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How to care for your leather tack

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Anita Jackel-Deggan | 0 comments

Is Cleaning & Conditioning Your Leather Tack Necessary?

Every equestrian knows that keeping their leather riding tack clean is an essential part of basic horsemanship. The longevity of any leather riding tack is directly related to the care and maintenance it receives, as well as, the frequency and type of riding it endures. Consistent care of saddles, bridles and other riding tack will extend the life of all your leather items. After each use, leather equipment should be wiped down with a damp sponge, paying close attention to the underside to remove dirt, sweat and grime build-up. Many have equated the care of leather goods to the care of your own skin- it must be kept clean, soft and moisturized. We recommend this easy four step process.

Cleaning your riding tack in four easy steps:

  • Soap: Use a wet tack sponge and your preferred saddle soap or leather cleaner.  Work up a foam lather that will surround the dirt on your equipment and loosen it from the surface.
  • Rinse: Clean the dirt and soap away using a sponge. Make sure the sponge is cleaned thoroughly in fresh water.  Make sure all soap is removed.
  • Dry:  Let the saddle air dry for a few minutes, or towel-dry if necessary to remove any excess water.
  • Condition: Choose a fresh, clean sponge for the finishing work as it is difficult to fully clean the dirt off of a used sponge.  One of the most important parts of caring for your leather tack is to condition the tack. After cleaning, apply a small amount of leather conditioner with a fresh, dry sponge. Make sure that the leather conditioner you choose is of good quality, and includes natural ingredients, such as jojoba oil and all-natural beeswax. Be sure that your leather conditioner is free of harmful chemicals that can wear down the leather and the stitching over time.

Why use leather conditioner on riding tack?

  1. A good conditioner will lubricate the leather fibers. When you apply a good leather conditioner, such as Super VII Leather Balsam, to your leather riding tack, the fibers will soak up the conditioner, much like our skin soaks up lotion. The leather fibers absorb the lubricating oils and moisture, which keeps the leather fit and flexible.
  2. A good conditioner will protect the surface of the leather from stains. The beautiful feel, smell and look of natural leather comes from letting the natural beauty show through without much surface color.  The problem is that most exposed leather fibers are very absorbent.  Adding a good leather conditioner product to the surface will create a barrier of protection for the absorbent leather fibers. Leather conditioners that contain beeswax, such as Super VII Leather Balsam, provide excellent, all-natural protection from stains.
  3. The right conditioner can change the patina of your leather. Finally, a good leather conditioner can deepen the color of your leather creating a beautiful patina, while also protecting the fibers from damage.


Are all leather conditioners created equal?

The simple answer is no. As with most aspects of life you get what you pay for. Finding a good quality leather conditioner may present several challenges. Many leather conditioners contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that may actually damage or weaken the integrity of your leather riding tack over time. It is essential to know what is in the leather conditioner you choose for this very reason.

Leather riding tack is an investment, so make sure that you are using the best leather conditioner to add durability to the integrity of the leather.

We recommend using Super VII Leather Balsam to condition your leather tack and equipment. Made with all natural beeswax and jojoba oil, Super VII Leather Balsam naturally protects, waterproofs, restores, and moisturizes leather. The leather balsam can be used to breathe new life into old riding tack or even prevent age and dirt from ruining your new investment.


Have you used Super VII Leather Balsam to condition and protect your leather goods?  If so, let us know how you liked it!  If not, try it today!  We promise you will love it.  Order here:  http://www.indiansummerleather.com/products/super-vii-leather-balsam

Indian Summer Leather Design produces fine leather purses and bags for individuals who love practical and versatile designs.  We provide a vast array of uniquely designed hand made leather bags.

Super VII Leather Balsam is made in Germany, and Indian Summer Leather Design is the sole distributor of this amazing leather conditioner in North America.

For more information about proper leather care, or to purchase Super VII Leather Balsam, visit our online store or email:  anita@indiansummerleather.com

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