If you ride horses, either competitively or for leisure, you will already know how important it is to choose a quality leather saddle and bridle. Items like these will help you to get the most out of every one of your horse rising experiences, and while they might be pricey, the investment is well worth it.
With that said, once you have invested in sturdy riding equipment, you should also know how to properly care for your tack so that it will be with you for many years to come and keep both you and your horse safe.
Here is how to keep your leather riding gear in tip-top shape with just a few simple methods!
Why You Should Care For Your Leather
Leather bridles and saddles are very similar to our own skin; they need to be regularly cleaned and moisturised to age well and look their best. Damaged or cracked leather gear can injure your horse and yourself, and worn leather could break and pose a threat to your safety during rides as well.
This is why it is crucial to care for your leather well, especially since it has to withstand challenging conditions like rain, dust, sand, mud, sweat, friction and corrosion.
Bridles and saddles also have a few areas on them that are traditionally quite sensitive and prone to damage and abrasion. They include the bottom of the boots, the stirrup leathers, and the saddle flaps along the girth straps.
These areas need to be oiled over and above their regular care to ensure that they are nourished deep within their layers and protected from general wear and tear.
Cleaning and Preparing for Moisture
To care for your leather riding equipment, experts recommend cleaning it after every second use if you ride professionally. If you are a leisure rider, you can do so less frequently, but either way, it is important to focus on the most exposed areas of your gear that are most likely to be damaged by sweat.
Cleaning removes any dirt that would otherwise prevent the leather from absorbing the nourishing oil you apply to it. You can also brush heavily soiled leather if necessary, or use glycerine soap to clean, moisturise and protect the items in question.
Liquid soaps, on the other hand, can be applied to dry leather using a damp sponge, and do not require drying. However, if you choose to use a bar soap (which requires more water) you need to let your leather dry fully at room temperature to stop it from becoming damaged or misshapen.
Conditioning Your Leather Riding Tack
Once you have cleaned your leather tack, your next step will be to condition it with a special balm. This must always be done on dry leather to ensure that the balm or oil is absorbed deep into the leather’s layers.
Use only suitable, specially designed leather moisturisers for this, and apply them with a dry sponge or cloth. Don’t overuse them, either – too much oil will leave your gear greasy and slippery, and encourage dirt to build up on it.
Ultimately, if you have made a solid investment in your leather gear, it pays off to persevere with it – much like it pays off to play mobile casino Malaysia games at a reputable smartphone casino!
There are numerous different products you can use to condition your leather. Beeswax is a particular favourite among riders as it has many caring properties and is also eco-friendly. It provides deep, long-term nourishment, while adding shine and promoting good friction to your gear.