Help me customize my new Custom saddle

I’m in the process of configuring my new Custom saddle (Wolfgang Solo MKII), and would love some input.

  • Regular buffalo (can be highly textured as seen on the flaps of this saddle, but very durable) or smooth Vienna Buffalo? I don't love the highly textured leather, and love the look/feel of the smooth Vienna. But will I regret it in terms of longevity? Is the grippyness of the Vienna that helpful in keeping position?
  • I had planned to go the route of full-on brown dressage saddle, but have started to lean toward black with brown accents to get the best of both worlds. So, in addition to caramel/cognac welting, I'm thinking of adding caramel/cognac facing. Facing, in case you're wondering, is the trim between the cantle and panels in this picture. It is also the trim along the front of the flap and pommel, as in this picture. What do you think of that? Will it be too contrasty and look dumb? Or, will it create that perfect, classic black and tan look that I'm after.
What do you think, saddle style gurus? Very important questions for your Friday afternoon. Thanks!

My barn buddy has just got hers, it has brown piping and brown crocodile facing. It actually looks really nice and much more subtle than I expected it to. It really isn’t that noticeable when she is riding.

(On the other hand, we also have one in the barn that has blue Swarovski crystal facing. It’s like a giant blingtastic disco ball and is in MHO utterly tasteless and cringeworthy. And I’m not the anti-bling by any means!)

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I question the durability of the fancy prints and patent leathers, so I steer clear of those things. I love the lighter browns but will they darken too much (with time/cleaning) for your liking?

As far as the buffalo, ![]( have never tried the Vienna Buffalo, but you would have to rip my cold dead tush out of my standard buffalo saddle to get me to give up buffalo.

As far as colors go, I love the two-tone brown and black look, like you said - best of both worlds. However I generally prefer a darker brown with black than the caramel/cognac, which is a bit too high contrast with the black, IMHO.

But then I saw this one on the Custom site with cream facing…
[IMG]http://mysaddle.com/media/fotos/1/53_thumb.jpg)

My answer may also depend on the color of your horse. The caramel/cognac would probably look best on a chestnut or lighter bay.

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OMG I love those “black & tan” saddles!!! Personally I wouldn’t buy an all-brown saddle because I like my saddle and bridle to match, and it can be very hard to find certain styles of dressage bridles in brown. But that’s my own vanity talking :slight_smile: Just keep in mind that any contrast like that will draw the eye, so you had better have a darn good seat and quiet leg!

I agree on the buffalo…I love it on the flaps of my custom.

Yes to the buffalo.

As far as the colors - the cognac gets a LOT darker with time. I love my all brown on my chestnut, but I have brown and black on my dark bay gelding - his was a demo model which I now love, though he would have been in plain black or black with white piping if I’d ordered one custom made for us at the time.

The pic with the pink and brown saddle pad is the recent one - that’s a couple years of Effax affecting color, and the cantle matches. The London piping is still orangey though and matches the tops of my boots pretty much perfectly, despite the fact they’re supposedly cognac. :slight_smile:

I have a young horse saddle (Dresch) I bought used which is dark brown and black. I can’t actually tell which is brown and which is black without looking carefully because the brown has gotten so much darker.

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Do you have the smooth Vienna buffalo or the really thick buffalo?

But which buffalo, smooth Vienna or the thick textured buffalo?

Exactly!!! This is exactly my thinking about buying an all brown saddle. Not to mention, I have a black jump saddle, so I like the interchangeability.

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As far as the buffalo, I have never tried the Vienna Buffalo, but you would have to rip my cold dead tush out of my standard buffalo saddle to get me to give up buffalo.

As far as colors go, I love the two-tone brown and black look, like you said - best of both worlds. However I generally prefer a darker brown with black than the caramel/cognac, which is a bit too high contrast with the black, IMHO.

But then I saw this one on the Custom site with cream facing…
[IMG]http://mysaddle.com/media/fotos/1/53_thumb.jpg)

My answer may also depend on the color of your horse. The caramel/cognac would probably look best on a chestnut or lighter bay.

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This saddle would be for a dark bay who has caramel points. Basically trying to replicate her coloring on the saddle. I love the saddle in that pic that you sent–such a good inspiration! It’s effectively what I’m after with mine. Thanks for sending!

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Textured. I don’t know that I see the point of the Vienna? Obviously, personal preference but you don’t sound like you have one, so I’d go grippier. :slight_smile:

I guess that’s my real question, is it grippier? Seems to me that the smooth, softer leathers (a la calfskin that is so popular for the H/J saddles) is grippier than the thicker leather. Although the thicker leather is textured, it seems like it is just a reflection of the thicker hide, not having any effect on the grip or grab of the leather.

But maybe I’m totally clueless. My aesthetic preference is smooth Vienna, but I’m a practical girl at heart and want to make a decision that is ultimately the best for my seat and the longevity of the saddle!

I have the really thick textured buffalo and I do find it grippier but not to the degree that I ever feel stuck

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I must be a cowgirl at heart, I love that black with the western design!

Love these saddles! I have among my collection a brown saddle with black facing. Really lovely.

The sueded Vienna if cared for properly can maintain the “suede” appearance if brushed up slightly with a soft brush after applying Effax.

Mine (and my preference) is the sueded Vienna seat and the thicker buffalo slaps, skirt, for longevity and wear purpose.

ETA: are you talking about the seat? Or the flaps?

My understanding was that the “Vienna” was the sueded appearance of the leather, not a type of buffalo. I also am under the impression that the seat is always calf or cowhide, not buffalo, and that the Vienna leather is also calf or cowhide, just with the sueded appearance that goes away with use unless brushed up. I have no idea what “smooth Vienna” is other than regular calf or cowhide. The “smooth” seats get much less grippy if not conditioned with Effax often (recommended 3x weekly, more in hot and dry climates, never need to use cleaners, just condition). Same goes with the Vienna option - if not conditioned and brushed with a soft brush, the “Vienna” appearance will disappear.

Maybe I’m misinformed, but I would talk to your fitter and get more specific information.

If you’re looking for a grippy seat, I would get the Vienna option (which again I think is cow or calf) and use the Effax and soft brush. If you don’t do that, the seat will be less grippy, so it’s like having two saddles in one with the option of either :).

Of of course I could be misinformed entirely. :wink:

My jump saddle has buffalo leather, and I love it. I use to have a buffalo leather Bates dressage saddle and it was literally a life saver a few times when my horse was just broke out.

I really like the patent crocodile leather backing some of the Customs have. I just recently ordered a custom dressage of a different brand, went with brown leather and navy blue welting, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Personally, I am not a fan of the black with brown accents. I prefer all black or all brown.

Me too! If I could figure out how to get a piece of tooled leather I’d totally copy that design!

I had a Vienna seat on one of my older saddles, and it quickly “crushed” down to flat and kind of slick. I wouldn’t do it again. It is much higher maintenance - you have to “brush it” after every ride to keep its texture. Far prefer a regular cowhide seat in the long run. If you need a sticker seat, buy stickier full seat breeches! Then, for the rest of the saddle, go with the buffalo leather - it is amazing. The seats are NOT buffalo (the Vienna is not buffalo) - that leather is too thick to form a seat, but the stuff wears like iron and is so easy to maintain.

Color - I think when you get TOO many contrasts, it looks - disjointed. I like colored welting, I like the cantle accent, but in the last picture, I thought it was too much. One thing to be aware of - the welting does crack over the years - dark colors don’t show those cracks so much, but lighter colors may. Ask your rep about that.

Overall, I love their saddles - and I like all the customizeable options they now have - color, bling, anything you want! And I have seen one of the saddles with the tooled leather - it is GORGEOUS!

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