Originally Posted by Saddlebag
A quick dunk in a water tank will not hurt a rawhide covered tree. I have cased rawhide that was dry as a board and it takes more than a quick dunk in water to affect it. I took the hose to one and soaked it. Had it been raining I'd have left it out. The old time working cowboys rode in the rain but if no rain then the saddle got a dunking and ridden in. Don't forget, there was no such thing as cheap saddles in those days.
A quick dunking (in and out) will not saturate the fibers and if the rawhide is from a good quality hide and it stiched (cased) tightly then more than likely the water will not saturate the wood. I wasnt talking about a quick (in and out) dunking but a saturating dunking.
Old wives tails debunked about saddle care: All the Pretty Saddles: Written by Nick Pernokas professional saddle maker of Western saddles, QH trainer, Reining horse champion, Roping champion and "cowboy".
"No, throwing a saddle in the water trough does not help break it in: it merely makes the tree start warping out of shape". Page 63
I reccomend the book for all levels of riders. Good general informational book. For those who like to use olive oil Mr Pernokas uses it but like I have stated, oil when saddle is clean. I, like I have stated also, do not like to use it.