Tack Cleaning

JayneW

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Dec 3, 2017
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Out of interest, what products do people use to clean and protect their leather tack?
We now loan a pony and his tack needs a bit of TLC as has dry and cracked leather on the saddle. Is it salvageable? So many products available I’m looking for recommendations. Thank you
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Out of interest, what products do people use to clean and protect their leather tack?
We now loan a pony and his tack needs a bit of TLC as has dry and cracked leather on the saddle. Is it salvageable? So many products available I’m looking for recommendations. Thank you
I'm a traditionalist - saddle soap and neatsfoot. Haven't found anything that does any better. Find it soothing to do as well!
 
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JayneW

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Thanks for your reply. I’ve read about neatsfoot. Do you use it every time you clean your tack?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I use various ones. Dont have a favourite. As long as the tack gets something occasionally. I should do it more really.
Interesting about neatsfoot. That's one I dont use. I was under the impression it rots the stitching so I've stayed away from it. Mind a few others I swear have rotted the leather.
It's funny that when I was at the yard my bridle and stirrup leathers always looked more tired and cracked than other people's. But then again I also used mine most days where as others only used there a couple of times a week.
 
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Huggy

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Thanks for your reply. I’ve read about neatsfoot. Do you use it every time you clean your tack?
Yes - it keeps it lovely and soft. I have to add, I'm a bit of a slob when it comes to cleaning tack. Really don't do it often enough. :rolleyes:
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I use various ones. Dont have a favourite. As long as the tack gets something occasionally. I should do it more really.
Interesting about neatsfoot. That's one I dont use. I was under the impression it rots the stitching so I've stayed away from it. Mind a few others I swear have rotted the leather.
It's funny that when I was at the yard my bridle and stirrup leathers always looked more tired and cracked than other people's. But then again I also used mine most days where as others only used there a couple of times a week.
I've heard that too, but I don't clean my tack as often as I should, so maybe that's why I don't have a problem. Having said that, I've used the same bridle for 25 years, and it's still going strong, stitching wise!
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
I have the Carr and Day spray cleaner and their saddle soap too. I used to like Effol but can't stand the smell of it now so binned that one! I have neatsfoot - never had a problem with it though apparently it rots leather stitching? It isn't that often I do tack cleaning................
 

Kite_Rider

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May 18, 2009
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Saddle soap and Effax leather balm for me. I do have a tin of Kocholine for any leather that gets really dried out.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I might try the cod liver oil - someone (Yes, you, family dog) knocked my tin of neatsfoot that I've had for years, over in the garage, and it's almost all leaked out.
 
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JayneW

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Interesting replies. Has anyone used the Leather Milk Healing Balm? I read about it on the internet and it supposedly helps repair really dried and cracked leather. I’ve ordered some but am wondering if I’ve been sucked in by the advertising when I could have got some COD liver oil for a fraction of the cost . Knew I should have asked for recommendations on here first.
 

hepsibah

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Mar 4, 2008
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Guisborough, Cleveland.
Oh, oh, I know! A saddler friend of mine makes her own. If you have the time to make it, it's the biz.

Curriers Grease Recipie from Karin Hackett

75% Tallow (750ml) Beef fat, lamb fat or lard
25% Neatsfoot (250ml)
1 x 50g lump of Beeswax
Put it all in a pan and heat it, stirring it together whilst it melts. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Once it's all blended, let it cool. Once cool, scoop it into a sealable container.
To use it, best used warm - heat a little up and apply mostly to flesh side/underneath side of leather with bare hands if possible. It helps penetrate the leather.
You need very little at at time - a little goes a LONG way.
Once it is dry, which could take up to three days, give it a good rub with a bit of terry towelling to buff it up.

I have made and used this and it's amazing, my leatherwork is as soft as butter.
 
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JayneW

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Thank you Hepsibah. It would be good to make my own. Only issue I can see is that I can only have the saddle overnight from a Sunday to Tuesday. I won’t have the three days to let it dry. Can I apply less of it over a period of weeks until it has the effect needed?
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I bought a leather balm to feed the leather when I had a side saddle and then the old fashioned block stuff.

Sorry to say these days it's an after use wipe over, but a spray here and there. I think if you generally keep your eye on things, wipe over so not putting back damp or caked in mud things will last.
When I change saddles in August it all gets a thorough clean.
 

Sparky Lily

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Nov 27, 2008
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The problem with neatsfoot oil is that it weakens and stretches the leather, so not a good idea if the leather is already cracked. Look for a fat based leather treatment/conditioner and work it in well.
 
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Jul 19, 2019
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Merthyr Tydfil
After 40+ years of being a dedicated fan of Carr&Day&Martin Belvoir products I have discovered something I had never heard of called “URAD” C08D943D-67AA-4C9F-8B35-27AE75B0173E.jpeg when a friend brought a few tubs back from a trip to America.
It has opened my eyes to a completely new and amazing product that has brought life back to saddlery that has been long since forgotten about and left in the barn to become home to all manner of creepy crawly things.
After I had used it all I found it pretty hard to buy in the UK so I was well happy when I found it on amazon. There are several products to chose from.
Shoe and leather cleaner, Horse tack cleaner, Tenderly, specifically to make hard brittle leather supple and the one I am currently using is “Mr JoJo” waterproof conditioning wax
It’s really well worth a try and you might be surprised at the results.
 
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