We all know just how expensive tack is and with our Fall Tack Haul coming up, its only right to share how to lengthen the longevity of your precious leathers. Below I have my Voltaire hunter girth that was purposefully used and left to dry.
First off, that is a big no-no. Never let your horse’s sweat sit in your tack. Sweat strips all moisture from any leather product and will leave your expensive gear wrinkled, stiff , and damaged. You should take your tack after every ride, wet it down and soap it up! But, time runs out and it can easily slip your mind. Don’t become distressed though, that dry leather is not totally impossible to fix. Above I have a bowl of water, Voltaire saddle soap, a tack sponge, Effax leather balsam, more sponges, and then two towels. Below is my step by step process with insight on “why”.
- Take wet a sponge or towel to clean off the leather. Let clean water sit.
- Apply your soap with a damptack sponge. I prefer my Voltaire soap since it is created for naturally treated leathers, but “saddle soap” is also another personal favorite of mine!
- Clean thoroughly building a foam in the process from the damp sponge. Be sure to ring it out after to feel the pride of a good scrub and the disgust of needing to bath your horse.
- Again wipe down the leather with a wet towel or fresh sponge.
- Pat dry your leather to prep for conditioning. By now you should see a major difference in the leather’s appearance. Water is a miracle in itself!
- Next get a fuzz resistant towel or sponge and take whichever leather conditioner you prefer. I LOVE effax because it isn’t oily or waxy, plus it smells amazing while really getting into the leather to fix it up and make it supple.
- Put gobs of the conditioner onto your choice applicator. More the damage more the work and product.
- Really buff the leather conditioner in. My grandpa was a cowboy and would spend hours with me working in the leather conditioner because “a happy saddle makes for a happy horse and rider.” Boy was he right. I still spend copious amounts of time to make sure the conditioner is thoroughly worked in to get the best care for my tack and bring it to life.
- If the leather still looks dry, add some more water to the leather (don’t over do it) and then redo steps 6-8.
Above is how the girth looked after doing steps 1-8! Remember to condition as needed and love on your tack! Be sure to take daily cleaning measures to ensure that your leather is getting better in your care.