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What are the Pros and Cons of Synthetic Horse Saddles?

Synthetic Horse Saddles

While there are different materials in use for making horse saddles, synthetic ones are always in high demand. The reason can be financial or functional, but you will seemingly hear both good and bad about synthetic saddles.

See also: How to Break in a New Horse Saddle?

So, are you looking to buy a synthetic saddle? Are you fiddling between leather and saddle, still unable to process which one to buy? Don’t worry; we have got it covered for you. You can go through the following information to know whether a synthetic saddle will be suitable for you or not.

Demand for Synthetic Saddles

Saddles are essential for horse riding, and synthetic saddles have gained popularity over the years for their affordability and durability. Some people have the opinion that synthetic saddles cannot be as good as a leather saddles. However, these saddles are highly in demand among riders for various reasons.

If you are not much aware of the making process of these saddles, know that manufacturers use different types of material for them. They are made from different materials, such as nylon, synthetic suede, and synthetic leather. While synthetic saddles have their advantages, they also have their disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using synthetic saddles.

Pros/Advantages of Synthetic Saddle:

1. Affordability:

The first and foremost important factor that synthetic saddles are higher in demand is their price range. In comparison with a leather saddle, these saddles are much more affordable and easy to purchase. They are a great option for riders on a budget or those just starting horse riding.

See also: Saddle Accessories: Riders Must Have

2. Low maintenance:

These types of saddles are easy to clean and maintain. Unlike leather saddles that require regular conditioning, synthetic saddles only require basic cleaning with soap and water. So, there’s no need to buy expensive cleaning essentials and spend much on their maintenance.

3. Durability:

When looking at the durability of these saddles, they can withstand harsh weather conditions easily. They do not crack or dry out like leather saddles and also do not require much care. You can simply place them anywhere, and there won’t be any foul smell after many days.

4. Lightweight:

Synthetic saddles are lighter than leather saddles, making them more comfortable for both horse and rider. This is especially useful for long rides or riders struggling to lift heavy saddles. Hence, it may make the horse take too much pressure on its back.

5. Vegan-friendly:

The best and top-notch thing about these saddles is that they are not processed by killing any animal. Likewise, they are better for the environment in comparison with a leather saddle. Thus, Synthetic saddles are cruelty-free, making them an excellent option for vegan riders.

Cons/Disadvantages of Synthetic Saddle:

1. Less breathability:

Synthetic saddles do not breathe as well as leather saddles, which can cause discomfort to the horse and rider. This can be especially problematic for the riders and the horse in hot weather conditions.

2. Limited customization:

Unlike leather saddles, here, you may not have the same level of customization options. More so, they come in a few colors and designs, which may not be feasible for different rider choices.

See also: Pros & Cons of Horseback Riding

3. Not as comfortable:

The one thing that may turn off a passionate rider from not using synthetic saddles is that they are not comfortable enough. Moreover, these saddles lack the same level of suppleness and flexibility that’s present in a leather saddle. Furthermore, it can cause discomfort for both horse and its rider.

4. Lower resale value:

Synthetic saddles have a lower resale value in comparison to leather saddles. This means that if you plan to sell your saddle, you may not get as much money for it. On the other hand, leather saddles can range upto a high price even after 5 to 6 years of usage.

5. Shorter lifespan:

While synthetic saddles are more durable than leather saddles but have a shorter lifespan. They can wear out faster, especially with heavy use. So, synthetic saddles will be a good option if you are looking to buy a saddle for less, and they should last 2 to 3 years.


In popular opinion, synthetic saddles have their advantages and disadvantages. They are more affordable, easy to clean, and durable, which makes them an excellent option for riders on a budget. More so, it can even be better for those looking to start horse riding.

However, they lack the same breathability, comfort, and customization options as leather saddles. Ultimately, choosing a synthetic or leather saddle depends on personal preference, budget, and riding needs. Furthermore, referring to a saddler will be a better option if you require expert advice.

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