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Re: [RC] [RC] question for those riding in leather saddles - Sisu West Ranch

We both use leather saddles that we purchased in the early '90's. I also have, as backup saddles, ones that were purchased used in the '70's. They routinely get wet with rain, sponge water, and mud. Routine, traditional, leather care has kept them fine. They get wet much less often now since we moved from the Midwest. I think the key is to let them dry slowly. Not to let them be in an enclosed area wet for mildew to form and replace the oils periodically.

1. We fitted the saddle compartment of horse trailer with exhaust fan. Used a 12 V. computer fan. This kept the humidity and thus the chance of mold down until we could take the saddles out at home.
2. When a saddle got really muddy, washed it with ivory soap and soft water.
3. At the first sign of mildew, wiped the area with a dilute water solution of copper sulphate and allowed to dry. I am embarrassed to admit that I never made a particular concentration, just put a some crystals into water to make a pleasingly blue solution. Please don't ask where to purchase copper sulfate, my supply leaked out of my employer's stockroom.
4. Periodically, usually in the winter, re-oil the leather. I am terminally cheap, so I use Neat's-foot compound and not brand name leather conditioners. After oiling, I saddle soap. Sometimes when I am feeling ambitious I also wax with boot polish..

I am aware that there are special leathers that aren't supposed to need oiling. I have no experience with them, and remain a bit skeptical. I am also aware that many swear that higher priced leather conditioners are better, and that pure Neats-foot oil is better than Neats-foot compound. I personally have no reason to change since my saddles are doing fine the way I do it.

Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875

(406) 642-9640



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RE: [RC] [RC] question for those riding in leather saddles, Ranelle Rubin