Horse butt offers several advantages over cow leather for strops. The tight grain structure and minimal fat allow for the type of processing that enhances the ability of the hide to affect blade steel. While bovine does not lend itself to the same type of processing as horse butt a good bark tanned hide will work well with either dry or wet (paste) compounds . Some bovine may work well on itís own without compound - itís a good thing to try while the leather is new and clean. A smooth surface isnít as important as one might think, a little character in the grain actually helps. What you have after processing horse is a relatively flat honing surface with a tight, accentuated top grain. This comes with a magnetic backing attached so you can use it on anything metalic to stick to the strop.