Leather care is one of the many barn chores that often slips through the cracks. Although it’s important to take care of your leather products year round, it’s especially crucial during the hot and dusty summer months.
With so many different products, there isn’t one perfect formula or timeline for caring for your tack. However, most of the popular brands that we know recommend daily cleaning after use and regular conditioning, that can be adjusted with the seasons. By choosing a leather cleaner with glycerin, you can ensure that you’re not dehydrating your products while cleaning them.
Clean daily after use with a damp cloth or sponge and a quality leather cleaner (no harsh chemicals!)
Once dry, apply polish to protect from water damage and keep them looking beautiful
Leather conditioner should only be used if they were exposed to extreme water damage or very occasionally (once every several months) to avoid making the leather too soft and creating a sagging effect
For saddles & other tack:
Same cleaning routine as your boots! Daily, with a glycerin-based soap
Condition approximately every 2 months if you ride 4-6 times per week or every 6 months if you ride less often
During the summer, increase your conditioning routine when the tack seems dry due to the extra heat (perhaps every 3-4 weeks)
Note: be sure that you never condition your tack without cleaning it first, because if you condition it while dusty, the dust particles might get into the softened leather and degrade it
In general, you’ll always want to consult with the brand of the product you’re buying to ensure best care practices, but this general guide can help you stay on track!