The new saddle is breaking in slowly (mostly my lack of time to ride) and appears to fit very well, but GOD it is NOISY! SQUEAK-SQUEAK-SQUEAK the first 15 minutes of every ride, then it quiets down . . . mostly.
I've lederbalsammed it like crazy and gone lightly on the oil per a general consensus of experts (which is just about anyone who knows more than me as I rarely buy new saddles) but is there any way in particular to quiet the squeaking while the breaking-in process goes along?
It appears to be the stirrup leathers against the flap, mostly. Scares all the horses other than Boscoe, who ignores noise for the most part.
My new saddle squeeked very loudly until it was oiled a few times. I'm a fan of oil, because it penetrates and feels less sticky, as well as mellowing the color of the leather, but I know many people like balsam and other conditioners. You could try a light oiling to see if it helps.
Baby powder? I learned that trick here on COTH, but it was for old saddles. I *ass*ume it would work the same for new saddles.
Well.... OP, you are at a fork in the road.
The baby powder solution reduces friction between dry, skin-side pieces of leather. It is a technique of Western World where the leather involved is quite thick and (it appears to me), those folks don't oil saddles the way we do in English World.
The other fork in the road is to use pure neatsfoot oil on all surfaces of the saddle-- including the undersides of the flaps and way up in the various crevices. You do this in thin coats, with your fingers and rolling the leather around in order to get it to absorb the neatsfoot oil. You stop when the leather takes a little too long to turn matte (the point at which is has "drunk its fill" of oil).
The stuff you are using might not have enough oil content-- leaving you with a saddle that drank a milkshake when it really wanted gatorade....but oil, not electrolytes.
I hope this makes sense. My point is that putting baby powder on a dry saddle doesn't fix the problem and gives you an extra cleaning job if/when you come to your sense and decide to oil it. Full disclosure: I do put neatsfoot on my western saddles. No complaints from them.... not even a squeak!
If you think it's the stirrup leathers on the flap then I would oil it. If it sucks up the initial coat immediately it probably needs more. I like Lederbalsam on already "seasoned" leather but always oil new tack first.
I would use the baby powder in the nooks and crannies if it sounded like internal squeaks. (Works on loose floorboards too.)
I had a new saddle once before! It was a Barnsby... The saddlery I bought it from gave me a jar of oil and told me to pay particular attention to oiling the crevices, particularly under the flaps and underside of the saddle.
This was like 15 years ago...there's probably a new/better way to do it now.
Horses - if God made anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself.