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Purposely leaving saddle in rain?

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  • Purposely leaving saddle in rain?

    After reading a George Morris rider critique and knowing how he feels about new saddles, in one article he mentioned a saddle being broken in by having it rained on. Anyone purposely leave theirs out or wet it down.

    I have a saddle I got a number of years ago, then the riding slowed down. I rode in it a fair bit though. I have oiled the snot out of it, or so it feels like. It is still fairly stiff and new looking. It is wool flocked. Would anyone wet it down with a hose? A ton more oil?
    \"I never play horseshoes \'cause Mother taught us not to throw our clothes around,\" ~ Mr. Ed

  • #2
    I could never imagine spraying my saddle with a hose or purposely leaving it out in the rain, however I would also never wear my tall boots to soak in the bathtub so maybe those that are more willing to do that will have advise for you. Never had a saddle stay so stiff.


    • #3
      When you oiled it, did you roll the leather?
      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


      • #4
        Not something I would ever do! Usually water dries leather out - I pull my wintec out on rain days.
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


        • #5
          I don't soak down any of my tack purposely. I would be concerned about mold growth or over drying. Have you tried Leather Therapy? I found that cleaner really softens the leather.
          Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
          Takaupas Top Gold
          Gifts Black Gold Knight


          • #6
            My trainer swore that a new saddle of his broke in perfectly after the first ride because it was pouring rain. He tried to convince me to hose down my horse in my last new saddle. I'd never had such a nice saddle and absolutely refused. All of my saddles have broken in just fine the regular way (riding, oil, rolling flaps), but said trainer apparently breaks in all of his new saddles by soaking them now, and his are all in beautiful condition.

            So, yes, I've heard of it used successfully by people I know well, just never did it myself.


            • #7
              Mink oil can really soften a saddle.


              • #8
                I guess that depends on how expensive the saddle is and how big your cojones are!

                That being said, I'll always and forever stick with oil.


                • #9
                  Eeek!! The last time I rode in the rain caused the seat seam on my saddle to split apart! Don't do it!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
                    I guess that depends on how expensive the saddle is and how big your cojones are!
                    Antares buffalo!


                    • #11
                      I don't think anyone's cojones are that big

                      I'd go with more oil before hosing a saddle down, maybe using a hair dryer or heating pad to open the pores.
                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                      • #12
                        I think the Antares buffalo just soaks up a bit more oil than you think it should. It's pretty thick, sturdy leather. Just oil generously and very gently bend it. And ride in it. Someone in the barn got one recently and it does take longer than calf and just looks a bit dry and stiff. I kept suggesting more oil and it finally started to feel softer and stopped looking thirsty. The flaps really drank the oil, especially on the underside.
                        I wouldn't be experimenting with rain when you can accomplish more safely with oil!!!
                        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                        • #13
                          I freak if it LOOKS like rain! I could care less about getting wet, but my tack? NO WAY!


                          • #14
                            I have been stuck out in downpours at horseshows in all of my saddles many times over the years. You know it's wet when the only dry spot anywhere is under the saddle. You know it's really wet when there is no dry spot...not even under the saddle

                            I also ride in the rain frequently at home. If it's raining hard enough to soak my saddle I usually opt out (because *I* don't want to melt, not because of my tack). But I frequently pull a pretty wet saddle off of the horses at the end of a ride.

                            None of my saddles are worse for the wear. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to intentionally leave one in the rain, but having had saddles soaked through the wool I can say that it's not the end of the world. No saddle should fall apart when wet. I would be an unhappy camper and on the phone with the manufacturer if I had a seat split because of it.
                            Flying F Sport Horses
                            Horses in the NW


                            • #15
                              I honestly just wouldn't. There are more if's here than facts, so it seems a little risky. Just oil the crap out of it, roll the leather, and ride in it.


                              • #16
                                George means for the saddle to be ridden in, in the rain. He most definitely does not mean for you to just ask a saddle. That does no good at all! But riding in it as it gets wet (and as it dries) will help to mold the saddle to your leg position and seat.

                                One word of warning, if you are still working on your leg position you may want a very experienced, sold rider to break it in. Otherwise it can break in with the leg slipped back and that can be very hard to overcome.


                                • #17
                                  Make sure the oil is a little warm and... massage it in with your hands. It looks like you are having too good of a time with your saddle, but really working in the oil with your hands gets so much more absorbed than a traditional application. Using your hands to get the oil in also makes the rolling of the leather a bit more natural and gives you a better feel. And, your hands will be super moisturized!


                                  • #18
                                    Well, there's always the story about Michael Plumb breaking in a brand new Hermes by taking it for a swim in the Atlantic.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by GrantanaKC View Post
                                      Antares buffalo!
                                      I thought you were the OP and wanted to soak wet your antares!!!

                                      My heart skipped a few beat.

                                      I would never EVER do that to my saddles. (1 calfskin Delgrange - not broken yet and 1 buffalo Hennig never needed to be 'broken')
                                      Oil and ride, that is what breaks saddles.
                                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                      HORSING mobile training app


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                        I don't think anyone's cojones are that big
                                        Meh, my cajones are that big.

                                        I'd Michael Plumb/Hermes/Atlantic a saddle. Though I'd just do a short dip of the saddle into the waves, make sure no sand was left and then ride in it until dry.

                                        Oh, and I'd feel better if it had a pig skin seat. But, yes, I'd try it.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat