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What is the best saddle oil?

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  • What is the best saddle oil?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm getting a new saddle soon and I was wondering what everyone's favorite oil is to break in the new leather. I have heard a myth that neatsfoot oil rots the stitching out, is this true?


  • #2
    You can use a wide assortment of oils, my favorite is Walsh's Leather Oil (formerly Blue Ribbon) but you can use Neatsfoot, olive oil, Hydrophane, Tanner's oil, Antares oil or most any other oil meant for tack with good results.

    Neatsfoot comes in two varieties, it used to be considered that the "compound" rotted stitching but most stitching today is synthetic and doesn't rot anyway.

    I have used all of the above mentioned oils on tack and never had a problem with any of them and my stuff is beautiful.

    CWD makes a cream conditioner which conditions and darkens at the same time, if you prefer to not use oil, it did a fabulous job on my CWD leathers.

    Its more important not to over oil, use light coats and let dry thoroughly in between applications. I like to use those sponge rubber paint "brushes" when oiling leather.


    • #3
      I've never seen neatsfoot rot stitching, but that's my personal experience. I have a bridle that saw nothing but neatsfoot oil for 10 years and it is in great shape with no rot.

      My favorite oil is Hydrophane though. It really softens leather and with using very little.

      Everyone has a favorite though, so you'll get a lot of varied responses, heh.


      • #4
        I like olive oil, but your new saddle will probably come with instructions suggesting a particular tyope of oil.


        • #5
          Olive oil fresh out of the microwave! Don't forget the breadsticks
          Originally posted by EquineImagined
          My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


          • #6
            I microwave some neatsfoot oil mixed with a little compound. I do three parts neatsfoot to one part compound and only use the compound on the first oil.
            "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
            ~George Morris


            • #7
              Passier® Lederbalsam Leather Conditioner

              I love this stuff!


              • #8
                Me, too! That, and Blackrock for anything (boots, etc) you want really soft.
                Originally posted by V.JUMP View Post
                Passier® Lederbalsam Leather Conditioner

                I love this stuff!
                "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


                • #9
                  I've tried neatsfoot, Hydrophane, olive oil and recently Walsh's Saddle Oil at the suggestion of BAC. For darkening, the Walsh's is the best, and it leaves the leather nice and supple, not greasy if you don't overdo it. It's what I'm using from now on.
                  Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)


                  • #10
                    Mojo, I am glad someone else also appreciates the Walsh's, I seem to be the only person on COTH who recommends it all the time. And because it darkens so well you don't risk over oiling, or need to do multiple applications.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by V.JUMP View Post
                      Passier® Lederbalsam Leather Conditioner

                      I love this stuff!
                      Yep, I agree this stuff is awesome. I've also used it on pairs of new shoes that were hurting my friends feet
                      Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                      • #12
                        Effax Lederbalsam.

                        I wouldn't recommend putting saddle oil/conditioner on boots though- it will rot the stitching and soak through to the boot lining and denature the adhesives between the liner and outer shaft (according to my trainer and boot fitter).


                        • #13
                          I like both Hydrophane & Passier's Lederbasalm.