I hope this posting is acceptable in this forum:

My girlfriend and I purchased a new horse saddle from England for a about USD 3'200.

The leather was died black and already upon shipment from England showed signs of discoloration at the vertical surface at the back edge of the sitting area.

Because we needed the saddle urgently we did not take any further notice of it.

Within 3 months the discoloration continued to spread all over the saddle and wrinkles appeared on the seat surface.

We were particularly shocked when we compared it to a friend of ours who had purchased a saddle from the same company and hers looked like new (as was one would expect).

We reported this to the manufacturer, send them fotos, their consultant took photos and they agreed to exchange the saddle.

After the exchange of saddles we received an email from the manufacturer stating that the condition of the saddle was due to our negligent storage and care and that the saddle was in a filthy state.

They said they would re-dye the leather and that it would be perfect again.

Well of course, but why did it discolor in the first place and why the wrinkles?

We stored our saddle at the place where everyone else stored their saddle but nothing happened to their saddles.

The saddle was used on an average for one hour a day during those three months and was never exposed to hard rain, nor was it exposed to more sun than for that one hour (if the sun happened to shine at all).

We cleaned the saddle with a slightly humid cloth.

Our 6 year old dressage saddle looked like brand new compared the newly bought one after 3 months and had gone through many torrents of rain at various competitions.

Even though we now have a replacement saddle from the manufacturer we are unhappy about the accusation that we maltreated the saddle with utmost cruelty.

Can it not also be a manufacturing problem?

After all a saddle is meant to last 10 -20 years and not look ancient after 3 months.

The seller says that only our saddle manufactured with this lot of leather had this problem, implying it could not be a manufacturing issue.

The producer also advertises the longevity and quality of their saddles.

Any feedback is highly welcome!