Never. I do not like using oil on saddles. Over-oiling a saddle can weaken the leather over time.
I use Passier Lederbalsam 2-3 times a year, or Beinenwachs Leather Balsam or Effax leather Balm. All three are deep conditioning products that soften and preserve leather without adding too much oil. They also help protect the leather form water spots. My area is really humid though, so I only use a heavy conditioner when needed. If you use the balms too much, you can also risk getting a waxy build-up in the crevices of the leather.
I always recommend Passier Lederbalsam. It's such a good product! I put it on my tack with my hands. It makes your skin soft for DAYS, lol. I just bought some Beinewachs for something different. I like it, but definitely like the Passier conditioner best. I've heard good thinks about Ko-Chi-Line (sp?) dressing too, but I have never tried it.
I don't oil my stuff....I use mink oil to condition (its in a solid form) and someone recommended that to me, it works REALLY well on my saddle and has the added bonus of weather proofing it a little bit, since our tack room isn't climate controlled. then to clean of course I use Kiwi Outdoor Saddle Soap.
Most new modern saddles are surfaced treated and even the saddler usually says "wipe them off with a specialised cleaner". The word "oil" could be translated as "neats foot oil" or "tall oil fatty acid" - which was used in years gone by but is really these days inappropriate for modern finished leathers.
If you use oil for the seat of your saddle, then in effect your are oiling your breeches or whatever you are wearing.
Maybe the girth straps - if supplied untreated could do with a touch of oil but not much else. Leather bridles of course, do need oiling/waxing to keep them soft/supple.
I use saddle soap and then conditioner on mine. I used oil once on bridle and that was one of the stupidest things I did. It smelt horrible for 2 months plus was greasy on touch and several washings I did couldn't help with that.
About 2x a year...Right before riding season, and after! When I KNOW for certain I won't be riding for a few days, I'll put a coat of saddle oil on. But after riding season, I'll give it a good couple of coats.
I don't oil often. I have had my saddle for about 6 years and have oiled it twice. Once was shortly after I got it and the other was last summer after Dobe bogged down in the creek and I had to wash all of the mud off of my saddle. Bridles and reins will get oiled once after being bought but never again. Using them keeps them supple.
Wow, I'm terrible *l* My saddles get oiled with neatsfoot on the day I bring them home, and then never again. Generally, I'm doing good if I brush the hay bits off them with a horse brush before I ride. :lol: I usually give them a once a year wipe down with leather conditioner, if I get bored enough in the winter months, but not always.
If you want your tack to last, you take care of it properly.
Not being rich, it's less expensive for me to take the time to maintain my leather tack, than it would be to replace it because it dry rotted.
I've had one bridle for over 25 years now, and it looks better than the day I bought it.
I also have an old leather saddleseat saddle that I don't use anymore, but it gets cleaned every several months and deep oiled once a year. It's in excellent condition, and I rode in that sucker a LOT.
My Wintec gets cleaned after every ride too, although no oiling. I bought my 2000 AP 6 or 7 years ago, and it still looks brand new.
My horses always get groomed before a ride, and groomed and bathed (weather permitting) after each ride. I also keep their bridle paths, facial whiskers, and fetlocks clipped.
I'm going to assume all of this is because of my show riding training. Unless the horse, tack, and rider are all impeccably groomed, they're not to go out in public. Even for a backyard trail ride.
My daughter got a saddle for Christmas. She's pretty serious about it and takes an old sock or t-shirt and sprays that with Leather New, then wipes the saddle down weekly. It's really to wipe dust off of it, but she takes her saddle care very seriously. The funny thing is the saddle is a little too big for her so it hasn't been used in about 10 years (it was a relatives.)
Speedracer ~ aww see that makes me feel worse *l* My horses are always impeccable when riding (they have to be, they're pigs in the pasture) but while my gear is all in great shape, it doesn't get that kind of attention. Most my bridles etc are nylon anyways, so they don't need it, but my saddles are all pretty decent quality and I ought to do more. I am resolved to do better in the future