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Caring for your new saddle

May 17, 2022 3 min read

  Congratulations on the purchase of your new saddle

All our saddles are made to suit the job they were designed for, so we are confident that you will be happy with it.

Top quality trees are the foundation of any good saddle and the custom-made rawhide –covered trees as well as the moulded urethane ones that we use are among the best available.

All the leather is selected to give the strength, finish and weight required in the saddle. Only non-rust screws, nails and hardware are used.

With regular care and maintenance your saddle will provide years of trouble free use.

 Twisting Fenders 

Before you oil your new saddle, you should check that the fenders have been twisted into the correct riding position. If the twist is absent or has flattened out, follow these instructions to re-set:

  1. Wet the fender and stirrup leather with clean water, especially the bottom and neck area.
  2. Fit the stirrups at the required length and put keeper straps back in place above stirrup.
  3. With saddle on a stand or rail, twist both stirrups out and back and run a broom-stick or similar, through them to hold the twist in place. Adding a weight to the middle of the stick will help set the twist better.
  4. Leave until leather is completely dry, then oil and condition as described.
  5. When saddle is not in use, position stick back in stirrups. This will hold the twist until it is set properly which might take a couple of weeks, depending on amount of use.

 Additional Information.

 When your saddle is not in use, place it on stand if possible. If it must be laid down put it on its side with all straps and riggings etc straight and not tucked under.

Don’t sit the saddle on top of wet, sweaty saddle cloths, as this will prevent the fleece lining from drying out and help destroy it. Saddle cloths and pads should be kept as clean as possible to help keep sweat out of the woolskin or felt lining.

Care and Cleaning of your Saddle

 All of our saddles are oiled as they are assembled but will need further attention before use. 

We recommend that you first give your saddle a light oiling with either pure Olive oil or pure Neatsfoot oil.  Don’t use blended oils. Once the oil has soaked in, the leather needs to be dressed with a top quality leather dressing or conditioner. After the dressing has soaked in for an hour or so, wipe over with a soft cloth to remove any surplus from the leather. If not removed, this excess dressing will collect dirt and ultimately clog the pores in the leather. The ground in grit is also very abrasive and can lead to premature wear of the saddle, especially of the stirrup leathers and riggings. 

Special attention needs to be paid to those parts of the saddle that are in close contact with the horse. These include the stirrup leathers, backs of the fenders, girths and straps and rigging leathers. Be sure to rotate the stirrup leathers around over the tree so that all parts are treated. 

Do not oil excessively. Too much oil is as bad, or worse, than not enough. This is especially the case in the very hot conditions experienced across much of Australia where over oiled leather is at risk of being “cooked” and becoming brittle and destroyed.

Once in use saddles should have the dust and dirt removed from them as often as possible, simply by wiping off with a soft cloth or sheepskin, and regularly cleaned with a good glycerine saddle soap. Remember to undo all buckles and straps (especially on stirrup leathers) and clean in any creases or folds.  Oiling and dressing of the leather should be done when required, but under normal use, two or three times a year should be adequate.

Don't forget to contact us with any queries or concerns - Geoff Newton


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