From Endurance to Dressage
There's not much that I don't own horse-wise, but every time I start to think that there is nothing in the catalog that I need or want, I manage to find something else.
Leathers have never been one of my favorite pieces of equipment. I've even tended toward the synthetics because they don't stretch like real leathers do. On the flip side, they also tend to be thicker and harder to punch holes in. My most recent leathers are from SmartPak. They have holes spaced at ¾" inch increments, which I love, but they are thick. They are leather on the outside with a nylon lining.
I've been interested in the Webbers (Bates/Wintec), but I figured they had to be weird and clunky. (If they're so great why isn't everyone use them?) I had the chance recently to ride in a pair and while they are a bit awkward to get to length, I completely forgot about them once I was in the saddle.
Getting a chance to try them out sealed the deal. I decided to order a pair. The Bates version is similar to my SmartPak leathers - leather outside with a webbing core. They run around $75.
Riding Warehouse, my favorite online store and somewhat local tack shop, carries the Wintec Webbers for under $33.00. I was hoping that the Wintec Webbers would be thinner than the leather/webbing combo of the Bates, so that's what I went with.
Since Webbers are only one thickness they don't hang over your stirrup bars like regular leathers do. There is a loop at the top that slides over your stirrup bars. It was easy to do and seems just as secure as with typical leathers.
One complaint I've heard about using Webbers is the inability to run up your leathers. While it's not as convenient as with standard leathers, the Wintec Webbers do come with a hole near the top of the leathers that allow you to hang your stirrups in a very short position and then they can be run up.
Quite a ways below the "run up" hole are the holes for inserting the "T" that holds the stirrup to the right length. You just slide the "T" into the slot, turn, and the leathers are set.
There is a leather "cap" that slides down and covers the "T" and probably serves to hold things more securely in place.
With no buckle under your thigh and only one layer of leather, the Webbers really are more comfortable. It wasn't that I was bugged before, but the instant I sat in my saddle, I noticed how much smoother my thigh rested against the saddle. These really are an improvement over standard leathers.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%