Due to Covid-19 isolation we are on skeleton staff and will endeavour to respond to all inquiries. Production schedule has been delayed.

Leathers and Materials

Leather Choices

The leather hides must meet certain qualities which we set out. Our leathers come from a variety of sources and may be various tannage. In general the leathers which meet our criteria will be those tanned for the boot and shoe industry.
Our saddle leathers may have a smooth fine grained surface, a textured surface or a nubuck/napped surface. Within those surfaces there are various sheens - from dull to very shiney. The texture or drag of the leathers are also considered. The right qualities of leather can turn a saddle from a piece of equipment into an experience of comfort and security. 
Sensation Ride™ treeless saddles are made with two different leathers, a flap leather of 6 to 8 oz. and a seat leather of 2-3 oz.
Our leathers are always changing, as buying smaller stocks of leather at a time allows us to offer you a wide range of choice in leathers. We are always looking for great leathers to add to our inventory, in a variety of colors, textures and weights. See samples page here.

Enjoy browsing through our Gallery to help inspire you! Remember, anything is possible and we’re happy to help you with some ideas! We look forward to working with you to create your custom Sensation Ride™ treeless saddle.  

Please note the colours and textures may vary by hide. Colours of leather may look different on different computer screens.

We always have more options in leather than we are able to show. Please ask about a special colour you may want.

Flap weight leathers

Flap weight leathers are used on the flap, cantle, jockeys, swells and pommels. 

 
Voyageur Hazelnut | Oily Slight Nubuck | Flap
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Oro-Riginal | Oily Smooth | Flap 
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Dark Taupe Buffalo | Nubuck | Flap
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Calico Coffee Bean | Smooth | Flap
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Mocha Mountaineer | Smooth | Flap 
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Calico Brawny | Smooth | Flap 
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Bruiser Brown | Oily Textured | Flap 
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Brown Nappa | Textured | Flap 
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Black Nappa | Textured | Flap
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Fleshout | Front: Nubuck | Back: Smooth | Flap
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Grey Nude Chap | Textured and Smooth | Flap
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Black Nubuck | Nubuck | Flap
+ Many more one of a kind hides

Seat weight leathers

These lighter weight leathers are used on the seat, knee, and thigh roll of the saddle, and also the perimeter binding. More than one color may be chosen for each area using the same weight leather.

 
Princess Grey | Smooth | Seat 
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Dark Grey | Smooth | Seat 
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Grey Stone | Smooth | Seat 
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Golf Brown | Smooth | Seat 
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Taupe | Smooth | Seat
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Natura | Smooth | Seat 
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Pecan | Smooth | Seat 
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Brown Suede | Suede | Seat 
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Black Suede | Suede | Seat 
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Black Deertan | Smooth | Seat 
+ Many more one of a kind hides

 

Common Terminology:
Aniline Dyed – Leather that is dyed all the way through with a transparent dye. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used.
Armor Leather – Heavy veg-tan leather used for shoe soles and for protective armor by historical re-enactors.
Bark Tanned – Also known as vegetable tanned. Leather tanned by the tannins extracted from the bark of trees.
Belly Cut (snake) – Snakeskins that are cut on the underneath so the tanned skin shows the snake’s normally visible pattern.
Chrome Free – Also known as Aldehydetanned leather, this is the leather that most tanners refer to as wet-white leather due to its pale cream or white color. Used in infant’s shoes and automobiles.
Chrome Tanned – This process uses soluble chromium salts, primarily chromium sulfate, to tan leather. Most commonly used for garments, footwear and upholstery.
Crust – Leather that has been tanned, dyed and dried, but not finished.
Distressed – Leather that is aniline dyed with one color over another (usually darker over lighter) so as to create rich highlights and an artificial aged appearance. This finishing process is intended to emphasize the characteristics of the hide such as scars, scratches and wrinkles. Also called “antiqued leather”.
Drum Dyed – The process of coloring leather by tumbling it in a rotating drum immersed in dye to allow maximum dye penetration.
Embossed Leather – Leather that has been “stamped” with a design or artificial texture under very high pressure. Our embossed leathers have textures of ostrich and gator.
Flesh Side – The underside of the animal’s hide. When looking at a piece of veg-tanned tooling leather, this will be the rough side.
Full Grain – Leather which has not been altered beyond hair removal. It is the most genuine of leathers, retaining all of the hide’s original texture and markings. The hide’s best, strongest and most durable layer.
Good Hand – A soft, supple leather that feels good to the hand.
Grain Side – This is the hide’s surface that had the hair of the animal. The grain side is used for leather carving and stamping by leathercrafters.
Hair Cell Grain – Noticeable appearance of where the hair pores were on the leather.
Kidskin – Soft leather made from the skin of a young goat.
Latigo – Cowhide leather tanned for outdoor use. Utilized for cinches, ties, and other saddlery work and for army accoutrements.
Milled – During the tanning process, the leather is tumbled in a large drum shaped container to make it softer.
Nubuck – Leather buffed on the grain side to give a velvety surface.
Oil Tanned – Leather that is tanned using oils to create a very soft, pliable finish.
Patina – The aura or luster that develops in leather as it ages with use.
Pebble Grain – A cosmetic character resembling small pebbles on the leather’s top side.
Printed Leather – Leather that has been “stamped” with a design or artificial texture under very high pressure.
Pull-Up Finish – Describes the behavior of leather that has been treated with oils, waxes and dyes in such a way that when pulled or stretched, the finish becomes lighter in the those areas. Considered a mark of high quality.
Rawhide – Hides that have only been dehaired and cured but not tanned.
Semi-Aniline – Aniline leather that has a matching pigment layer added to even out the color and add protection.
Shearling – A sheepskin or lambskin that has gone through a limited shearing process to obtain a uniform depth of the wool fibers. They can be tanned with either a veg-tan method, normally used for saddles and outdoor gear, or with a chrome method, normally used for garments.
Side – Leather tanned from one half, or “side” of a full hide.
Skirting – Sides from cattle that are left in their heaviest form for use with saddle making and re-enactment armor.
Splits – Leather made from the lower (inner or flesh side) layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper, or grain layers. Split leather is not as durable as full grain leather and is normally used as suede.
Suede – Leather that has been buffed and brushed for a more attractive surface.
Temper – A characteristic of leathers defined by pliability/softness.
Tooling Calf – Normally, a very lightweight veg-tanned leather with a very clean appearance.
Top Grain – Usually refers to a process of sanding away the natural grain from a leather’s top surface. Imitation grain gets stamped into the leather for a more uniform look.
Veg-Tanned – A method of hide tanning which utilizes materials from organic materials such as bark instead of the traditional chemicals. This is the method utilized when tanning tooling leathers.
Veg-Splits – Veg-tanned leather that has been split with both sides having a fleshy feel. Cannot be tooled.
Waxy Hand – An upholstery or handbag leather that has a waxy feel and look to it.
Weight – A term which describes the thickness of leather in ounces. One ounce equals 1/64th (0.4 mm) of an inch in thickness. See the chart below.

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