· Leather Care,Horses,Equestrian,Tack,Saddles

Taking care of your equipment is critical - especially when that equipment is made of leather. It is affected by temperature, humidity, sweat, and dirt just like our skin. You wouldn't go a whole week without taking a shower in the summer, would you? Without the proper care, leather can become dry, brittle, and discolored. Taking care of your tack will prevent any mishaps as well as extend the life of your saddle, boots, and other tack.

  • The best way to maintain the leather of saddles, bridles, and girths is to wipe off any dust and sweat immediately after use with a barely moistened cloth or sponge. Follow with a thin layer of glycerin soap which closes the pores and keeps the leather soft without making it sticky. There are also several leather care and conditioning products available on the market - do your research and follow any manufacturer recommendations before using any of these products. If it's been a while since you conditioned your leather and you find it's a little dry use a thing coat of warmed Neatsfoot Oil. 
  • Don't forget about your bit when wiping down your bridle! Hard, leftover food particles are very abrasive to your horse's mouth. Simply wipe or rinse your bits with cool water. If you use any sort of polish on bits make sure to rinse thoroughly as to avoid any being ingested by your horse. (Nvr-dull is amazingly convenient. All you have to do is pull bits of the saturated cotton from the tin and wipe away any tarnish! Works great for stirrup irons, too!) 

Some of you may have tall boots or may be anxiously awaiting your new SmartBoots™! Below are some specific tips on taking care of your tall boots and their zippers.

  • As mentioned above, clean any surface dirt and grime with a cool, moist cloth after every use. Dirt and sand is very abrasive and can lead to your boot drying out faster. 
  • Use products specifically designed for boots! Check websites like Dover Saddlery or SmartPak! Effax brand boot polish comes with great reviews! After cleaning, apply polish and buff with a cloth or boot polishing brush for shiny results! 
  • If your boots get wet it might be tempting to place them next to a heat source but never do this! It is really damaging to the leather. It's best to let them dry at room temperature and to make sure to let them dry completely before wearing them again. 
  • Boot trees are an equestrian's best friend! Boot trees not only allow boots to keep their shape when not being worn but they also help extend the life of your zipper! 
  • And speaking of zippers - never force your zipper closed and make sure the zipper is completely unzipped before sliding your foot into your boot. Grab an old toothbrush to remove any dirt from the teeth. Should your zipper ever get stuck, grab some Zipper Ease which is a wax-like substance that you rub over the zipper like a crayon which lubricates the teeth for easy zipping. 
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