Will you choose a leather or synthetic harness?

When choosing a new harness the question can quickly arise as to which material you want. to go. There are two main types: synthetic and leather. That is the first moment of choice, so to speak.

With leather you have various options; there are more colors and more models. Leather also ranges from cheaper harnesses to more expensive, handmade harnesses. When it comes to synthetic, you quickly come across the brands Ideal Equestrian and Zilco. These are the two largest players on the Dutch market and both brands are offered by The Carriagedriver.

Advantages of plastic harnesses

Currently, 60% of the harnesses sold are synthetic. This is because people today are increasingly reluctant to do all kinds of maintenance, which is the case with a leather harness. Plastic harnesses are regularly preferred because convenience is paramount. Just wash with the tap and that's it. Fanatical drivers in particular, who train several times a week in all weathers, do not like to constantly scrub the sand off their harnesses. Zilco uses a very strong plastic for its harnesses. Everything looks quite thin and it is light. A harness used to weigh 20 kilos. Now you have plastic harnesses that weigh less than 10 kilos. Among other things, Ideal makes a plastic harness that looks like a leather harness. But this is less strong plastic, so it is made thicker. That also means it is a bit stiffer.

Advantages of leather harnesses

Leather molds to the horse a bit nicer. It comes to you, as it were, and as you maintain it, it gets softer. So leather has a nicer fit and is also available in many more colours. Of course, it also smells nice, say that typical old-fashioned tack room smell, and synthetic does not. For that reason alone, there are some people who don't like synthetic and simply don't want it. In terms of repair, leather is slightly easier to maintain. Synthetic is in principle also repairable, but not every harness maker is happy with it. It is stiffer, sticks a bit, so to speak, and results in heavier work to repair. So whether you go for leather or synthetic is ultimately very personal. Another person cannot decide that for you. However, if you already know you are not much of a polisher, don't be tempted to take leather. Then take synthetic.

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