Friday, October 16, 2009

Leather Care, Part 4 - Do’s & Don’ts: An Overview

DO clean your saddle after every ride.
DO NOT oil suede
DO use a clean sponge for applying different products
DO NOT over oil your leather goods
DO inspect your equipment each time you clean it. This is a great opportunity to look for loose stitching, stress cracks or other damage to the leather and also any damaged hardware.

DO NOT "kill your leather with kindness"

- Conditioner and Oil can be overused. Leather that is overly saturated with oils will tend to stretch more when stress is applied to it. I always recommend a light coat of oil or conditioner when applying it. My rule of thumb is you can always put more on if you feel it needs more once dry but, it is very difficult to remove.

DO NOT soak leather in anything…..water, oil, conditioners. The fibers of the leather will absorb more liquid than necessary, which can cause premature wear & damage to the equipment.


  1. What do you recommend to clean leather after a ride? Especially if you ride daily?

  2. Hello Pony Girl,
    Thanks for your comment. It is important to clean your equipment after each ride. I would recommend that you clean the leather with a specific leather cleaner to remove the sweat and dirt. Follow up with a light coating of leather conditioner. This is a 2 step process, clean and condition. There are many good leather care products on the market that will work for you. Check out our Care of saddlery guide.”>Leather Care Guide at

  3. Hi there, thank you for this great resource. Both of my Hermes saddles moved back east w/ me and were stored in a cool, clean tack room and rarely used for a couple of years. They've both developed spotting on the seat and flaps like watermarks or damage - I don't think they're fixable, but is there anything I can do to lessen them or prevent them happening again? Could I have over oiled them or used something damaging? Would it be possibe to send pics of the damage to you? Thanks!

  4. Hello Anonymous,
    Thank you for your comments!! There are several causes for spotting on leather. First, something that has spilled on the leather and dryed. Raindrops that dry on the leather. Or in your case probably some mold or mildew. Leather that has been stored for any length of time is very likely to develop some mold or mildew. This can be caused by not giving it a good cleaning before storage. Putting it in a saddle bag or trunk which prevents good air circulation, or even just having it sitting in a tack room with other equipment that has mold or mildew on it. Even equipment that is in storage should be periodically cleaned and conditioned to preserve the leather and prevent the occurance of mold or mildew. If the staining is from mold or mildew your best bet would be to clean it well and see where you are after that. You may have to try several cleanings to see if it will make a difference. If you would like to send along some pictures you may do so to and maybe I can tell exactly what is going on. Good luck.

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