From Endurance to Dressage
Leathers or Webbers?
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.
a lot of the saddles i rode in at my first barn had these stirrups (the kind with the hole at the top for the run-up look), and i loved them. and adjusting them from the saddle isn't actually much harder, just different. you get the hang of it pretty quickly. if you like 'em, i'd say go for it!
11/18/2014 09:46:35 am
So far they're working out great!
11/18/2014 09:47:44 am
I am finally getting around to trying them myself, but I think they've been around for a while.
11/18/2014 11:11:30 am
I have purchased several Tekna products (leathers, bridle, halters), but I didn't realize they sold their own version of Webbers. I googled them, but my complaint about the Tekna products is how thick and stiff they can be. Not the halters though; I LOVE those. Thanks for sharing!
11/18/2014 02:53:43 am
I really hope those work for you. I had several pair and despite using the little guard, I had them pop out of the hole several times over the years. It was always terrifying to have the equipment fail mid-ride, although I never came off as a result. I eventually switched to standard lined leathers because of it.
11/18/2014 11:13:05 am
In four years, I've gone through at least three sets of leathers … I just can't find anything that I like. At this price, I am willing to give these a try. :0)
Wow! That's a LOT of leathers! I ordered my last set from a guy named Gary Mundy who is from Indiana. He makes custom leathers, and does a FANTASTIC job. He ships nationally. Plus his prices are ridiculously competitive. He also makes webbers, though I ordered the traditional leathers. Google his name and email him for more info. (He also makes AMAZING rolled leather dog collars on the cheap. My dogs looove them.)
11/19/2014 10:04:52 am
Good to know! I am just picky. :0)
11/18/2014 09:23:56 am
So far I like them, but we'll see how they wear. And yes, I blogged about the MDC irons quite some time ago. Here is the link: http://www.bakersfielddressage.com/home---karens-blog/gizmos-that-i-like-part-5
11/18/2014 11:14:10 am
So far I like them. We'll see how they hold up. :0)
11/22/2014 08:50:04 am
I have the Bates leather Webbers. I love them. Regular leathers pinch my leg if I ride in paddock boots, so Webbers eliminate that problem. I am so used to their comfy fit, that I can't ignore the all buckle under my thigh when I ride in other people's tack.
11/22/2014 01:39:01 pm
I have crossed my stirrups a few times, but I ride with the MDC super gripper stirrups, and I worry about them rubbing against the buffalo leather of my saddle. The leather is VERY soft, and I don't to nick or scratch it. So far the Wintecs seem to be wearing well. And at such a low price, I won't mind replacing them now and again. Glad to hear the style is more popular than I thought!
6/16/2019 01:38:24 pm
I was wondering if webbers are allowed for showing and stuff like that. I've always used leathers but herd great thing about these.
6/18/2019 05:53:27 am
Yes, these are legal for showing. In fact I just did a 2-day USDF/USEF show this past weekend. I wrote this post 5 years ago and have since replaced my original Webbers with a new pair. I LOVE them!
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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
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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