Leather care is imperative in keeping your saddle and all leather goods in excellent condition. Many saddle fall victim to dry and cracked leather which slowly depreciates the value of your beloved leather goods.
DAILY CARE -
After each ride, take a clean damp cloth and wipe down your equipment. This is a very important step in your leather care regime. The dust and sand acts like a sandpaper against the leather causing damage. The leather also absorbs the sweat from horse and rider and the salt can affect the leather.
WEEKLY CARE -
CLEANING AND CONDITIONING
At least once a week, it is important to cleanse and moisturize. This weekly regime should include a leather cleansing agent that cleans and also balances the PH within the leather.
Leather Cleanser - Choose a leather cleanser with the least amount of the harsh chemicals the better, as these chemicals can do the reverse and dry the leather out.
Leather Conditioner - Leather conditioner comes in many different forms. Just as the cleanser, the least amount of harsh chemicals the better. We strongly recommend a nice leather balm that is light to apply but adds optimal moisture.
Keep in mind you can clean and condition your tack more or less often. However, this is the same as the recommendations of moisturizing our own skin which greatly affects a negative or positive result in aging.
STIRRUP LEATHERS AND BILLETS
Leather Type - Make sure that your stirrup leathers are the same leather type as your saddle flaps. If you have a soft hide leather ie. calfskin leather, it is strongly recommended your stirrup leathers would be calfskin covered. This is to prevent unnecessary wear and tear caused by a thicker solid hide marking the soft hide saddle flaps.
Switch Stirrup Leathers - At each thorough cleaning, switch your leathers to the opposite stirrup bar. This will help prevent uneven stretching from constantly mounting and dismounting from the left side.
Billets - At each thorough cleaning, check your billets for wear and tear, uneven stretching and loose stitching.
Each saddle should have a properly fitted saddle to protect your saddle from the elements and to prevent damage. The cover should fit your saddle properly where the flaps are resting comfortably within the cover with no bunching of flaps or any other areas of a snug fit.
- Leather is a natural product and certain leathers can stretch unevenly due to the make-up of the leather.
- Uneven billets and/or stirrup leathers could be a sign of an ill-fitting saddle usually due to a saddle falling to one side. *Strongly recommended to have a qualified saddle fitter out to assess and rectify the saddle fit issue.
Proper saddle care will greatly affect your asking price and also your actual sale price you receive for your saddle. When you properly take care of your premium leather goods, the quality and the value is almost guaranteed to last long after your purchase.
LEATHER CARE CHECK-LIST -
Use the following list at each cleaning for optimal results and safety of both horse and rider -
- Wipe leather down with a clean damp cloth
- Apply leather cleanser to all leather
- After cleanser has soaked into the leather, apply leather conditioner.
- Keep in mind to apply minimal amounts of conditioner around all stitching as the stitching could break down to excessive conditioner.
- Switch stirrup leathers around
- Check stirrup leathers and billets of the following:
- Stitching is secure and in good shape with no loose stitching
- Leather is in good shape with no cracks or signs of excessive wear and tear
- uneven stretching
- Place properly fitted saddle cover for protection of saddle
Every saddle should have a serial number located somewhere on the saddle. This is for both security purposes and to resort back to the saddle order to clarify options added onto each model. We strongly recommended you follow the procedure listed below to keep your saddle secure and in safe hands -
- Keep the details of your saddle in a safe place. Details should include the serial number, seat size, saddles make and model, leather type, leather color, custom options ie. seat, blocks, flaps, piping color and any other specifics you feel would be relevant.
- Take pictures of all angles of your saddle in a well lit area. Include one picture of the details stamped on the saddle (serial number etc.