Everything is set for the guy to make my saddle. Only thing we are waiting on is for a bridle I ordered to come in so I can tell him the approximate color I want it in. The series I am getting is the SCV001 series. This series has a couple different seat options as well as options for the under part.
First is the seat options. It has smooth, cowhide, or suede. I don't want a cow hide seat so I'm stuck with smooth or suede. Shane said he doesn't like the suede, but I don't know, I like both and am very indecisive.
Next is the underpart. I have 3 options, I can have Smooth Leather, Synthetic Felt, or Synthetic Fleece. I have the option for the real stuff, but its an additional $100 and that puts me above my budget.
I have never owned and cared for a western saddle. I don't know if the felt or the fleece need additional care, so I'm kind of leaning towards the default of the leather. Another thing is though with the leather he uses 1" of memory foam for the flocking and padding, with the felt and fleece he does not.
Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today? I am pro-Slaughter
Smooth leather is way easier to care for and keep clean. The suede seat will eventually get rubbed smooth, and the fleece/felt will need replaced sooner than smooth leather IMO. Not to mention the fact that everything sticks to fleece and felt. (dirt, hair, straw, hay, shavings, grass, twigs, etc.)
In my experience, suede is lovely at first, but it begins to wear unevenly and really shows age. Then you stare at it wishing you could find a way to make it look better. I think you'd be happiest with leather all around, although, I kind of like the aesthetics of the felted underneath.