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Leather Vs Synthetic Horse Harnesses

Leather Vs. Synthetic Horse Harnesses

When looking for different horse riding essentials, choosing between leather or synthetic goods might be confusing. If you are looking to buy a horse harness, it is typical to first decide on the type of harness and its suitable material. Needless to say, there are plenty of options, and you must make a wise decision!

As we know, horse harnesses are an essential equipment for horse owners. It helps to connect a horse to a carriage, wagon, or plow for work. In addition, it can also be used for recreational purposes such as riding and driving with the horse.

When choosing a horse harness, one of the biggest decisions is whether to choose leather vs. synthetic Harness. Here, we’ll take a closer look at both harnesses and help you decide the best choice for your horse.

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Leather vs. synthetic Harnesses

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Leather Harnesses:

Leather horse harnesses have there in use for centuries and are still popular today. They’re made from high-quality leather that is soft, supple, and durable. A well-made leather harness can last for many years if it’s cared for properly. Leather harnesses also have a timeless, classic look that many people appreciate.

Advantages of Leather Harness –

  • The best thing about using a leather harness is that they’re breathable. More so, it allows the air to circulate around the horse’s body.
  • Leather harnesses help to prevent sweating and overheating.
  • They can conform to the horse’s body shape over time, which makes them more comfortable for the horse to wear.

On the contrary, leather harnesses can be quite heavy, especially wet ones. They can also be more expensive than synthetic harnesses, especially if they’re made from high-quality leather. Another disadvantage is that leather harnesses require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. This includes cleaning, oiling, and conditioning the leather to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Synthetic Harnesses:

Well, most of you may know that synthetic horse harnesses are made from nylon, PVC, and biomethane. Likewise, they’re lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. Synthetic harnesses can be a good choice if you’re on a budget or looking for a harness that requires less maintenance than leather.

Advantages of Synthetic Harness –

  • One of the most significant advantages of synthetic harnesses is that they’re waterproof.
  • As the material does not absorb water, it further means that it won’t become heavy and uncomfortable.
  • They last longer than most of the other types of horse harnesses.
  • Synthetic harnesses are also available in various colors. Thus, you can choose a harness that matches other riding equipment and the horse’s personality.

However, synthetic harnesses don’t conform to the horse’s body shape as well as leather harnesses do. They can also be less breathable, which may cause sweating and overheating in hot weather. On the other hand, they don’t have the same classic look as leather harnesses as well. Moreover, that’s the most popular concern for some horse owners.

Read Also: Horse Harness: Types & Variations

Which is the Best Choice Leather vs. synthetic?

When choosing a horse harness, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The best choice from Leather vs. synthetic Harnesses for you will depend on your budget, your horse’s needs, and your personal preferences.

If you’re looking for a timeless harness that will last for many years and has a timeless look, a leather harness may be the best choice. However, if you’re on a budget or looking for a harness that requires less maintenance, a synthetic harness may be the way to go.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a harness that fits your horse properly. In addition, it must be comfortable for the horse as it may rub against its skin. More so, a poorly fitting harness can cause discomfort, pain, and even injury to the horse. Thus, it’s essential to take time and measure your horse carefully and then choose a harness that fits them well.


It is obvious that every rider demands different goods for their riding essentials. In the same manner, choosing between the quality of material for horse harnesses depends on various factors. Likely to say both Leather Vs Synthetic harnesses have pros and cons.

It’s up to you to weigh these factors and decide which type of harness is best for your horse. Regardless of which type of harness you choose, ensure that you take good care of it and use it safely and responsibly. With the proper harness, your horse can work and play comfortably and safely for many years to come.

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Written by

The author of the article is Alicia Nelson. She is a professional writer who is keenly interested in learning more about horses and their riding essentials. Apart from being a writer, Alicia is interested in equine life and is also a learned person in English riding disciplines. It’s also her profession to gather more and more knowledge about equine life and let others know about it in a correct manner.

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