Really old saddle! Can I bring it back to life?
Hi everyone :)
I decided to take my mother's 20 yr old western saddle out of the garage, and I'd really like to bring it to life again, since it's really beautiful, and it means a lot to us two horse riders of the family! I know it's really old, but it seems in good conditions for its age.. is there something I could do to make this possible? I can post pictures if that can help!
The saddle was put away when my mother sold her horses, due to a really bad head injury she got after her horse fell on her... it was only bad luck, as she was an excellent rider.. I'd love to help her go through her fears and get near horses again.. and I want to start from the saddle.. I hope there's something I can do!
Hey, you can always bring back a saddle! Usually when I start on an old saddle I first brush the dirt of and then use glycerin saddle soap a few times to get the dust off. Then I use a conditioner, usually the first round I put on a heavy layer and let it soak in overnight. Then the next morning I will rag off the extra. Then I keep on conditioning it overtime it gets flexible. I try not to ride in a saddle till it's semi flexible because I don't want the leather to crack more than it already is.
And I highly recommend Effax Leder Balsam. I have found nothing that is better for moistening a saddle more than this stuff!
NYA we are entitled to pics before you start cleaning it. Then we get to see the "after".
I'd like to see it too. I'm always up for looking at nice old tack pictures.
I would suggest neets foot leather oil. And post a picture for before and after! Also what color leather is it before you put any kind of leather conditioner etc. check that it won't stain the leather.
Don't put oil on an old dirty saddle, you will soak the dirt into the grain.
I usually brush off an old saddle, then wash it with a good soapy mix of Murphys Oil Soap use a sponge or a soft cloth and gently loosen all the dirt.
Then I put it on a stand and rinse with cold water, until it is clean and damp, then leave to dry just a little.
Then I start lots of light coats of neatsfoot oil, as needed.
Then saddle soap, worked in well to give further food to the leather.
All that working should get it looking clean and start suppling it, then finish off by really massaging Passier Lederbalsm into it.
You can make something like this
Look like this
For the record, I don't use neatsfoot oil on any of the antique saddles or bridles and such. I love it for newer things. Great stuff.
The reason for this is that old saddles and things were stitched with wax coated cotton thread. The neatsfoot oil eventually eats away at the stitching. Modern tack is generally stitched with acrylic thread.
Just want to second using Murphy's Oil Soap. That stuff is awesome for cleaning leather, especially when it comes to reviving older tack.
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