Just bought a pair of Ariat Heritage II boots and as much as they are comfy, they are pricey. I intend to keep them 10-15 years at least, maybe in the end of those 10-15 years they will be a little too... icky for showing but for sure they will be used as an exercise boot.
SO Question 1: How often should I condition them? I bought mink oil (the company is Tana) it helps to keep it water resistant (I know to only a certain extent, I won't go showering a horse in them lol), conditioning and softening leather.
2. I know that after each ride I have to wipe them clean from dirt and dust with a damp towel, but do I need to use saddle soap or some kind of cleaning thing too?
3. I know that because I intend to keep them for like... forever, I should change the insoles every so years. Well what insoles should I get and where? And how often? I know it depends but are there signs I can look for that will indicate me that it's time?
I can't answer number three.. But this is what I do:
I only wear mine when I'm literally getting ready to get on to go school before a class at a show, when I'm getting ready to show, or if I'm at a clinic. I never
wear my boots walking around, lunging my horse, practice in them at home, etc. That way, I get the best and longest uses out of them!
Whenever I get my boots out, I clean them with a leather cleaner that the shop at my barn sells, which is called Black Rock Leather Cleaner (not a known brand my any means) which cleans my boots great before I show, and it's an awesome replacement for boot stick (if you use it). When I'm done showing, I clean them with that also.
The day before the show, or whenever I think about cleaning them, I clean them with Leather CPR, then put the dressing on, and buff it afterwards. It keeps them in good shape! I don't buy the super expensive boots like Ariat though, my last pair of boots were Ovation Finalists, that lasted me 5 years before I out grew them. I'm not moving on (*tear*) to the Middleburg Zip Field Boot, which had some good reviews online, and are actually my perfect height and size! Goodluck with the Ariats though
Hope I was somewhat helpful!