Saddles for Sale: Should you Choose Leather or Synthetic?

Start shopping for saddles for sale, and in the blink of an eye you’ll find lots of attractive options to choose from. We’ll save discussions about types and styles of saddles for a different day; for now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of leather vs. synthetic saddles.


Price is definitely one of the first considerations most riders make when looking at different saddles for sale, both online and off. If it’s the deciding factor for you, consider looking at synthetic saddles over leather ones. Synthetics are almost always priced a bit lower. Of course some synthetics do cost more than leather saddles, and if you spend some time shopping, particularly here at SaddleOnline, you’ll find attractive, affordable saddles for sale in both leather and synthetic.


If saddle weight is a concern for you and you’re hoping to find the lightest saddle, you’ll find that synthetic saddles almost always weigh about half what their leather counterparts do. A lighter-weight saddle gives your horse a few pounds less to carry, and keeps you from lugging a heavy saddle back and forth. Despite the lower weight of a synthetic saddle though, you’ll still need to use the right kind of saddle pad to ensure that your horse’s back stays in good shape.  

Easy Care

Synthetic saddles are easier to care for than leather ones, and all you really need to keep one of these saddles looking its best is a damp cloth and perhaps a soft brush for rubbing out any dirty spots. Leather saddles require lots of saddle soap and leather conditioner to stay in top shape.  


Leather saddles almost always win the style battle, hands down. If you want a beautiful western saddle as opposed to a plain but comfortable bare bones model, you’re likely to notice that the leather saddles you find for sale are much more stylish than synthetic ones. If you are an English rider, you’ll find that there are plenty of synthetic options that look almost exactly like classic leather saddles. For kids and others who appreciate color, both leather and synthetic saddles come with a variety of color and design options. Synthetics are available in fun patterns like zebra and camouflage, while leather saddles for sale are often trimmed in vibrant colors like red and turquoise blue.


Synthetic saddles can last for years if they are well-cared for and used gently, but they show signs of wear and tear faster than leather ones do. If you want the next saddle to buy to last you for decades, then you’re better off with real leather. Treat it well, and it might even last a lifetime.

That Good Saddle Smell

Sadly, synthetic saddles don’t have the same wonderful smell that leather ones do! If you find yourself feeling happy, nostalgic, and good all over every time you walk into a tack room filled with leather gear, you might be happiest sticking with a good old-fashioned leather saddle.