I think I over conditioned...

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I think I over conditioned...

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  • Is my saddle over conditioned

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    01-11-2012, 05:31 AM
I think I over conditioned...

So basically, I was given this really old Bates Osborne saddle that has been sitting in a tack room unused for about 7 years. It was covered in dust, dirt, it even had a wasps nest in it near the stirrup bars......

So after I cleaned it off, I basically smothered it in leather conditioner. It had a heap of deep wrinkles in it, but no majorly deep cracks. It actually was in alot better condition than I expected once I could see under all the dust. Then I continued to smother it for another 3 -4 days.

Stupidly, I decided to ride in it to see how I liked it before I took it with me. Well, I pretty much fell in love with it. It fits my gelding and me really well! And it gives me so much better contact with him than another saddle I was riding it which made me feel like I was sitting on a mattress 5 feet above him. It was one of those really excessive dressage saddles with massive thigh blocks etc. Sorry im just not a fan of them. MOVING ON!

When I untacked, I noticed I had stretched the holes in the girth straps ( my backside was also feeling pretty sticky from the excess conditioner....) I know, I shouldn't have ridden it when it had that much goop through it, but I only knew that afterwards...

That was about a week ago and I haven't used it since then. Im just wondering whats the best way to restore it and prevent the stretch? As im planning to ride again in the next week in it. Its dried up well in the past week, but some of the cracks are returning as it drying, and im tempted to condition it again (yet not using as much as before.) I am a complete newb to leather preservation as you can probably tell, so any info is gold to me. Thanks so much for any advice I can post pictures tomorrow if you'd think it would help.
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    01-11-2012, 06:56 AM
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Are the holes in the billets actually stretching, or are they starting to rip a little? Often, old billets get dry rot and no amount of re-conditioning will make them safe to ride in. Replacing billets is cheap and easy to do by any saddle repair place. Billets from old saddles should be replaced, period, to be safe, IMO.
    01-11-2012, 08:22 PM
I checked for cracking, but im pretty sure they have been just stretched. Ill have a look for some saddle repairers. I've attached some images of the damage (the stretch looks more excessive in person than in these photos)

This was were the encrusted wasp next was:

This is where I get so tempted to condition it again in spots like this, but it always comes back looking like this after a few days.

The deep wrinkle thing going on

Stretching: Please excuse the excess gunk in the holes. I need to get in there and clean it out

    01-11-2012, 08:49 PM
I don't see the stretching in the last picture... "/
    01-11-2012, 08:57 PM
Would the deep wrinkles be uncomfortable for the horse?
    01-11-2012, 10:00 PM
Maybe I am imagining the stretches...... lol. The deeper wrinkles are on my side under the flaps. The actual part contacting him (sorry the name has left me) the panels? Are smooth and in good condition. Only a few very shallow cracks.
    01-11-2012, 10:09 PM
Oh. Are you saying the holes aren't level with each other?? I took a second look and see that now. Are you sure they were level to begin with? I know some saddles have one long billet and one short billet (dressage namely) but they aren't quite like that... I don't think it will be a HUGE problem especially if you have to tight enough to where it's secure on the horse, it wouldn't be as bad as say a ripped hole.

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