Your New Saddle Has Arrived!!
I'll never forget my excitement opening the big box which came all the way from Austria to Woodstock, GA USA! My new saddle came with a girth, leathers, stirrups and a durable saddle cover! My sweet Straight Egyptian mare, Pippa and I had been using hand me down saddles and tack for quite awhile so I felt like we had graduated and were all grown up! I have since traded the leathers for a set of Bates Leather Webbers…no more buckle under my thigh! Hallelujah. OK, I digress!
Tips for Maintenance & Care-
Now that YOU have invested in your own essential piece of equipment for you and your horse partner, a NEW or NEW TO YOU used Saddle you will want to make sure it lasts for a long time.
To insure your safety and comfort as well as your horse’s, I highly recommend regularly checking your saddle and tack for any loose stitching or areas requiring repair. The best way to do this is to check everything out while cleaning! This saves you time and a huge headache if you catch a saddle or girth issue before going out for a ride!
No matter whether you ride in an arena or trek out on trails, your saddle will get dusty and if there are puddles or creeks mud can easily splash up and end up on the saddle, leathers, girth and you!
Get into the habit of beginning the cleaning process by gently wiping the saddle off with a clean damp cloth.
Remove stirrups, leathers and fittings to make cleaning easier. There are a wide variety of saddle soaps, cleaners, conditioners and oils for you to choose from. The process can be several steps, starting with a basic leather cleaner such as Murphy's Oil Soap, followed by a conditioner and finally oil. Steps 2 and 3 can be done with one product. Neatsfoot oil is popular and some prefer olive oil or mink oil. After the oil application let the saddle absorb for a day or so before riding.
My product of choice is Effax Leather-Cream-Soap and/ or Effax Leather Balm to nourish and condition in one step!
After removing dirt and dust, use a small tack sponge and apply the Effax soap/conditioner gently in a small circular motion. Remember to clean under the flap and the billet straps as well!
To finish you can use the Effax balm to give a deep condition and a bit of an oil coating. The leather will drink it in and love you for it!
If you are cleaning a saddle with intricate leather etching and designs such as a Western saddle you will need to used a soft bristle brush to remove dirt in the initial wipe and possibly a cotton swab. On smooth leather be careful not to scratch, using soft cloths and very soft bristle brushes if necessary.
Be careful not to expose flocking to saddle oils and don’t overdo it with the oil!
If you clean dust and dirt off after each ride you can deep condition every few weeks or as needed.
Always follow saddle and tack manufacturers cleaning and product recommendations for new Saddles and Tack.
Now jump in the saddle and have a great ride!!
Little Shop of Saddles
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