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ShannonSevenfold 09-20-2009 10:36 AM

Basic leather tack care.. Help!
So my first and only saddle was/is a synthetic HDR Advantage AP English saddle. Key word: synthetic. I've never owned leather tack. But I just bought a Western saddle which just happens to be an older, very well made leather Big Horn saddle.

So... Anyone want to clue me in on basic leather tack care? :oops: What do I use to clean it? How do I keep it soft (oil)? How often do I clean/condition it? Also, what about care of leather English bridles (the new one I'm getting is leather)?

These are really stupid questions, I know. But like I said, all I've ever owned is synthetic tack. :lol:

Thanks in advance.

LeosAmericanShadow 09-20-2009 10:45 AM

basic leather care: clean, oil, and keep covered.
i prefer to clean my tack every day, but that can sometimes be time consuming.
i use stubben saddle soap, and fieblings saddle oil. pretty much any saddle soap and oil works.
covering it keeps dust off of it and that will help preserve it better. you can also buy bridle bags, in which you just put your bridle in to keep dust off of it.
any other questions? :)

eventerdrew 09-20-2009 10:52 AM

I use Lexol cleaner. It comes in an orange spray bottle and it's a gel. You put it on a cloth or sponge and clean the saddle/bridle/boots all over and then rinse the sponge and wipe it off with water.

here's what the bottle looks like:

Then, I take Passier Lederbalsam, which is a conditioner. I put it on a different sponge and rub it on, you may have to wipe the excess off if there is any. Usually my tack soaks it up.

For tall boots, I just use boot polish with conditioner in it.

I usually clean my tack about every two weeks, depending on how dirty it is or how brittle it feels. It can go longer without it but seeing as I'm broke, I would like to keep my things in good repair :)

oh and one more thing about bridles, you should probably soak the bit in hot water every once in a while when you get a bunch of stuff dried onto it like grass and grain. The hot water makes it ALOT easier to wipe off and your horse will thank you!

smrobs 09-20-2009 11:38 AM

Saddle soap and Neetsfoot oil will be your best friends. One thing about the saddle, always put the oil on the rough side of the leather (usually the underside unless it is a roughout saddle), and try not to over-oil it. I did that with mine the first time I oiled it and it turned my pants black every time I would ride for a month. LOL.

Nutty Saddler 09-21-2009 01:16 AM

Very simple - saddle soap and a leather dressing

Neatsfoot , or any other oil is not good for your saddle/leather, the oil breaks down the fibrous content and weakens the leather. What most people think is that their leather is getting supple and soft when really it is getting weaker

There are a lot of good dressings , if it looks like a grease then it will be better than any of the oils available.

Clean the leatherwork with a damp sponge and saddle soap, then apply the grease. Work the grease into the leather . If you do this about once a week your leather will stay in good condition.

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