Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cleaning and Conditioning the Tack

I noticed that when I'm sitting in my Tucker High Plains trail saddle, the back of the square skirt does dig into Lostine's back enough to leave a line in her fur even with a thick blanket beneath it. Since this is not an Arabian saddle, I had to pick one with a short skirt. However, being a new saddle, the skirt is quite stiff, so I decided to condition the heck out of it to try to soften the leather to allow some bend.

The saddle below is my Circle Y Arabian Mojave saddle. It's very comfortable, but the Flex Tree has stretched out so wide after several years of use that I can barely fit two fingers under the pommel now. It also rides up over Lostine's withers, so I don't use it with her anymore.

This black saddle was my very first western saddle. It has a Cordura synthetic skirt and fenders, and was made by American Saddlery. I like the way I stick to the rougher seat, but it has a 15.5" seat, which is too small for me now. It fit me well when I first owned horses. It's very lightweight, so I've used it for Gabbrielle's ground training, and still occasionally put it on Lostine and cram my rear into it.

After cleaning and conditioning the saddles, I brought out all the bridles and martingales. I wanted to try Neatsfoot Oil on my light reins to darken them up since all my tack is dark oil or black.

These reins came from the same set. It's just that the darker one has Neatsfoot Oil applied while the lighter one has the original color.


lytha said...

I like the Circle Y best!

Nice informational post on Neatsfoot Oil! I love that stuff, it just seems so natural to use cow fat on cowhide.

My crupper is the only leather on my horse, and the other day I noticed green fuzz all over the seams. Agh.


Leah Fry said...

I've been procrastinating on tack maintenance. I need to condition my Tucker, too. At least I keep them covered when not in use, but they seem to be dust magnets.

jane augenstein said...

Nice saddles! I have two to clean. One is my dressage saddle all leather and I have an Abetta synthetic western and very light weight too. When Gilly is feeling very frisky I use the western (horn to grab onto! LOL) Both are very comfortable to ride!

jmk said...

I use 100% wool pads for both english and western. They aren't cheap, but they are great shock absorbers, breathable, wicking and they mold to your horses back over time. When my vet/chiro saw mine she said, "those are the best pads for the horse", she told me she reccomends them highly. You have to have one for each individual horse for the best results, cus they contour to the back, but I've interchanged between my horses. It may help with your saddle from digging at the back until it softens up. Just a thought.

Molly said...

And you are coming to clean my stuff when?
I love the smell of saddle soap and don't have any excuse for why I don't get busy more often than every few years.

Andrea said...

Can you come an clean mine!! Neatsfoot oil is great for darkening tack. They have special cleaners and oils that keep light tack light. I use those on my light saddles. But nothing beats the softness of neatsfoot oil!!