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SADDLE CARE INSTRUCTIONS


The most important aspect of saddle care is that the life of the leather depends upon the care you give it. Most saddles experience the tough rigors of the environment, and proper care is essential to prolong their life.


saddle care Tucker saddle on horse getting rigged

LEATHER CARE

• BRAND NEW: Every new Tucker saddle has been oiled and then finished with a protective finish, which means you don’t need to oil it for about six months. If you’re riding a lot in dry or variable weather conditions, you should oil it sooner.

 • Oil with the best oils and leather conditioners available to you. Use specific leather care products made for cleaning and conditioning leather and follow the instructions – use regularly to keep leather soft and supple. We like liquid, glycerin-based saddle soap to remove mud, grime, mold, and mildew. Follow with a leather conditioner. We don’t recommend animal fats, olive oil, or mink oil as it can darken the leather.

• Show or light colored saddles: oil the back of the leather and not the top because the leather can darken. Make sure you’re using a leather conditioner product that is specifically for light leather and that it will not darken the leather.


saddle care overhead shot of seating leather on Tucker saddle

SEATING LEATHER

SEATING LEATHER: Remove dust with a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth and water.

• Blot spots immediately, do not let them soak into the leather-many stains will tend to disappear a few days after they have occurred. Some darkening can be expected.

• Let dry naturally-exposure to intense heat sources is not recommended.

• SUEDE: Use only a cleaner specially designed for the care of suede leather. Suede should be dusted or vacuum cleaned free of dust and dirt, brushed with a stiff brush to bring back the nap, and spot cleaned with a damp cloth. A conditioner of any kind would probably “glue” the nap and you would lose the texture of the suede. Most saddle leather products tell you not to use it on suede.


saddle care close up of back cantle on Tucker saddle

SILVER

SILVER: Tucker silver is sterling silver electroplated and has a protective finish to prevent tarnishing-clean with a damp cloth only. Abrasive or chemical cleaners should not be used because they could result in removal of the protective finish.

• With normal use, saddle silver will be subject to scratches which may allow tarnishing. Use a soft cloth to buff away any tarnish.


saddle care person rigging up Tucker saddle

CLEANING DOS AND DON'TS

ROUTINE CLEANING:Unbuckle every buckle on your saddle and tack. Before you start cleaning, remove as much dust and dirt as possible with an air compressor or damp cloth. Leather is a natural material with pores so removal of debris will prevent grinding it into the crevices. Ideally, your saddle should be wiped down after each ride.

• Use specific leather care products made for cleaning and conditioning leather and follow the instructions – use regularly to keep leather soft and supple. We like a liquid, glycerin based saddle soap to remove mud, grime, mold, and mildew such as Doc Tucker’s Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. Follow with a leather conditioner.

 DO NOT: use cleaning products unless specifically designed for leather.

• DO NOT USE: baby wipes, olive or mink oil, turpentine, mineral spirits, waxes, silicones, solvents, bleach


saddle care person rigging up a Tucker saddle on their horse

STORAGE & REHABILITATION

STORAGE: After your saddle has been thoroughly cleaned, oiled, conditioned, and air dried, a climate-controlled area is the best place to keep equipment when not in use. If that’s not available, choose a cool, dry location away from heat and sunlight.

• Never place leather tack in a plastic bag or airtight plastic trunk as this keeps the leather from breathing.

REHABILITATION: Mold and mildew can form on leather tack when exposed to high humidity.

• Wipe down the leather everywhere you see the mold/mildew with a glycerin based saddle soap.

• You’ll be stirring up mold spores when cleaning the tack, so tackle this task outdoors or in a well-ventilated environment. It may take a couple of applications depending on the amount of mold on the saddle.

• Let it dry and then apply a leather conditioner.


saddle care Tucker saddle on paint horse

7 SECRETS OF SADDLE CARE

• Do not store saddles in plastic bags or other non-porous covers.

• Allow a wet or damp saddle to air-dry naturally away from sources of heat. Apply a little leather conditioner when the saddle is nearly dry to restore flexibility. Condition thoroughly when the saddle is completely dried.

• Do not store saddles in plastic bags or other non-porous covers.

• To prevent mildew, protect the saddle from excessive humidity. In a dry environment, regularly condition the leather to prevent the saddle from drying out and cracking.

• Do not use waxes, silicone, or other preparations that impair the ability of leather to breathe.

• Greases should not be used because they seal the pores, picking up additional dust and dirt and slowing drying time.

• Never use caustic household chemicals to clean leather. Avoid preparations that contain alcohol, turpentine, or mineral spirits.

• Do not use mink or animal fats. They will darken leather. Animal fat can also turn rancid, causing the stitching and leather to rot.