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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
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    381

    Default Best saddle oil/cleaner/conditioner? **Update post #17**

    Okay - I normally wouldn't ask this since I know the usual cleaners and conditioners that I used to always use on my tack. However, my saddle has been sitting around doing nothing for... oh.... 6 years? (Crazy that it has been that long!) It was not even broken in when I put it away and now that I have a new job and will be using my saddle, I need to oil it for 2 reasons. 1) During those years, I was with someone who did not have any respect for my items and my saddle got tossed into a shed - it now has dark spots on the flaps (from a mechanical oil? No idea what they are from, I can only guess) so I would like to darken the rest of my saddle slightly so the spots are not quite as noticeable. 2) I'd like to soften the leather a touch so it breaks in a bit more quickly - it is a plain flap Crosby.

    So... my main question is what is a good oil that won't rot the stitching and will help supple the leather and darken it a touch? (not too much though!)

    I prefer getting opinions of people who have used certain products rather than just scour the web and tack stores.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by KentuckyTBs; Dec. 30, 2012 at 04:11 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009
    Posts
    1,891

    Default

    I use any dish washing soap to clean. To me the important part is conditioning. I don't think you can beat Lexol conditioner but I haven't tried a lot of the expensive European ones.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,646

    Default

    I like Oakwood. A County saddle fitter recommended it, and it's my favorite.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2002
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Bick 4 is a favorite general use cleaner/conditioner.

    I too am looking for a good oil to use on a dry, cracked leather item that I have. I've heard that straight up Neatsfoot oil will rot the stitching.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2007
    Location
    Warsaw, On
    Posts
    461

    Default

    A Barnsby rep told me to use neatsfoot oil on my Barnsby and it really has worked the best for that particular make of saddle. We used neatsfoot on all of the saddles in Pony Club and I know that some of them are still around (30 years later). I have been told it will rot stitching, but I have yet to be convinced...depends on how you use it I guess. I like Oakwood and conditioners with beeswax. Why not contact Crosby and see what they recommend?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    Effax Lederbalsam or Akene. I prefer those to Passier Lederbalsam as that seems to leave a grimy wax residue. Also not a fan of Lexol - I can't recall why but I stopped using that ages ago,didn't like it. The Effax and Akene leave the leather hydrated, supple, and tacky but not in a grimy sort of way (no nasty residue to attract dirt and lint). I slightly prefer the Effax. It's nice and greasy and the leather loves it!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,855

    Default

    I clean with either Effax Ledercombi, Leather Therapy Wash, or plain old glycerine soap. I condition with Effax Lederbalsam. I looooooooove the Lederbalsam and for dry tack that hasn't been given attention in a while, I rub in a nice, thick coat, let it sink in, and then keep rubbing in more coats until it stops being absorbed. The next day, I rub the excess off with a soft cloth.
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
    Posts
    381

    Default

    Thank you! I will look into trying to get some of the Effax Lederbalsam, it sounds like what I am looking for. I hate Neatsfoot so I know that is already a No. LOL Off to Google where I can find Effax....



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2002
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    2,239

    Default

    What about Hydrophane?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2006
    Posts
    465

    Default

    Stubben Hamanol!

    Stinks, but works great



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2012
    Posts
    689

    Default

    Fiebings Aussie Leather Conditioner



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2001
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulosey View Post
    Why not contact Crosby and see what they recommend?
    Crosby doesn't exist anymore, except as a name owned by someone not the original makers of the saddles, so there's no one to contact.

    If it's grimy from sitting somewhere, I'd perhaps start with a good cleaning with something like Castile soap, which will clean without damaging the leather, rather than a standard leather cleaner, though if you want to go with a leather cleaner, I've found Belvoir to be wonderful. Then I'd oil with something like Neatsfoot. While I love lederbalsam for regular (ie, monthly) conditioning, I don't think it conditions deep enough to really get into the old leather the way an oil would.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
    Posts
    381

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JenEM View Post
    Crosby doesn't exist anymore, except as a name owned by someone not the original makers of the saddles, so there's no one to contact.

    If it's grimy from sitting somewhere, I'd perhaps start with a good cleaning with something like Castile soap, which will clean without damaging the leather, rather than a standard leather cleaner, though if you want to go with a leather cleaner, I've found Belvoir to be wonderful. Then I'd oil with something like Neatsfoot. While I love lederbalsam for regular (ie, monthly) conditioning, I don't think it conditions deep enough to really get into the old leather the way an oil would.

    Correct, I got this saddle when the Original Crosby still existed, actually right before they transitioned the saddles over.

    It isn't grimy, it is clean and kept in a dry area with a saddle cover on it - the leather is smooth and not at all cracking or dry in that regard - I just need something to help supple it and darken it slightly. I don't like Neatsfoot, which is why I am trying to find something else. I will get out to the tack store today and see what they carry. I know Dover has Effax so I will look at the consistency of it and see if it is what I am looking for. I will write down some of these other names to look at as well. The Hydophane scares me a bit because I worry about it darkening the leather TOO much and I'm more concerned with the conditioning verses the color.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2007
    Location
    Warsaw, On
    Posts
    461

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    I always learn something on here...too bad about Crosby. I would be intersted in hearing how you made out. I really don't like neatsfoot either, but it's the best I've found for the Barnsby...so far.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2002
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    Default

    I have some Effax in my tack room. It leaves a white residue on the leather and doesn't really soften as well as I'd like. It is an older jar though, so maybe that's the issue.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow36 View Post
    I have some Effax in my tack room. It leaves a white residue on the leather and doesn't really soften as well as I'd like. It is an older jar though, so maybe that's the issue.
    Is it cold? When it's warm (even just not super cold) it should be like an oil. It goes on like an oil, not like a wax at all. But if it's very cold it is more solid and doesn't get soaked up. It's solid in the jar, depending on heat.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
    Posts
    381

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    UPDATE!

    Went to Dover today to buy Effax Lederbalsam - It was on sale (yay!) so I grabbed some new tack sponges as well. Went to the registered and the guy told me I could get an Effax Ledercombi for FREE as well - so I paid all of $16 for $34 worth of stuff! Quite pleased about that!

    I will be cleaning my saddle this evening and will let everyone know how I like the Effax. It was suggested that I put it on and leave it overnight to soak in then rub my saddle down with a soft cloth tomorrow. Does that seem like a good plan?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Yay!!! Love the stuff!! Frankly, I put it on and there's nothing to rub off the next day, it just drinks it up. But if there's a residue tomorrow, yes, makes sense.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    2,936

    Default

    Hm. I may have to head to Dover tomorrow for some of this Effax. Never heard of it, and I'm getting a new (used) saddle which has been out of use a few months so it'll be interesting to see what condition its in.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
    Posts
    381

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    Event4life - I was at the Dover in DE - but it may be all over. I was SHOCKED that I got the freebie - I guess it just came up in the register that it was a freebie so the guy asked me if I wanted it. I was like "Why of course! I'll take anything free!" LOL



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