• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Ways to make a new saddle grippy and soft?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ways to make a new saddle grippy and soft?

    I just bought a new saddle and am working on breaking it in. It's a Barnsby Pro Seat and has the normal leather (as opposed to calf leather).

    I've been oiling it every few days, and it's soaking up the oil like crazy.

    Is there anything else I can do to speed up the break-in process or to enhance the "grippyness" of the saddle?

    I did a search and didn't find anything, but I'd love to hear what other people use.

  • #2
    Don't use oil use Oakwoods or Ultra Leather Conditioner or Passier Lederbalsam. All of them are pastes that will soften the leather and leave the surface slightly tacky.


    • #3
      I rarely, if ever, use oil on my tack. Think about it....leather is skin, right? Do you oil your skin? I use a balsam type conditioner, my favorite being the Oakwood. And ride in it. A lot.


      • #4
        I oil new tack. Saddles, bridles, girths. I specifically use Hydrophane Leather dressing. Oakwood contains emu oil, lanolin and beeswax, Lederbalsam contains lanolin and beeswax and avacado oil. I do not want lanolin or beeswax on my tack.

        I only oil new tack, several thin coats, with a saddle it takes a few days of doing thin coats. After that I use it and clean it with a damp wash cloth after every use and put a thin coat of glycerin soap on the leather. I take a cheap sponge, dampen it, wring it out really well, rub the sponge on the glycerin bar ( I prefer Belvoir) until there is a tacky spot on the sponge, then apply it to the leather. Glycerine soap is not supposed to foam and be used like a soap you would use to give a bath, it should be used as the final step in tack cleaning. That will also make it a little tacky.


        • #5
          Neatsfoot oil is rendered from cattle feet and legs, and neatsfoot oil compound is neatsfoot oil blended with mineral oil, a petroleum by-product. I think I would rather put lanolin from sheep's wool, beeswax from bee's glands, and a vegetable oil on my saddle


          • #6
            I oil (Leather Therapy) many light coats over a week or so, esp. the underside and then use either the Passier Lederbalsam or the Horse Fitform (the orange container) Bienenwachs (beeswax). Apply in a warm room and leave it, or use a hairdryer on warm to get the pores or the leather to open up and and the wax/balsam to melt. I *love* the beeswax stuff, as it is grippy, I don't have to worry about spotting from the rain, and dirt just wipes off with a damp cloth. I *really* wax up my strapgoods, especially for hunting--makes cleaning a breeze, looks fabulous (polishes up with a soft cloth), and keeps my tack looking new.

            The Belvoir glycerin (bar or spray) is also a nice finish.


            • #7
              Originally posted by flypony74 View Post
              Think about it....leather is skin, right? .
              While very true that statement always gives me the creeps .

              It's okay to oil most new saddles just do not use Neatsfoot and do not overdo it. Put a coat on, leave the saddle out in the sun so that it warms and the pores open then once it soaks up repeat once more. After that swap to Passier Lederbalsm and it should be nice, soft and grippy in no time.


              • #8
                Originally posted by amastrike
                Neatsfoot is fine. The neatsfoot compound is what to avoid. Really, neatsfoot makes the most sense to me--it's oil made from cows. Leather is made from cows. They're perfect for each other!
                You're right, I meant the compound. Left out a word in my post .


                • #9
                  I have also always used pure neatsfoot oil for new leather, but once, all I had at a show was Lexol and using that liberally did a great job on my new and super slick Stubben Rex I just bought.
                  Saved the day, as the saddle was way too slick to show in, as I found out when I was slipping all over the first time I used it.

                  I did use too much Lexol and the leather turned noodley, which scared me, but in a few days it was perfect and I am still using it, the leather in excellent shape, all these almost 40 years later.

                  Don't know if I would reccommend that for a break-in program, but I know it worked for me that one time.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Renae View Post
                    Neatsfoot oil is rendered from cattle feet and legs, and neatsfoot oil compound is neatsfoot oil blended with mineral oil, a petroleum by-product. I think I would rather put lanolin from sheep's wool, beeswax from bee's glands, and a vegetable oil on my saddle
                    Where does it say I use Neatsfoot oil or even suggest she do that? I use Hydrophane, it is vegetable based. Where did anyone even mention Neatsfoot besides you?

                    I don't want stuff on my saddle like lanolin and beeswax it builds up and makes a mess of the leather.


                    • Original Poster


                      Ok, so it sounds like I'm on the right track. I'm mostly oiling the bottom of the saddle, and it is helping.

                      I will look at the other things mentioned to see which one might add the most grippiness.

                      Thanks for all the suggestions! It's scary working on something as expensive as a saddle and it helps to know what others have done.


                      • #12
                        I HATE how Neatsfoot feels and how it acts on leather. May be made from cows, but leaves leather feeling nasty. Just because it is traditional, lots of folks use it, doesn't mean it is a good product. Any harness or leather I have seen Neatsfooted, feels creepy. Dry top surfaces but oily, not smooth and soft like it should. Can be hard on stitching too, it can deteriorate over time. Much modern use of nylon or synthetic threads in products, instead of the old waxed linen threads.

                        I have used Lexol conditioner for many years, and it does a nice job. Does take several coats to soak in well, then buffed off with a rag. I have some very elderly tack that looks excellent, used often, in great shape. I use the same, several coats, on new leather, both sides, to get it comfortable to use. Lexol can make older things a little limp for a short time, but I never worried about them staying dead feeling. It dries out, leaving leather flexible, soft the way I like it.

                        I have been using Harness Honey recently. Seems to be as good as the Lexol, but only needs one coat. Does take a little drying time too, then buff off. A bit sticky on the hands, since I rub everything in by hand, no rags. I just bought a gallon more, lots of harness and some saddles to clean up now that winter is here.

                        Both Lexol and Harness Honey do GREAT on the hands for moisturizing! Husband refuses to condition leather, they take off his calluses, so his hands get sore while working! Neither has any effect on threads that I have seen over the years.

                        I sure would never leave Neatsfoot on my hands when done using it, nasty feeling like I poured 3-in-One oil on them. Maybe Neatsfoot, pure or compound is made from cows parts, sure feels like a petroleum product to me.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flypony74 View Post
                          Think about it....leather is skin, right? Do you oil your skin?
                          Why yes I do! This stuff is the best!!!



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by amastrike
                            *shrugs* I use Neatsfoot. I didn't mention it, because I figure Neatsfoot is a given when talking about oil and tack.
                            I don't care for it myself and there are many other oils besides Neatsfoot that can be used in place of it, including olive oil.

                            Regardless of what product I use to clean my tack I like to finish by polishing it with a good glycerine, which seems to add to the grippiness of the saddle.


                            • #15
                              If you live in the south, I'd avoid anything neatsfoot based. No one I know has had positive experiences with it. It molds quickly in the summer... unless you are lucky enugh to have AC in the tack room. I once lent my new bridle to someone up north, she neatsfooted it ( really think she soaked it), and I had to really WASH it to prevent molding after only two eves int he tack room!!! It's OK now, but I cringe when I think what I did to it to get the oil down to a reasonable level. It no longer molds, and it nicely soft (not limp, as it was when it returned).


                              • #16
                                I rubbed a bit of saddle soap on my Barnsby when it was newish and slick. (I bought it on consignment, and think it had been treated with something)

                                Just moistened the bar and rubbed it on with my fingers. Had to do it every ride for a while, but it worked fine.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks again for all the info! I'm liking the amount of oil the saddle has now, but it still feels stiff. Obviously riding in it will help that, but I might try some Lexol as well, as people seem to be saying that that makes it soft.
                                  I'm afraid to use saddle-tight or things like that on it yet, but I'd really like a little more grippy-ness soon.
                                  Have I mentioned that I *hate* breaking in saddles... hmm, that might be a great business for someone. Send them your new saddle, they break it in and send it back... as a business model it has some obvious flaws, but I can dream, right?


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by WombatCA View Post
                                    Have I mentioned that I *hate* breaking in saddles... hmm, that might be a great business for someone. Send them your new saddle, they break it in and send it back... as a business model it has some obvious flaws, but I can dream, right?
                                    This is why I buy used! The only problem is that you still have to get it broken in to *your* butt. I oil my tack--lots of thin coats of Blue Ribbon oil (loff it!) painted on with a paintbrush, let dry, repeat. After that I go with the glycerin soap method others have mentioned; that adds the grippiness.