Cleaning your saddle doesn’t have to be a long and disliked job. In fact, it will assure good re-sale value. Saddles are pre-oiled before purchase and dirt will accumulate over a period of time.
FIRST: Clean all brass areas with brasso.
SECOND: Wash your saddle with warm water and glycerine soap. Place the saddle over a rail. Fill a large bucket with warm water and using a thick piece of foam, douse the saddle with water and wash in a circular motion. Pay attention to the grime between and under the flaps. A soft bristle brush can be used on stitching to lift heavier grime.
THIRD: Let your saddle dry in the shade. Once dry, it may now look burred up. Using a small paint brush, oil your saddle, including all surfaces of the flaps with NEATSFOOT OIL.
- When washing your saddle, never fully submerge in water.
- Keep your saddle out of direct sunlight when not in use.
- We only recommend using Overseer Pure Neatsfoot oil, because it nourishes the fibres of the leather and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. Overseer Pure Neatsfoot oil is a natural product and has been used for hundreds of years. Overseer Pure Neatsfoot oil does not rot poly cotton threads used in the saddlery industry today.
- We sell Glycerine saddle soap and Pure Neatsfoot oil. See our Saddle Care Kit.
Maintaining a Counterlined Saddle
At the time you purchase your saddle, the hair is packed in the blue serge as tightly as possible, which makes it feel high in the front. After the first week's work it will start to settle down. After 6-12 months of riding, the hair will have settled more in the front than the back of the saddle and may give a rocking effect. At this stage, I would like to ‘top up’ the hair, by adding more hair on top of the original, giving a better shape which will now sit flatter on the horse. The ‘top up’ will settle back into shape and will last until the serge is worn out. If you can find the time to send the saddle back for its ‘top up’, the job is done straight away and sent back within five days. Be warned, other saddlers have done more harm than good during ‘top ups’, not allowing for the shape of the horse. I would prefer to do all the work on your Overseer saddle, then you know it’s correct.
Once the saddle serge is worn out, you will require a ‘Reserge’ to your saddle. When we reserge your saddle, it is pulled apart completely, which reveals any hidden problems you may not be aware of. The tree is exposed and checked. If new girth points are required they would be sewn directly to the webbings as they would have been as a new saddle.
- Make sure your saddle rack isn’t marking or dinting the hair in the serge.
- Try to keep the woollen serge as dry as possible, keep sweat to a minimum by having two saddle cloths. Use them on alternate days as dry cloths. The serge will last twice as long.
MASTER SADDLER – JASON SIMMONS