Take care of your leather like a pro! Here are 5 tips for leather care, and if you follow these, your tack will look amazing for many years. Keep in mind the timing is a suggestion. Your schedule may vary based on where you live (humid – dry), how often you use your tack, and the conditions you ride in. Adjust accordingly.
TIP ONE: CLEANING (daily)
Each time you use your leather good it will need some kind of cleaning, even if it means only removing a light layer of dust after a quick ride in the ring. When thoroughly cleaning your leather, first remove all loose particles by simply wiping it down with a soft towel, or if you have mud and sweat, use a damp sponge. Then use a neutral pH cleaner so it won’t strip the leather or dry it out. We recommend Amerigo Soft Clean. This non-soap, alcohol-free, cleaner is made specifically to work with the structure of leather work; to clean deeply but delicately, without drying the leather. Apply with a non-abrasive sponge. Use this product lightly every time your tack needs cleaning.
TIP TWO: CONDITIONING (every 8-12 weeks)
A good vegetable-tanned leather retains natural oils in its fibers, ensuring a rich, supple, strong and long-lasting leather product if well cared for. The conditioner’s job is to replenish these essential oils into the structure of the leather fibers. While the leather is still damp, its pores are still open. That’s the time to apply a light conditioning coat to both sides of the leather with a penetrating neutral pH leather conditioner. We recommend Amerigo Soft Oil. This product protects bridles and saddles from sweat and humidity. We recommend an application before initial use for new leather products. Then regular application (every 8-12 weeks) will help maintain the suppleness of the leather. Apply to clean leather with a soft dry cloth.
IMPORTANT: Do not over-apply conditioners or oils, as leather can only absorb so much before a sticky build-up will clog the leather’s pores.
TIP THREE: BUFFING (every 8-12 weeks)
After the saddle has been cleaned and conditioned, let it dry completely. Then buff it with a clean cloth. This brings out a beautiful luster – just like buffing your car after it has been waxed.
TIP FOUR: PROTECTING (every 4-8 weeks)
Occasionally your leather will need deep protection. Especially to protect it from water, mud and other harsh elements. We recommend use of Amerigo Soft Balm. This balm is remarkably protective and moisturizing with a waterproof effect, plus it keeps leather clean, supple, and looking new. Use it only occasionally, after you’ve cleaned the leather. Apply with a soft cloth, allow to dry, and polish with a clean cloth. This balm also provides a comfortable grip for the rider. 🙌
TIP FIVE: STORING
If you do not intend to use your tack for a while, clean and condition it thoroughly, then keep it covered in a climate-controlled area. Don’t forget to periodically examine your tack for signs of mold growth, then condition it with a light application of a leather conditioner to prevent molds from forming.
When you take it out of storage, check it thoroughly before you put it on your horse. Leather that has dried and cracked could break at any time, creating a potentially dangerous situation. If you discover any portion of the leather has started to develop cracks, do not take chances – replace those parts.