Caring For Your Saddle

Making it go the distance

It is more than economics. It is also a matter of pride and self-respect. Horses are a significant investment. So are saddles. You feed and care for your horse. It should come as no surprise that the care given horse saddles says a lot, not only about your horsemanship but also about you as a person.

It makes little difference if the saddle is a $250 used pony saddle or a new, $2,500 western show saddle, and here are some basic tips to help you care for it. These tips will help keep your saddle more comfortable for you and your horse as well extending the life of the saddle.

10 tips in caring for horse saddles

  1. Keep it clean. When the saddle becomes dirty or oily, scrub it thoroughly with a stiff bristle brush. A tooth brush works well for getting the dirt and grime out of tight places and tooling. You can scrub either leather or synthetic materials with warm, soapy water. Lincoln Glycerine soap is recommended for your leather saddles.
  2. Check the saddle for cracks, breaks or excessive wear. Check the stirrup straps, fenders, latigo and other saddle parts for cracking or excessive wear. Replace worn parts as needed.
  3. Let the saddle dry. You can hang the saddle outside in the sun on a sunny day to let it dry.
  4. Check the lining for excessive wear or protrusions. Excessive lining wear or protrusions such as rivets, rosettes or other irregularities can cause discomfort for the horse. This can result in bolting, bucking and other unwanted behavior.
  5. Oil your leather saddle with light oil. To keep the leather soft and pliable, oil it with light oil. Neatsfoot Oil is a great light oil to protect your sadle. Apply the oil with a rag or a brush. Thoroughly coat the material.
  6. Seal the saddle. Next you will want to seal your leather saddle with a leather conditioner. This is not necessary on synthetic materials. Be sure to use a conditioner that will not make the saddle slick, making it difficult to keep your seat while riding.
  7. Check grommets, lacing, stitching and rosettes for looseness or breakage. Check all seams and fasteners on your saddle. This includes the lacing, stitches, grommets, and rosettes. Tighten or repair as needed.
  8. Properly hang your saddle. Hang your saddle on a rack or rail so that it maintains its shape. Keep the skirt, fenders and stirrup straps from folding under the saddle.
  9. Twist the stirrups so they are perpendicular to the saddle. This will relieve leg strain as you ride. If the stirrups naturally lay parallel to the horse, additional strain will be placed on your lower legs, knees and ankles.
  10. Cover the saddle. Cover the saddle with a blanket, soft cloth or a saddle cover to keep it clean and free of dust. 

Caring for horse saddles properly is a sign that you are a conscientious individual that takes pride in both your horse and yourself. By using these common sense tips, your saddle will retain much of its original value. 

A full range of Canvas and Leather care products can be viewed in the online shop.