What tack oil should I consider?
So, I recently got one of the old pessoas, it's a nice color (pretty dark), but needs some tuning up. I've been looking around and there are a lot of options, and I don't want to mess up my saddle. I also am receiving some new tack via. Dover, (martingale, bridle, leathers). Please help me choose the right one. Thanks!
Neats foot oil!! Works for everything and it makes the leather look beautiful!!
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Yep, neatsfoot oil. Make sure you get the pure stuff though, not the compound. Pure is better. :D
This is more a grease than an oil, but I really like how it works:
Dover Saddlery | Passier Lederbalsam Leather Care.
I've used it on saddles and boots. It seems to take out small scratches and doesn't leave it feeling oily. It doesn't soften it as much as neatsfoot oil, but it worked great on the store display Bates saddle I bought - dry and stiff when it arrived, but a couple of treatments and the leather is now great. I think it also has some wax in it, which helps keep the oil in the saddle longer.
Having reconditioned old tack before, I can tell you that oil is no longer necessarily the end-all-be-all of tack conditioning - in fact with incorrect use one can end up damaging the leather by getting the inside part of it completely saturated with oil - leading to quicker breakdown of equipment.
While poorer quality leather will almost require occasional oiling to keep from cracking - if it is cared for properly from day one it really should only need to be conditioned.
I swear by leather CPR for reconditioning leather - your saddle will honestly look like new after a coat or two of this stuff - and it does not darken the leather like oil does.
As far as for the new tack - before the first use I would clean it with Fiebings saddle soap to get the factory stuff off of it and then after every use I would use Horseman's one step - on the really dirty parts use the saddle soap again.
Good luck! And remember that even just wiping the sweat off of your tack after every use will substantially prolong the life of it.
I second the Passier Leaderbalsm, I recently bought a can of it, and I love it.
I really like the Effax leather products, particularly their Leder Balsam.
Browsing Store - Passier Lederbalsam Leather Conditioner
If an item is very dry/stiff, I will first use Hydrophane Leather Dressing. It's a light-weight oil based product that helps waterproof the leather, won't damage stitching, and doesn't darken very much.
Browsing Store - Hydrophane Leather Dressing - 17oz
After a few coats of Hydropane, I follow with the Passier Lederbalsam to soften and protect even more.
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