Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
• Horses: 0
Squeaks are pretty common, especially on saddles that don't get enough cleaning. It's mostly leather-on-leather, though loose tacks can be responsible if they allow seat leather, for example, to move where it's been attached below the tree. I've usually taken panels off and smeared both the saddle underside and panel top with tallow before putting them back together to cure a persistent squeaking but that's a very old-fashioned remedy - thoroughly oiling the leather might do the job just as well.
Other more serious squeaks can be caused by the arch failing, usually when one or more rivets have broken, allowing the steelwork to flex away from the ply tree itself. More rarely an arch plate itself might break. My Ideal cob-treed Grandee has a slight squeak which I know is due to rivet failure, this tree having been altered in width far too often. More difficult to diagnose, but just as damaging to the horse, is a cracked tree rail. To be fair these tend to produce a creak rather than squeak, in my experience.
I've found the most frustrating squeaks to be found on synthetic saddles, which is when you need a dry lubricant like baby powder or corn starch, I guess.