Riders can reap many benefits from using leather saddles. For them to last long, however, they need to take care of it or else they will have to replace them frequently, which can be a little expensive. Here are some tips on how you can better care for your leather Western accessories.
1. Invest in the right cleaning and maintenance tools.
Whether you have a Pozzi Pro Barrel Racer, a 12-inch Irvine Barrel Saddle, or a Double J Pozzi, how you care for your leather goods dictate how long your investments will last.
For the right job, you need the right tools, such as leather cleaner, good quality sponges, saddle soap, towels, silver polish, leather conditioner and a bristle brush. While you can always skimp on quality and go for cheaper options, remember that if you want to protect your investments, you have to spend on maintenance as well.
2. Know how to clean a 100% leather saddle.
Make sure that you remove all attachments such as breast collar, stirrups, and cinches before wiping off dirt and dust using a dry cloth. With a sponge, work the cleaning agent into a thick lather and clean away. Make sure not to use too much water. Clean both sides of the leather saddle using a soft brush and concentrate on areas that make contact with the horse’ mane. Air-dry in a shaded area and apply a little leather conditioner afterward.
3. Learn how to properly store saddles.
Do not store leather saddles in non-porous covers such as plastic and instead, store them in non-humid areas to prevent mold and mildew. Make sure to apply leather conditioner to saddles in storage regularly, as it will help the leather from cracking.
4. Limit your DIY.
Some people experiment with animal fats for leather restoration and maintenance. Animal fats, when used as a conditioner, darken the leather and may even cause it to rot. When it doubt, consult leather or saddle experts to get the best non-chemical products for your investments.
Genuine leather saddles are expensive so make sure you’re taking care of them properly to help them last a lifetime. Investing in these are not just for the show, which is why you need to learn how proper maintenance to be able to ride them with pride.