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What do you use to condition your County saddle?

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    What do you use to condition your County saddle?

    So I did wind up finding the perfect County with the exact specifications - huge shout out to St. Croix Saddlery - couldn't have been nicer and more helpful! Anyway - I'm used to using Akene on my old saddle to condition but didn't feel quite right after I used it on the County. Long story short - what do you all use to clean/condition your County's? Thanks!!

    I would highly encourage you to use oakwood leather conditioner and cleaner. It think bit of britain carries it and victory canter. County saddles have very soft leather and can easily be over conditioned with most conditioners. I would not use passier or any strong oil. What type of leather is yours? There are 3 types and require different care.


      Original Poster

      I'm not positive which leather it is - I can ask the County rep. Is this the conditioner:


        That is the conditioner. It also doesn't leave a greasy residue. That is what I use on my printed leather and my smooth leather. I have no idea what people use on the bull leather though.


          Original Poster

          Mine is the plain leather - that I do know!


            I would go with the oakwood then. It is a great product!


              Originally posted by LoriW View Post
              Mine is the plain leather - that I do know!
              Well if it's plain leather, I did a once-over (two or three times...) of neatsfootoil to darken it up and get rid of the orange, and since then I use passier along with regular cleaning/conditioning with Leather Therapy products. If it was calfskin or buffalo hide, might be another story, but my profit was a floor model/demo saddle in the plainest of leather.


                When I bought my first County, rep suggested Hamanol or Oakwood. I like the Oakwood better. They are both little bit of a PITA to put on - I went to Hydrophane to break in new one.


                  I don't think county currently makes a calfskin or buffalo hide saddle that I am aware of. I have an innovation with the bull leather and initially I used some antares oil I had left over from my antares saddle but the oil seemed to sit on top of the saddle and never really soaked in like I thought it would. I wiped off the excess antares oil and now use the passier lederbalsam dressing/ conditioner. I think it works well on the saddle, does not seem too sticky or gooey or over conditioned.


                    I use Stubben's cleaner and conditioner, and have been happy with it. But I may try the Oakwood now, based on the recommendations here.
                    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                      Do any of these conditioners add a "grippy" feel? My County can get very slippery.


                        I have a plain leather conquest that I used Lederfit oil (the one in the orange bottle that smells like beeswax). Made it less orange, and more grippy
                        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                          Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                          I have a plain leather conquest that I used Lederfit oil (the one in the orange bottle that smells like beeswax). Made it less orange, and more grippy
                          Is that the Effax product? If so it has whale oil, which is why I won't use it. I have heard it is wonderful though.

                          Try "polishing" with a light coat of glycerine after you are done cleaning your saddle, that will help make it less slippery.


                            Originally posted by LoriW View Post
                            I'm not positive which leather it is - I can ask the County rep. Is this the conditioner:
                            Is that the stuff that smells like eucalyptus and boasts of carnuba wax?

                            I found it too heavy-- too much like mink oil for my tack.

                            Originally posted by Sparky Boy View Post
                            Do any of these conditioners add a "grippy" feel? My County can get very slippery.
                            IMO, slippery and shiny means leather that has been cared for on top but which is "thirsty" on the inside.

                            I'm a tack care luddite. To me, there are only three or so categories of products:

                            Thinks that clean

                            Things that oil.

                            Things that preserve or seal in the oil.

                            I'll leave out the first one, but I find pure neatsfoot oil (never the compound with unhelpful petroleum products) the easiest oil to use. It is heavy and provides the most "oil effect" (puts oily moisture into the heart of the leather) per application and for the amount of darkening you get. Hydropane, for example, makes a saddle less dark per coat.... but also seems to quench the thirst of the leather less per coat.

                            Over-oiling will make your leather sticky but pliable and resilient in the face of abuse and neglect. So "getting past slippery" to me means oiling the leather more than you usually do and getting used to that more pliable feel.

                            I think people get "things that oil" and "things that preserve or seal in the oil" mixed up. So combination products like Akene (very high quality glycerine soap in an emulsion with oil, I think) seems to be a hybrid of categories 2 and 3. If I had a calf-covered saddle and was afraid to over oil, I'd use Akene.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat


                              I'm a big fan of Oakwood on all of my tack (not just my saddles, and not just my County saddles). It does add a little bit of grip to the saddle when you first get on, but with it being a conditioner, it quickly absorbs into the leather and leaves it soft (but not sticky).

                              I've used several other types of leather conditioner and haven't ever particularly *disliked* anything, but Oakwood has been my go-to for over a decade now, so I'm not sure what else is out there these days
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW


                                Hey guys! I am out of my oakwood leather conditioner...sigh... and was looking up online where to purchase more... Have any of you noticed that there is now a new logo for Oakwood? It used to be in a yellowish bottle with green writing and now it looks completely different. Do you think its the same stuff? Let me know- thanks!


                                  Am I unusual in that I never condition my saddles. I use Belvoir glycerin bar which has conditioning in it per the box. But I see people use all kinds of special conditioners sold to them by their saddlemaker. I find newer saddles waaaaay easier to break in from the old days when you HAD to oil your saddle so your legs and seat wouldn’t hurt. My 2013 butet looks pretty good for just being cleaned w belvoir. I do clean my tack daily. I wonder what I am missing.