Friday, January 18, 2008

Basic Saddle Care and Maintenance - From PFI's Saddle Experts

The most important aspect of saddle care is that the life of the leather depends upon the care you give it. Most saddles experience the tough rigors of the environment, and proper care is essential to prolong their life.

Basic Saddle Care and Maintenance

You’ve made a big investment, and now it’s time to care for it. Most manufactured saddles come “ready to ride” from the factory. This means they have been oiled and treated for the consumer. We recommend you oil your saddle twice a year, six months apart. Saddle soaping regularly will prevent dirt and dust from building- plus it will help retain the oil in the leather. There are important things to take into consideration when caring for your saddle. Leather is a unique material. If neglected, it is very difficult to regain its proper state. Leather that has not been oiled or regularly can become hard and brittle. Over-oiled leather will become flimsy and over-stretch, causing it to wear abnormally. It is a fine balance and should be studied in depth.

LEATHER

-Oil with the best oils and leather conditioners available to you.
-If your saddle gets wet, clean all leather parts that have been exposed to sweat and moisture, let dry naturally, and oil.
-Do not use artificial heat or direct sunlight to dry leather or it may become brittle and lose its strength. Leather which has been burned through this process should no longer be used.

SEATING LEATHER

-Remove dust with a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth and water.
-Blot spots immediately, do not let them soak into the leather-many stains will tend to disappear a few days after they have occurred. Some darkening can be expected.
-Let dry naturally-exposure to intense heat sources is not recommended.
-DO NOT use cleaning products unless specifically designed for leather.
-DO NOT use solvents for cleaning.
-The regular use of specifically designed leather cleaners and protection agents is recommended.

SILVER

-Tucker silver is sterling silver electroplated and has a protective finish to prevent tarnishing-clean with a damp cloth only. Abrasive or chemical cleaners should not be used because they could result in removal of the protective finish.
-With normal use, saddle silver will be subject to scratches which may allow tarnishing. Use a soft cloth to buff away any tarnish.

7 SECRETS OF SADDLE CARE

-Do not store saddles in plastic bags or other non-porous covers.
-Allow a wet or damp saddle to air-dry naturally away from sources of heat. Apply a little leather conditioner when the saddle is nearly dry to restore flexibility. Condition thoroughly when the saddle is completely dried.
-To prevent mildew, protect the saddle from excessive humidity. In a dry environment, regularly condition the leather to prevent the saddle from drying out and cracking.
-Do not use waxes, silicone, or other preparations that impair the ability of leather to breathe.
-Greases should not be used because they seal the pores, picking up additional dust and dirt and slowing drying time.
-Never use caustic household chemicals to clean leather. Avoid preparations that contain alcohol, turpentine, or mineral spirits.
-Do not use mink or animal fats. They will darken leather. Animal fat can also turn rancid, causing the stitching and leather to rot.

Products to Use:

• Pure Neatsfoot Oil- Compounds will leave a gummy film on your leather.
• Fiebling’s Paste Saddle Soap- Used by top saddle makers and saddle shops.
• Leather New- Liquefied saddle soap, easy to use
• Black Rock N Rich- Deep penetrating moisturizer for dry saddles
• Bickmore Bick 4- Perfect conditioner when you don’t want to alter the leather color. Safe to use on white leather.

For saddles and saddle care accessories visit the saddle department online at PFI Western Store

PFI Western Store
Western Wear, Cowboy Boots, Western Boots, Tucker Trail Saddles and Western Clothing at PFI Western Store
www.pfiwestern.com

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3 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Very good and comprehensive tips! If there is one accessory that a cowboy needs outside of comfortable western wear and a good cowboy hat, it’s a great saddle...

March 3, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes We use pads to protect our saddle from sweat stains or moisture.A thin pad is fine. pad's are meant to protect the saddle.Technically you can ride a horse in a dressage saddle without a pad as long as it fits right.

July 18, 2010 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Nice information provided.
leather solvent cleanerLeather Magic’s leather solvent cleaner is used to remove the manufactures finish from the leather. It also removes any solvent soluble waxes, oils and silicone. Which unless removed will cause problems for your leather colourant to adhere correctly.

November 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM  

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