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Make My Saddle Sticky!

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  • Make My Saddle Sticky!

    Ok, I KNOW some serious leather nazis hang out in here that can help me solve my little problem.

    I have a Black Country dressage saddle they built for me about a year ago that I received as a gift. I love it, adore it, it is my precious. When I got it, it came with a little instruction tag that said "DO NOT CLEAN. WIPE OFF WITH A DAMP CLOTH AND APPLY CONDITIONER/BALSAM AFTER."

    So, like the good little direction-follower I am, I have not cleaned. I've wiped dirt/sweat off and applied Effax Lederbalsam. The leather shines and feels beautiful, I think it's the heritage leather, if I remember correctly.

    Teensy side effect: it is as slippery as an ice rink for my legs and bum. I guess I am definitely not cheating on my position, but I'd like a wee bit more grip please! Help before I slide off the other side!
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo

  • #2
    I always feel like my saddle is stickier when I use the Effax or Passier Lederbalasm on it. Do you ride in full seat breeches?
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
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    • #3
      lederbalsam is a petroleum based conditioner/protectant so depending on your breech fabric and the grain of the leather, you could be creating a slip and slide on your saddle.
      my guess is you are applying
      a. too much goop
      b. too often to the top grain of the leather (what touches your body)
      c. not buffing with a cotton micro thread cloth the day after application
      or
      d. all of the above.

      the top finished side of leather can't really absorb much moisturizers, and realistically only need to be renewed twice a year or so to keep them waterproofed. The underside of your flaps will be the rough side of the leather, which will absorb moisurizers like a sponge. If the leather is dry, you'll want to use a lanolin based conditioner or an organism based fat (plant or animal) because the molecules are small enough to be absorbed. the petroleum based products you are using are more for a final sealant when the leather is at the desired suppleness and moisture level to keep you from having to condition with fats frequently.
      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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      • #4
        Your putting on way too much balsam. The balsam is the best thing to use for making leather tacky (as in sticky), but to much will just be greasing it up like you want to slip. You should only use enough that the leather is "dry" (no oil residue) after 2-3 hours or at mist by morning if your going for a deep moisturizing. Then you buff the leather with a clean cloth (I like the higher quality microfiber cloths for this task) until grippy. Next make sure you are only cleaning the inside of your boots with water and occasionally some non-glycerine based cleaners. No polishing the inside of the boots either. Lastly if your wearin full seats the material might not be a good match for yor saddle leather and conditioning technique. Try knee patch breeches or a higher quality clarino or soft leather full seat.

        Lastly for a temporary helper to get you in the right spot use a tacky gel based "sticky stuff" instead of sprays or sticks. He later is difficult to clean and usually too sticky to provide the best support.

        Comment


        • #5
          Use Stubben Hamanol, it works really good!

          Comment


          • #6
            I like the Oakwood leather conditioner. It seems to do a good job and it leaves the saddle just a tiny bit tacky in a nice way from the beeswax, which also makes it water repellent.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
              lederbalsam is a petroleum based conditioner/protectant so depending on your breech fabric and the grain of the leather, you could be creating a slip and slide on your saddle.
              my guess is you are applying
              a. too much goop
              b. too often to the top grain of the leather (what touches your body)
              c. not buffing with a cotton micro thread cloth the day after application
              or
              d. all of the above.

              the top finished side of leather can't really absorb much moisturizers, and realistically only need to be renewed twice a year or so to keep them waterproofed. The underside of your flaps will be the rough side of the leather, which will absorb moisurizers like a sponge. If the leather is dry, you'll want to use a lanolin based conditioner or an organism based fat (plant or animal) because the molecules are small enough to be absorbed. the petroleum based products you are using are more for a final sealant when the leather is at the desired suppleness and moisture level to keep you from having to condition with fats frequently.
              Effax lederbalsam is mostly lanolin based, if I recall correctly. I agree though, most people only condition the top side and completely ignore the rough side, which is where most of your deep conditioning magic happens.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Ah, ok, thanks, some good thoughts here! It is very likely that I am gooping too much, it is definitely a slip and slide up there. Although I only put a very small amount on and it dries very quickly, perhaps within 10-20 minutes. I do the seat very rarely. But I do put it on all surfaces, top and bottom. I have not buffed it off afterwards. I do not ride in full-seat breeches and I don't polish the boots/half chaps either.

                So it sounds like the best course with the lederbalsam is to make sure and buff it off after application.

                But then what about sweat/dirt marks on flaps and billets? I wipe them, but that doesn't get it all off. I have saddle soap and Leather New, but the tag made me afraid to put those on there. But it's good leather, surely that would be ok?
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                We Are Flying Solo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                  Ah, ok, thanks, some good thoughts here! It is very likely that I am gooping too much, it is definitely a slip and slide up there. Although I only put a very small amount on and it dries very quickly, perhaps within 10-20 minutes. I do the seat very rarely. But I do put it on all surfaces, top and bottom. I have not buffed it off afterwards. I do not ride in full-seat breeches and I don't polish the boots/half chaps either.

                  So it sounds like the best course with the lederbalsam is to make sure and buff it off after application.

                  But then what about sweat/dirt marks on flaps and billets? I wipe them, but that doesn't get it all off. I have saddle soap and Leather New, but the tag made me afraid to put those on there. But it's good leather, surely that would be ok?
                  Well it sounds like your doing fine and there is a different reason for the slipping. Actually, the saddle shouldn't be dry in 10 minutes. Either the balsam is a bad batch or you put almost nothing on. Hmmm... are you sure the saddle fits you properly? Something suspicious here. I wish I could see the saddle and you.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    It definitely fits, like a glove, very lovely to ride in. I wish I could explain it better, but when I am riding in it, the surface feels like...sitting on a satin sheet or something. I'm a relatively strong rider, so it's not like I'm sliding all over like a drunken muppet up there, but when heading out with the green OTTB, saint that he is, it'd be nice if it wasn't quite so satiny!

                    I can put some sticky grip stuff (I'm an eventer) on it, but it seems like I must be doing something wrong -- I've never had this happen before. My jumping saddle is a Collegiate, I care for it the same way, although I do saddle soap it maybe 2x per year, and it is not slick.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would ignore the tag and clean it like any leather with saddle soap and water, then condition as needed. Have you noticed that wet leather sticks to wet leather? It is stickier when it is not shiny.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Get this stuff:
                        http://www.dressageextensions.com/Pr...asp?KEY=1401ff,

                        It's great, very sticky & won't hurt your saddle. Amazing how it lets you turn loose & ride quietly.
                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                        www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sporty Spray!
                          mm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Whitfield Farm Hanoverians View Post
                            Get this stuff:
                            http://www.dressageextensions.com/Pr...asp?KEY=1401ff,

                            It's great, very sticky & won't hurt your saddle. Amazing how it lets you turn loose & ride quietly.
                            Your link was broken. What was it?
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe it's not the saddle, but the breeches? Try a pair of Stickyseat breeches, just enough stick, not too much. They aren't leather seats, so no leather to leather slip. Relatively cheap, durable and washable. I have an older, really slick saddle, made before soft leather, that is like an ice rink. Much better with the Stickyseat breeches.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/brow...es/4,7967.html

                                these make a HUGE difference! if you have leather seats in your car, cornering can be verrrrry fun! haha, but really, these breeches make it much easier to stay connected to the saddle. ovation sizing can run a bit on the small side, though.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The tag almost certainly was referring to you how break in a brand new saddle, not how you care for it in the long term. If you have any doubts, email Black Country. I'm sure they'll tell you the same.

                                  You could also use Sporty Haft Spray and a suede seat cover (a la http://theotherseat.homestead.com/), but again, I think your problem is probably temporary and will go away with more cleaning, less waxing.
                                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I only use the Sporty Spray on the tops of the calves of my boots. The one time I used it on a saddle, it stuck to my breeches in rising trot and darn near yanked 'em off. CAN"T be good for the leather! I don't personally recommend spraying that on your saddle.

                                    I highly recommend trying a pair of full seat breeches. Start with a used pair to see if you like them! They make a huge difference.

                                    A fitter once recommended to me that if your saddle has sort of a waxy coat/slippery leather, use glycerine soap and warm water until it suds and clean the saddle, then wipe dry, and condition...over time, it'll take that top coat off and the saddle will absorb conditioner better.

                                    HOWEVER, I don't soap my saddles EVER--just a damp cloth after each use. I use Effax conditioner regularly, any time my saddles get slippery feeling.

                                    If your saddle is dry in 20 minutes, it sounds like it needs condioner! If I get a very dry saddle (like a used saddle), I use neatsfoot, let dry, then effax over it.

                                    Everyone has different ways of conditioning...hope you find one that works for you!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      "Fafitz" from Dressage Extentions, maybe Dover Saddlery or your local tack shop should have some. Comes in a small tin & is super super sticky. Love the stuff. Won't hurt your tack or your clothes. You will stick to the leather seats in your truck after using it though!
                                      I put it on saddle seat, down flaps. Have even used it on reins that someone mistakenly oiled.
                                      Great stuff!
                                      Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                                      www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

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