Gary Mundy Stirrup Leathers

When I got my new saddle, I agreed to let the girl I shared the Devoucoux with have the leathers that were on it, so I needed new ones.

Pictured: NOT Gary Mundy leathers

There were super long and not my favorite, so I let her keep them for free.

After briefly looking at the prices of leathers at SmartPak and RW, I quickly decided that I was finally going to pull the trigger on some Gary Mundy leathers.

Gary Mundy is a gentleman that lives very close to me in southern Indiana who has developed almost a cult following among English equestrians.  Just search for Gary Mundy on the COTH forums and you'll see what I mean.  Everything he does is custom made, his quality and workmanship are incredible, and you'll end up paying half of what you'd pay for leathers from a tack shop (and the tack shop leathers won't last as long as GM leathers, I guarantee it after getting mine).

He doesn't have an online shop, and like I said, everything is custom, so the ordering process goes like this:

1. Email him and tell him you're interested in stirrup leathers.
2. Receive form
3. Send back filled out form with the size of your current stirrup leathers measured from stirrup bar to the top of the iron, and the options you want (color, stamps, initials, etc).
4. He emails you a total price plus shipping.
5. Go to PayPal and send him that amount.
6. Wait.

From the time I paid to the time I received them, it took around 3 weeks, which I find totally reasonable for custom work.  If you need leathers TOMORROW, you don't want these.  Everything being custom, and him being as popular as he is, it's not going to be here via next day air.

But.

It's so worth it.


I ended up getting his "Dressage leathers", which he started doing after Dressage customers were complaining that their traditional leathers stretched a lot (compared to his H/J riders, who report some stretching with traditional leathers, but not as much).  These have a leather loop that goes over the stirrup bar, and then a Conway buckle down by your ankle:

Leather loop


Conway buckle
Initially I wasn't sure if I would like them, but I was open minded about it.  GM does know what he's doing after all.  But now, I love them.  If you had asked me before if having the buckle under my thigh bothered me on my Dressage saddle, I would have said no.

Shown with Conway buckle covers customized with my initials and a stamp (I got a slightly different stamp on each one so I could tell them apart and remember to rotate them easier).  Some Conway buckle leather makers charge extra for this cover, but not GM.

But now that the buckle isn't there anymore, I REALLY notice how close to the horse I feel.  The missing extra bulk under my thigh is noticeable and welcome.  I don't think it would bug me on my jump saddle, but it matters a lot more than I thought it would in my Dressage saddle.


For everyone who asks if these leathers are going to rub your saddle, no way.  The finish on these are incredible, and they were initially stiff but started to supple just from rolling them around in my hands.  He makes a point to make leathers that will LAST.

Smooth sides of the leathers shown.
I would say though that these Conway buckle leathers aren't for everyone.  For one thing, adjusting them is a PITA.  If you are the only one riding in your saddle on a regular basis, this shouldn't be a concern.  They're tough to adjust but not impossible.  But if you share your saddle, or your trainer rides in your saddle and has to adjust them, you should go with a traditional leather.  You're definitely not going to be adjusting these sitting on the horse.



The other thing I wish I'd known before ordering is that while he put 10 holes on the leathers, the last (first) hole was the one that was made to the measurement of my old leathers that I sent him.  I'd have preferred to have that hole a few holes higher, so that if my leg ever improves (HAHAHA) I have the option of adjusting my current leathers longer.  As it is, if these don't stretch, I might eventually have to get a new pair.  But, I wouldn't mind having a spare pair of GM leathers, so that's not the end of the world.

Anyone else own or planning on buying some Gary Mundy leathers?

18 comments:

  1. You know I LOVE my GM leathers, and I'm so happy you love yours too! Mine are pretty used and abused at this point and still nowhere near the end of their lifespan. The Conway buckle and covers are very cool - I hadn't seen those before. I so appreciate his traditional, hard-wearing, quality work. I'll be devastated when he decides to retire!

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    1. Me too! I wonder sometimes if I should stock up. I hope he gives us one year notice so we can, lol. Yeah, I couldn't find a photo of the Conway buckle ones anywhere, hopefully this post shows up in Google searches and helps future GM leather orderers like yours does.

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  2. I don't have GM leathers (yet, haha), but I did switch to a pair of Bates webbers a few years ago and had no idea how much the stirrups buckle was annoying me until it wasn't under my leg any more! Maybe I need a pair of GM leathers for my second dressage saddle..... Hmmmmm 😀

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    1. I mean, they only cost $66... #enabling

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    2. Really?? That's less than I paid for the Bates ones (which I do love), so he'll be my first stop if I get serious. I'm not in love with the Conway buckles though, haha. Mine have a little T bar that tucks into a half hole on the backside of the leather (my description probably makes no sense). Hmmmmmmm..... 😁

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  3. How do you "run them up" for lack of a better term? Do you just use stirrup pockets? I do like that you can get them customized. Most leathers are too long for my short legs. I used to use jockey leathers on my event saddle.

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    1. I'm trying to find stirrup pockets, yeah. I've been crossing them over the saddle so far. I forgot to mention that, it should definitely be taken into consideration before getting this style. Still worth it to me though.

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  4. How do you run them up/store your saddle?

    (And alas, my much taller trainer does use my saddle, so not an option for now but if there's a second saddle on the table... haha).

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    1. By second saddle you mean your brown Dressage saddle right? ;)

      Sadly no way to run them up. I'm looking for cloth stirrup pockets, but I've been crossing them over the seat for now.

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  5. Ohhh, now I want these... I've been looking for a pair in this style that wasn't outrageously priced. Awesome!

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  6. What a cool option. I use the webber style ones because I hate lumps under my thighs, but I I also get annoyed with the metal on my calf. I could see how these would solve both those problems.

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    1. They do, you never even notice the Conway buckle or the cover because it's in the triangle of space between your lower shin and the leather. It's awesome.

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  7. Ooh, definitely going to look into these! I need to replace my leathers, but haven't been riding so had no reason to spend the money. But now that I'm moving, that should change... (Joining your neck of the woods actually - nothing like a casual South Carolina to Indianapolis move in two weeks)

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    1. YES, that's AWESOME! More local cool horse people! Shoot me an email if you need anything or any recommendations: jalean 11 at gmail dot com.

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  8. I have this leathers on all my saddles! Just the regular kind though. I also did 3/4 inch holes or something like that and got my initials stamped. Love them.

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    1. Aren't they awesome? They just feel like they're going to last a long time.

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