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Saddle care after rain

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  • Saddle care after rain

    What's the best thing to do with my jump saddle (French leather) after it gets rained on. In the PNW, it's mostly misting and small rain drops, not heavy thunderstorm rains of the SE. But after my intermittent rain lesson on Saturday, I cleaned it immediately with Effax Leather Combi but it still had spots after drying. Should I have oiled it (I have Hydrophane Darkening Oil but maybe I should get the Leather Dressing)? What's the best plan? I have to keep this saddle nice, as it'll double as my show saddle.
    2leftsocks.blogspot.com

  • #2
    If it looks like rain, I ride in my Wintec! But if I do get caught, I dry immediately with a soft towel, and take a damp sponge to any dirty/sweaty parts, and then apply lederbalsam. I haven't had an issue with water stains.

    Comment


    • #3
      Call up your saddle manufacturer - they'll know which leather, curing process & dyes were used on the saddle & should be able to recommend certain products (based upon composition & pH etc).
      Some saddles (even from a given manufacturer) will show spots more readily than others.
      Generally, towel off excess water, then allow saddle to dry naturally in a house environment (rather than a damp tackroom, with lots of mold spores), then condition. If you condition the damp leather, you'll drive water into the leather (same goes for conditioning a dirty saddle).

      Accidentally soaking a saddle should NOT ruin it in any way.

      Comment


      • #4
        When my Devocoux gets rained on, I wipe it down with a damp sponge or soft rag. If it looks like it needs it, I apply some conditioner. My saddle has been in many rain storms and still looks and feels fantastic.

        Remember that rain will NOT kill your saddle. A Devocoux rep once told me how the leather is stretched and fitted wet, and it is designed to handle rain. He also restored/cleaned older/needy saddles with a simple damp/wet kitchen sponge. I believe he used some products at the end of the process, but literally hours were spend scrubbing away with a wet sponge. The saddles that were 5, 10+ years old looked almost brand new again. He told me his biggest secret was to use water and not be afraid of it.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I considered getting a synthetic for rain days, but with over 155 days of rain a year, it would become my main saddle and my leather DK is fitted perfectly.

          All good ideas offered so far. I'm new to jumping and riding outside.
          thanks!
          2leftsocks.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            My new (to me) Antares got absolutely soaked after showing in the rain one day this summer. I wiped it down with a towel, used Passier Lederbalsam everywhere but the seat, and let it dry completely overnight. The next day I rode in it as usual and used a regular conditioner (Belvoir spray) everywhere, as well as on the seat. It survived perfectly with no stains.
            friend of bar.ka

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shadowanne View Post
              I considered getting a synthetic for rain days, but with over 155 days of rain a year, it would become my main saddle
              'xactly
              besides squidgey wintecs are also no fun (I wondered why the owner of that saddle always stopped riding when it started to rain).

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with what's been said, AND you definitely need to check out Tack of the Day's offering for today!

                I have that rain cover from before and I use it all the time, it's great. I jump away it in the pouring rain, no problemo. It doesn't change the feel or grip really at all that I can tell.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a full buffalo leather ADT and my rep told me to never be afraid of the rain. If it's just misting out to wipe my saddle off then condition it when it's about half-way done drying. And if it get's drenched, be sure to remove any dirt or sweat then oil it once it gets to the damp stage. Water will actually clean out the pores of the leather that a lot of people like to gum up with waxy soaps and conditioners and then as the saddle starts to air dry the pore with open and take oil even better than usual. A good heavy soak is a good way to break in a new saddle (though I prefer to let the universe do it, never go after your saddle with the hose haha)

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                    I agree with what's been said, AND you definitely need to check out Tack of the Day's offering for today!

                    I have that rain cover from before and I use it all the time, it's great. I jump away it in the pouring rain, no problemo. It doesn't change the feel or grip really at all that I can tell.
                    I have that rain cover too!!! I got it several weeks ago, I just haven't used it yet - was a little afraid to school in it, haha. But maybe I'll try it after all.
                    2leftsocks.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Very helpful information, all. Thank you!

                      While you are discussing saddle care, may I ask a different question? I lent my saddle to a young lady and don't you know, got it back with a small gouge/bad scuff on the edge of the cantle (that'll teach me to be nice :-(). I tried regular cleaning/conditioning, and tried dabbing on a tiny bit of brown shoe polish (it's actually Havana, not dark brown, but I was semi-desperate), to no avail: it's still got the light-colored scuff. GRRRR! I have not tried oil as I was afraid that would darken it too much. Does anyone have a suggestion for "fixing" this? It really bothers me since the saddle looked brand-new beforehand...
                      "Horses lend us the wings we lack." ~ Pam Brown

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I soak my Stubben all the time. I just wipe it down with a dry towel to get as much water off of it as possible and then I condition it after its dry with Stubben's Hammanol. Both of my Stubbens look good enough to show in despite being 15+ years old.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          THANK YOU COTHers! I wiped/rubbed down my saddle with a damp washcloth first. After some drying I rubbed in my Lederbalsm and now a few hours later, it looks FABULOUS and spot free! I <3 my saddle and now it looks fab again.
                          2leftsocks.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RiderWriter View Post
                            Very helpful information, all. Thank you!

                            While you are discussing saddle care, may I ask a different question? I lent my saddle to a young lady and don't you know, got it back with a small gouge/bad scuff on the edge of the cantle (that'll teach me to be nice :-(). I tried regular cleaning/conditioning, and tried dabbing on a tiny bit of brown shoe polish (it's actually Havana, not dark brown, but I was semi-desperate), to no avail: it's still got the light-colored scuff. GRRRR! I have not tried oil as I was afraid that would darken it too much. Does anyone have a suggestion for "fixing" this? It really bothers me since the saddle looked brand-new beforehand...
                            Well I hope you brought it to the attention of the borrower - this doesn't happen unless the saddle is mishandled (or accidentally dropped by someone like me - though I didn't actually drop the saddle, it was that stoopid round stool that stopped holding the saddle ) - I suspect you'll just need to condition it frequently & wait for time to mellow the newly exposed leather to match the rest of the saddle.
                            Some scuffs blend in very nicely over time, others not so much ...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks!

                              I think my disgusted look said it all... this was just a kid, newish to riding, and in my rush to encourage her in the sport I stupidly thought My Precious would be treated properly. Kid never even noticed a thing was wrong until I pointed it out, feeling ill. And get this: not only was my saddle damaged, my bridle was LOST. Lesson learned, in spades. No more tack borrowing unless (possibly) by good friends who have been proven responsible.
                              "Horses lend us the wings we lack." ~ Pam Brown

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by RiderWriter View Post
                                Very helpful information, all. Thank you!

                                While you are discussing saddle care, may I ask a different question? I lent my saddle to a young lady and don't you know, got it back with a small gouge/bad scuff on the edge of the cantle (that'll teach me to be nice :-(). I tried regular cleaning/conditioning, and tried dabbing on a tiny bit of brown shoe polish (it's actually Havana, not dark brown, but I was semi-desperate), to no avail: it's still got the light-colored scuff. GRRRR! I have not tried oil as I was afraid that would darken it too much. Does anyone have a suggestion for "fixing" this? It really bothers me since the saddle looked brand-new beforehand...
                                Take your saddle to a cobbler/bootmaker/leatherworker in your area. They have an assortment of leather dyes and I bet one of them will either have something very close or can blend several shades to get it there. They also know how to bone/buff the scuff to blend it in better.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  would you all do the same with a good quality show bridle that got caught in the rain? DD had a lesson in the pouring rain today and we use her show bridle for lessons (an Edgewood). How best to dry it and get it back to normal?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I do the same thing when I soak my bridle. Wipe it down with warm water on a wash cloth, wait for it to be mostly dry and then condition it. My bridle's maker doesn't have a specific line of conditioners, so I just use my Stubben conditioner on it. Seems to work fine.

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