Regular Saddle Cleaning

Regular cleaning is important to extend the life of your saddle, it should take about 30 minutes depending on the condition of your saddle.

Materials:

  • Saddle soap
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Nylon-bristle brush
  • Sponge
  • Leather  oil or wax conditioner
  • Soft rag

Saddle-Cleaning Steps:

  1. Using saddle soap, water and nylon brush, clean the saddle with just enough pressure to work up a lather on the leather, spend extra time on areas that directly touch the horse (fenders, stirrup leathers, billets, latigos and back cinch).
  2. With the sponge and water, flush clean the areas you’ve lathered. This process removes surface dirt and opens the leather’s pores, which releases dirt that’s penetrated the leather.
  3. Allow the leather to dry completely.
  4. Apply leather conditioner. Use a paint brush if it’s an oil-based product or your hands for a wax-based conditioner. Pay close attention to areas that contact the horse.

If the leather is particularly dry (evidenced by stiffness), use neatsfoot oil. Apply the oil sparingly, because over-oiling adds weight to the saddle, causes the product to bleed from the leather in hot weather, and can break down the leather’s fibers.

Wax-based products are suitable for all saddle surfaces (front- and backsides). The wax helps seal the leather so dirt and salt don’t readily penetrate the surface. Hand-rub wax-based products into the saddle’s surface when the leather is warmed to room temperature or outside on a warm day.

After applying conditioner, buff off any excess product with scrap sheepskin or a soft rag so the saddle’s surface isn’t sticky and doesn’t attract dust.

Posted in General Saddle Info.