For those riding with english leathers

I rode in my first 25 mile Endurance ride in my dressage saddle recently. There were a lot of hills, many quite steep. I noticed the stirrup leathers under my knees by the end of the ride. They weren’t bruised but were definitely tender on the next day’s ride. This is not an issue I’ve ever had before, and it’s the first time I’ve ridden that far/long in that saddle.

I thought the newer stability leathers might be easier on my knees as they’re supposed to smooth out the transition between leathers and flaps. If you haven’t encountered these before they have a double width strap at the buckle end that runs the length of the saddle flap before tapering sharply down to the regular 1".

I got TSF stability leathers and tried them out this week. I didn’t ride anywhere near 25 miles :wink: but I can tell the wide top straps really do smooth out the feel of the leathers under my knees. I know some people use sheepskin covers on their leathers. The extra bulk didn’t appeal to me which is why I tried the stability leathers. I thought I’d share for anyone else who might be interested. :slight_smile:

Good to know! I’ve always ridden with the stirrup leathers under the saddle flap to keep from getting knee rubs - but did have an issue once riding in a monoflap where obviously that didn’t work.

If it’s bulk that is an issue, Wintec webbers are a single thickness. I 've used them for years so durability is not an issue.

Thanks! What do you think of the leather quality? I have the Millwood stability leathers. I’ll say that I’m not impressed with the stiff leather. The stain also rubbed off early on.

I have webbers that I used on my Aussie saddle years ago. The inability to run the irons up drove me crazy. I did have a flip over the seat and tuck the stirrup into the loop of the other webber technique but it wasn’t very stable when carrying the saddle around. This is a minor thing and very much a personal irritation. :wink:

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The TSF leathers have the wide part in a nice, solid leather and the 1" part as leather wrapped nylon strap. The wide leather feels solid, like it won’t stretch easily, but is flexible enough to fold up and tuck out of the way under my saddle cover.

This is the first time I’ve had leather wrapped synthetic core leathers as I’ve doubted how well the thin leather wrap will hold up. Time will tell. They are a bit thicker than solid leather straps. I can feel that extra thickness in the free end under my thigh where it goes across the flap to the keeper, though it is not uncomfortable, just different. Once the bend at the buckle settles and my memory files it into “normal feel” I don’t think it will register consciously. The TSF leathers were available in my local tack shop - something that factored into choosing TSF.

I’ve only ridden with them 3-4 times and usually wearing black breeches so I haven’t noticed any colour bleed.


All the WINTEC webbers I used, (20 years years worth) had a slot at the top. One ran the iron past the slot, then inserted the Tee. This held the iron up like a classic English leather.

On reflection, Perhaps my early memory of the webbers is faulty… nevertheless … Current webbers have a slot to hold the irons.

It’s been a long time, but I think I had to shorten my webbers because the T buckle was bruising my shins - I lost that top slot in the cut. Though I will admit I wasn’t happy with the running up with the top slot anyway maybe because I moved the buckle before running up the iron… :winkgrin: Very much a personal preference. I probably would have gotten used to it if I hadn’t had to shorten them.

I have the TSF Stability leathers and, although I’ve never ridden an endurance race in them, I have gone on trail-rides of a couple of hours at all terrains and gaits and have found them very comfortable. I wanted the wider leathers because I have had some issues in the past with rubs on my shins and so far, four months or so into using the Stability leathers, I’ve had no problems.

I used them throughout the summer and found no problem with the dye bleeding. (I have black leathers).

One other thing I’d suggest for anyone that has issues with rubs on their shins is to have stirrups that have an offset eye. The offset eye allows the stirrup to hang at an angle that is closer to the angle that your foot will be as it rests naturally against the side of the horse. That has seemed to help the rubbing as well.

I definitely agree on wider leathers for more stability. I also have real fleece covers on all of my leathers

I took my other horse out for a good trail ride yesterday and discovered that I am spoiled… I want stability leathers for his saddle now… :uhoh: I actually noticed the leathers under my knees… :lol:


After severely bruising my shins I swapped out English leathers for free swinging fenders. No more need for sheepskin or half chaps. I even like the look :slight_smile: