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Buying the right saddle can be difficult as there are so many options. Western riders have their choices of different seat materials, colors, types, and tooling designs. The possibilities are endless it might seem! It’s important to be comfortable while riding in your new saddle. That’s why many people struggle when deciding between a suede or a leather seat. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of suede seats!

Pros

  • The grip is perfect for those looking to stick in the saddle. Whether you’re a new rider or just want to stay put in the saddle, the suede won’t have you slipping around like leather seats. This is popular in barrel racing, pole bending, and other speed events.
  • Your position can be improved. Those learning to sit the trot or ride a smoother lope will be happy with a firmer seat. You won’t be bouncing all over the place.
  • These seats don’t need to be oiled like leather.
  • A padded one can be very comfortable. Many prefer the suede just for comfort alone.
  • The look of a suede seat can appeal to many.

Cons

  • The material can wear down over time. Once suede is heavily used it can create a glazed over effect and actually become slick. After the damage is done, there is little reversal.
  • Suede can be tough to clean. It is easily discolored from oil, which should be avoided at all costs. Dirt and grime can also be difficult to clean and can become embedded into the material.
  • Once the saddle in worn in, it may be less attractive and lose its value quickly.
When trying to decide between a suede or leather seat, it is best to ride in a few different ones. Experience the saddles first hand, so you can make an informed decision. Suede is a great option for many, but it also has its drawbacks.