer I wanted to hear. I have a great pair of Courbette leathers from a previous lifetime and want to use them on the saddle. Since I personally don't use this saddle at all, and it doesn't even reside in the same zip code, I really don't want to plunk out a ton of money. Reusing a pair of nice leathers is even more appealing......
I often hear "through the grapevine" that use of non-calfskin-wrapped leathers will cause excessive wear on the saddle. Methinks the grapevine has a good marketing rep!
Off to put the Courbette leathers on that saddle. Love the Courbettes and never really had a problem with stretching.
Thanks to all.
Nov. 1, 2011, 04:27 PM
I have the calfskin leathers on a buffalo Antares saddle that the trainer has been using for herself and other horses (not on my horse, said it no longer fit my horse and I had to get a new saddle, that's another story). I just saw the saddle this weekend (hadn't seen it for a while) and the stirrup leathers are completely shredded and worn out. So, the saddle needs new leathers. Buy the wrapped leathers again (not cheap) or use traditional leathers? Hate to spend $150-$200 on leathers that will be shredded in 18 months because of heavy use.....
I have a great pair of Courbette leathers from a previous lifetime and want to use them on the saddle. Since I personally don't use this saddle at all, and it doesn't even reside in the same zip code, I really don't want to plunk out a ton of money. Reusing a pair of nice leathers is even more appealing......
Hmmmm.... since it appears that someone else is using *your* saddle on *not your* horses and *you* are *not* using the saddle, it would seem to me that whoever *is* using the saddle should be the one to replace the leathers, since it stands to reason that *they* are the one who wore them out. Just my thought.
That said, I fully agree with your decision to put the Courbette leathers on the saddle, since you are being kind enough to replace something which you did not wear out. If trainer has a problem with it, then I would say the trainer can replace the leathers. The Courbette leathers should do no harm to the buffalo Antares (and vice versa).
As far as my favorite leathers of any kind go, I like Prestige best. They are not at all bulky, and they have more than adequate adjustment options (I am a fanatic about where the holes on my stirrup leathers are - there *MUST* be enough, and I *MUST* be able to adjust up or down from my "normal" length). I hated my Courbette leathers, because they did not offer enough adjustability.
Nov. 1, 2011, 04:34 PM
I agree with Pattnic on the user replacing the stirrup leathers. I've been using calf lined leathers from M. Toulouse for well over a year with no problems. I'm wondering why all of a sudden your got all tore up. But if you happen to have your older courbettes, by all means, I'd use those.
Nov. 1, 2011, 05:59 PM
Your mileage may vary depending on your saddle. I used my grain leather with nylon core Lundmark leathers on a calf Antares and the saddle was fine. The same leathers did cause wear on a calf Devoucoux. Then again, the Antares wore in the seat more than the Devoucoux is, so that could also be just something about the particular pieces of leather.