The best time to address saddle damage is before it happens.
Taking good care of yourself can add years to your lifespan, and that correlation also holds true for your saddle. Luckily, saddles demand less attention than we do, so their proper maintenance involves simply incorporating several steps into your horse-riding routine. This program of regular care, along with factors such as overall quality and frequency of use, will play a large role in determining how long your saddle lasts.
Saddle materials have natural enemies that rob them of their beauty, strength, and suppleness. Like our own hides, they suffer from the ravages of harsh usage and prolonged exposure to dirt, sweat, and irritants. Extremes of hot or cold temperatures damage leathers and synthetics just as they harm our skin, and it’s important to maintain the proper level of moisture.
Doing so involves a bit of a balancing act, especially if your saddle has a natural hide. Saddle leather that is too dry can become stiff or cracked, and it cannot replenish its lost oils as our skin can. Regular conditioning can keep it pliable, but too much oil can flood the fibers and turn your saddle into a dust and dirt magnet.
Synthetic saddles are easier to care for than leather ones, but they are not always as worry-free as their manufacturers claim. Even man-made materials need protection from rough handling, extreme temperatures, and surface irritants. There is such a wide range of different substances used in the synthetics industry that the life cycle of any one saddle depends upon its specific type and quality.
A saddle represents a sizeable investment, but regular care can ensure that it’s one worth making. By clicking on the appropriate link below, you can access our recommendations for storing and handling y0ur saddle as well as our suggestions for cleaning and conditioning it. No saddle lasts forever, but adopting these measures will help your saddle look, feel, and perform at its very best.