Saddle fenders are the lengthy vertical leather strips that run beneath the rider’s legs. They are made to shield the horse’s legs from sweat. Fenders should be constructed of heavy-duty, high-quality leather because they are subjected to a lot of abuse.
Saddle fenders are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The contour of the fender should mirror the style of the rest of the saddle in a well-designed saddle. A round-skirted saddle, for example, would have fenders with rounded corners.
To reduce the bulk under the seat jockey and the rider’s legs, a fender will taper at the top. The stirrup leathers can also swing freely because to this form. A vertical strip, or extension, runs down the bottom of the fender. This extension is cut from the same material as the fender body in current saddles. The extension allows the stirrup to swivel and move freely because it offers clearance between the stirrup and the bottom of the fender.
One of three methods is used to attach the fenders to the stirrup leathers:
- Traditional – On top of the fender is a full-length stirrup leather. The current buckaroo saddles are reviving this form.
- Full Length – The entire length stirrup leather is attached to the bottom of the fender extension behind the fender.In today’s saddles, this is the most prevalent way.
- Half Length – The top of the fender is embroidered with half-length stirrup leather. This style reduces the amount of bulk beneath the rider’s legs.Half-length stirrup leather can be a cost-cutting measure on lower-quality saddles, and poor construction can undermine the assembly’s strength. Half length stirrup leathers have shown to resist the rigors of heavy use in better grade, tailored custom saddles with top-notch workmanship.