I receive heaps of emails asking about tack care and specifically about saddle and bridle care. I’ve used a variety of products over the years and there are many super ones out there! My favorites are:
- Absorbine Horseman’s One-Step Spray – I love their continuous sprayers!
- Antares Leather Oil, Soap & Cream – They make amazing quality saddles and bridles and equally amazing care products. Scroll to the bottom of the link FYI.
- Stübben Hamanol – I started using this one while training in Holland. It’s a wonderful smell and super conditioning clean.
Now here’s the basics of leather tack care. The idea is to keep leather supple, clean, free of dirt to maintain its peak form for training but likewise increase its lifespan.
IN THE BEGINNING: When you first get a new saddle or bridle it’s ideal to oil them in preparation for the intense life of training and most likely living in a none climate controlled tack room as well. 🙂 You can apply the Antares oil with a brush to all leather surfaces. On contact with oil an important change to the color often occurs on natural leather indicating the leather is now treated. Let this dry for 24 hours in a sheltered and temperate place. Changes in the leather color may continue during this time. From there use your saddle and bridle with normal use.
MAINTENANCE: It’s best if you can clean all parts with the glycerin soap using a clean, damp sponge, paying particular attention to any parts coming in contact with the horse about once a week. This will eliminate dust and sweat and keep the leather supple. Approximately once per month, hydrate and protect with a leather conditioner with a clean sponge. For those of you looking for a perfect finish, you can buff your leather with a smooth rag. Once a year or as needed in dry or harsh climates treat both your saddle and bridle by applying oil as you did IN THE BEGINNING.