Known for their approach of combining luxury materials and handcrafted details with innovative design, Harris Leather & Silverworks is one of the industry leaders in today’s Western saddle market. Now, they’ve created a new option for their custom saddles that helps solve the problem of comfort versus style, the Harris Hybrid Seat.
“We’ve done the full ostrich seats for several years,” says Phil Harris. “It was always a love it or hate it type of ride. Everyone seemed to like the look of the ostrich, but not everyone liked the ride. This always bothered me, so I started thinking about how I could make it work for the haters. That’s when I came up with the Hybrid Seat. It’s the perfect combination.”
As touted in their most recent Equine Chronicle ad announcing the custom option, the Hybrid Seat maintains the rich look of ostrich with the feel of suede. The Hybrid Seat fronts are cut from select South African ostrich and comprise about one third of the total seat, the portion that’s positioned in front of the rider. The suede is used for the remainder of the seat and consists of domestic cowhide splits.
Phil explains that there are additional options for further customization. “We have also done some of the Hybrid Seats with other exotic leathers, like Bison and Crocodile, thereby opening new avenues for a new and different look of saddle seat. The Hybrid Seat is also a less expensive option than the full ostrich seats.”
With many colors to choose from, Phil can also design a two-tone Hybrid Seat for your custom saddle. In addition, several new saddles in stock already have the Hybrid Seat. Unfortunately, the Hybrid Seat cannot be added to an older Harris saddle.
“The color options allow us to two-tone some saddle seats,” he says. “For example, the customer could choose a lighter color of ostrich but still have the black or brown suede. This has become a popular option on new auto interiors by mixing lighter and darker color combinations.”
Like many Harris innovations throughout the years, the Hybrid Seat was inspired by comments from their customers. “They love the look and the fact that ostrich is exotic, but most don’t like how slippery the ostrich becomes as it wears in. For the full ostrich seats, we’re able to condition the seats to help with grip for the riders. This is also a new idea to help with the older ostrich seats as they become more slick.”
For Harris, this new seat option is just another way they plan to cater to the needs of their loyal following. “We’re constantly striving to be innovative. We’ve totally changed the saddle industry and the look of today’s saddles through the years. We continually consider all aspects of the aesthetics, function, longevity, and ride of our saddles.”
“We want to be the leaders and innovators in the Western saddle market. Our competition is constantly trying to duplicate our designs. It’s a labor of love and we have the best customers in the world. As for what’s in the pipeline, we do have some new ideas. I can’t tell you what they are, but stayed tuned!
For more information about the new Hybrid Seat and other custom items visit www.harrisleather.com.