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Sunny 06-16-2013 09:00 PM

Cleaning/Conditioning older saddle (and saddle age!)
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Hello, hello!

My amazing beau just bought me a BEAUTIFUL Crosby PDN. It is in great shape, but I'm assuming it will need a good cleaning and conditioning.

I am a synthetic tack lover, all the way, so this is my first time ever having a nice leather saddle.

I have a cleaner and some Passier Lederbalsam along with tack sponges, so I am ready to go!

My main question is how long to wait after the initial cleaning before I condition it. If you guys have any other tips, I'd love to hear!

And here is a bonus.... anyone care to guess what year my saddle is from? From my Google searching, I would guess sometime in the '90s? What do you think?


freia 06-16-2013 09:56 PM

That is a beautiful old Crosby. Somebody either loved it and cared for it, or it just hasn't been used at all. Nice find!

Here's what I do with my old saddle "treasures".

If they are filthy, sticky, grimy, or seem to have some unknown film on them, I give a good scrubbing with Murphy's oil soap, diluted according to the label, then rinse well.

If the leather isn't gross, I skip the Murphy's. Yours doesn't seem gross.

On a saddle like yours, I would clean/polish all the hardware first, then do a thorough cleaning with the glycerin saddle-soap, then a good rinse. I towel-dry and go ahead and slather the Passier lederbalsam on there. I usually don't wait for it to dry completely after cleaning it. I don't follow the instructions on the leatherbalm tub though. I use my hands and rub and rub into every nook and cranny. On a new (old) saddle I don't know the history on, I let it sit for overnight or a day before buffing it out, just in case the leather is really dry. It will only absorb what it needs.

I think mid to late 80's, just not used much.

Sunny 06-16-2013 10:01 PM

Very helpful! Thanks so much!

Sunny 06-19-2013 12:03 PM

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My saddle got here today and, wow, I love it! It is even in better condition than the pictures indicated. The flocking is even and soft, and the billets look great, too!

And the color is nowhere near as orange as it looked in the pictures, which is good because I was going to have to buy new leathers!

saddleonline2 06-24-2013 11:48 AM

Tried and true...
Hi, Sunny.
That is a beautiful saddle. I'm jealous!:-)
I assume you've done the initial cleaning and conditioning by now. I must admit it's been a long time since I've cleaned any tack but back in the day (1980s) we relied on good old fashioned saddle soap for general cleaning. So if all else fails you can always try that. In the meantime, enjoy!

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