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Beval's leather quality? (Saddles)

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  • Beval's leather quality? (Saddles)

    I was interested in purchasing a new saddle and I'd heard both good and bad things about Beval saddles. I did a demo ride and loved the saddle, but I'm not sure if it's a wise investment after hearing that the leather quality isn't up to par (and that a friend's saddle's stitching literally began falling apart after having it for only one year).

    What are your opinions, is a Beval saddle worth it?

  • #2
    I have ridden in many Beval saddle, and LOVE most of them. I currently ride in a Beval Salem (a year old) and also an old Beval Devon, a Natural, and the Butet. I also love the World Cup, which my sister has.....

    Most of my trainer's schooling saddles are Bevals too, and some of them quite old. They all are exceptionally well made. By the way, I really like the Salem, and after a year of heavy use, it's holding up great.


    • #3
      My friend has one, and it is holding up really nicely. Good quality leather.


      • #4
        I think the quality of leather is dropping all over the world. You can still find beautiful leather at the very top end of saddles, though you will pay dearly for it. And if you want longevity for your $4k french-calfer, you may be dissappointed.

        All this is to say two things about Bevals saddles: 1) What is happening there is happening everywhere. You will get leather that's better or worse in their various lines and the price will match. 2) Neither the company, nor the saddle model guarantees the longest-living saddle for the price. You may get more use out of a mid-range saddle that's not covered in fragile but insta-soft calf.

        I think it makes the most sense to buy the best quality you can find for the money you want to spend. There is something to be said for not buying the most expensive saddle out there. And, most important, take really good care of your saddle, whatever it's initial price.

        But the fit of various Beval's saddles can vary. I was not impressed with Stamford-- a $900 or so, Argentine saddle. I wasn't scared off by the quite yellow "newmarket" leather, but was freaked out by the way that saddle thought a horse's back might be shaped.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          I have a Beval Natural and can not say enough good things about it. Everyone but one person at my barn rides in a Beval of some type and all are in love with their saddles. We all ride in jeans everyday and no one's saddle has suffered from that.


          • #6
            I have a World Cup that's been my favorite saddle forever, after trying almost every other saddle out (I had a PJ for a while). Seriously, I think it's like 15 years old now. It has XL flaps and fits me perfectly, and I will never ever part with it, and likewise, I hope it will never die!!!


            • #7
              I have a Beval Natural that I bought, used, 2 years ago. It is still in great shape and serving me well. Also probably one of my favorite saddles to ride in


              • #8
                I trialed a Gladstone and thought the leather quality was pretty nice. I mean, it's not an Antares or what have you, but for the price range it was pretty good.


                • #9
                  We've got some VERY old beval's in the barn, and I must say they've held up magically. I mean, these are the school barn saddles. They get beaten up quite a bit. Some of the leather is discolored on one of the saddles, but it was not very well taken care of for some time, I imagine. It was not always owned by the barn. The leather is still intact and no cracks, though. Two of them are very old LTD's and the leather in te seat is sort of cracking but not coming apart. *shrug* We've got an old butet, too, and it's very nice. The leather on some of it is sort of discolored, but whatever. It's a good saddle.

                  I find, however, that it depends on the model. The butets obviously have better leather than some of the lower-end models. It may also depend on the age. It seems that many brands (and i've heard beval is included in this) have downgraded on their leather (think of old pessoa vs new pessoa) in recent years and it's too bad. However, it's not something that generally comes to mind when I think of Beval saddles, but when I hear "pessoa" i immediately tihnk of the leather.

                  In general, the leather holds up well with good care. The "niceness" of the leather depends on the model, though. The more money, the better the leather.

                  Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                  • #10
                    My niece is currently riding in a Beval that my mom bought in 1979 for herself, the saddle is in EXCELLENT condition!
                    My daughter just out grew a Beval that was my sisters when she was 10 ( she is now 49) and then my best friend bought it from her and used it for about 10 years then DD used it for another 3 yrs now my friends kids are using it until my younger DD grows into it! It has been through the MILL and still puts the kids in an awesome position and is SUPER comfortable.
                    They are well worth the money and even their lower end saddles seem to hold up reasonably well, CARE is the biggest saddle saver!
                    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


                    • #11
                      The only negative thing I've heard about Beval, was regarding the Butet.
                      The leather is very soft and the seat seems to wear, after a few years (so I'm told).
                      All the people I know who own a Beval, love their saddle.
                      "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." ~ Albert Einstein~


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Einstein View Post
                        The only negative thing I've heard about Beval, was regarding the Butet.
                        The leather is very soft and the seat seems to wear, after a few years (so I'm told).
                        All the people I know who own a Beval, love their saddle.

                        I love my Butets. I have had one for 20 yrs, which I bought used. The pommel has a tiny hole in it, but (yes, this is true) I have a piece of duck tape on it, and seems fine. This is the spare saddle now, so I was not going to spend the $800 or more on a new seat. I just replaced the billets though, so I think it will continue to be my 2nd fav saddle for many years.

                        I also have a Butet that is 4 yrs old. And as the above poster said, the leather is very soft and since I ride in chaps and jeans, there is a bit of wear in the seat. I think the leather on this one is more fragile than on the older saddle. I love them anyway and they fit my horses very well.


                        • #13
                          Beval has a variety of saddles that come in a variety of qualities and that is reflected in a variety of price ranges. I think you get what you pay for with no surprises.

                          Either I myself, or others in my barn, have Beval's Butet, Natural, Devon, and a Stamford. Everyone is happy with theirs - even the mom of the leadliner with the 13" Stamford!


                          • #14
                            I have jumping and dressage Butet saddles and cannot say enough good things about both saddles. Jumping saddle is '05 model and dressage is '07, so both are relatively new, however, my trainers Butet is from '98 and looks and holds up amazingly.
                            I do not have any complaints about leather or general quality of either saddles. You just have to take care of them; do not ride in jeans and/or full chaps, clean and oil regularly, do not put on rough surfaces and you should not have any problems with them.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Equus_girl View Post
                              I have jumping and dressage Butet saddles and cannot say enough good things about both saddles. Jumping saddle is '05 model and dressage is '07, so both are relatively new, however, my trainers Butet is from '98 and looks and holds up amazingly.
                              I do not have any complaints about leather or general quality of either saddles. You just have to take care of them; do not ride in jeans and/or full chaps, clean and oil regularly, do not put on rough surfaces and you should not have any problems with them.
                              Do you ride in breeches and boots in your Butet?


                              • #16
                                I have a Devon 2000 that I bought during their big Feburary sale about 9 years ago. I think they were re-vamping that particular model then and I got it for a steal!

                                The saddle is great; puts me in a great position and we've had no problems with saddle fit. Hardly shows signs of wear after nine years of use.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MintHillFarm View Post
                                  Do you ride in breeches and boots in your Butet?
                                  Mostly naked to save precious Butet leather

                                  Breeches/tights and half-chaps mostly, my only pair of boots is reserved for showing. They use different and much tougher leather on flaps, so I am not feeling guilty about abusing it.

                                  What actually makes seat leather on Butet's more durable is Effax cream, lots and lots of it. Oil alone makes it softer, but since its already soft, its even more prone to scratches, marks, etc. Effax takes away that "fingerprints" effect off the leather and gives it a bit of shine and more of finished and treated leather feel and look.

                                  Dressage Butet is different as its all calf-skin leather. Sticks to full seat and real suede breeches like there is no tomorrow :O