It’s official! Autumn is here and nature is starting to show its Fall colors. The weather has finally cooled off, making it just perfect for riding. Fall also marks the end of show season in our area and time to go back to schooling for next year’s blue ribbons. Here at The Riding Store, you’ll see the change of season as well. More of our Fall sportswear is arriving every day. Ariat, Goode Rider, Joules, Kerrits and Horseware are already here and we are expecting Irideon casual wear along with more hoodies and casual wear in the next week or two.
Autumn is a good time of year to carefully clean and go over your saddle, bridle & other tack, looking for wear & tear. Consider whether it is time to replace or repair items that are worn out. Take advantage of the of these months to look for upgrades to your equipment and to get your tack in tip-top shape.
The Riding Store has a wide range of leather care products and very often our customers ask “which one works best?” The answer is not that one works best, but that some products may work differently than others and may serve one person’s purpose better than another’s. For example, a saddle that has been cleaned frequently during the show season with an all-in-one product needs a different level of care than a saddle that has been used frequently over the summer without regular cleaning.
Glycerin saddle soaps, such as Fiebing’s, Belvoir or Hydrophane should be a staple in your tack box. Used with a little water & small sponge to work up a fine lather, these remove the buildup of dirt, sweat, oils and conditioners left behind from a busy summer. They are gentle to the leather and effective at cleaning well cared for tack. Glycerin saddle soaps are available in solid or spray form.
Deep cleansing products such as Effax Leder-Combi or Leather Therapy Leather Wash are especially effective when there is an excessive buildup of dirt & residue or if the tack has been left in a damp environment and shows signs of mold or mildew. These cleaners should not be used on a very frequent basis as they can be drying to some leather when used to often. Always follow with a conditioner or saddle oil after using this type of product.
All-in-one cleaners like Leather CPR and Horseman’s One Step are meant to clean and condition in one step, which is convenient and very effective for daily care. Some of these products contain detergents that if allowed to build up over time can damage the leather, so follow the directions and periodically go back to basics and use your glycerine soap for a good thorough cleansing. Then follow up with a good saddle oil or leather balsam to preserve the suppleness of leather.