|Care of Bridles and Leather|
Modern leather requires little preparation. It is usually beneficial to condition the leather prior to first use and again after the first week or so with a good cream or ointment-type conditioner to make it less inclined to crack and to retain it's suppleness. Rub the conditioner into all parts of the leather with your fingers, particularly where the leather bends and around the buckles and holes, gently rolling the leather as you go. If the rider prefers a darker colour, the judicious use of a quality oil can speed up that process, but test the oil for the amount of colour change on a small area first, and remember that less is more. Over-oiling causes leather to weaken and stretch and should particularly be avoided on items such as stirrup leathers, saddle billets and nosebands, which are generally under some pressure. You can always reapply more after it is fully absorbed.
Ideally, your leather goods should be wiped off with a damp cloth after every use to remove dust, grease and sweat, paying particular attention to the buckle ends, holes, and where the leather bends back on itself. Once every 2-3 uses, we recommend conditioning with an ointment or cream conditioner to replace any lost oils and to keep the leather supple.
If you are not an 'every ride' maintenance person, you will need to do a more thorough cleaning and conditioning periodically. After undoing all the buckles, clean the leather thoroughly using your preferred saddle soap, rinse the excess off with a barely damp cloth and allow it to dry out of any direct heat source. Once dry, apply conditioner as needed.
|If you need to keep tack clean and mold-free for an extended period of time, try cleaning and conditioning it before storing it in a picnic cooler. The cooler is a 'closed environment' and also prevents mice from getting at what's inside.|
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