Sky Saddle Company
The Care and Feeding of your Saddle
"To retain its value & performance, your saddle
must be kept clean & oiled"
may or may not need"
Wool pads made of natural lambs wool
Oil - neatsfoot or olive oil work well. Use "pure oil"
A "Crock Pot", the oil must be heated to about 150 degrees.
A candy thermometer, to monitor the oil temperature.
Soft cotton rags, sponges, a bucket, clean warm water.
Soap, a mild disk soaps works best.
A scrub brush with soft bristles, natural bristles are better.
Inspect your saddle for damage after each use. Dry dusting
is good, use a wool pad to remove loose dust. If compressed air is available,
it can also be used (60 lb. pressure).
Areas that become "sweated" (i.e.: back of the fenders)
need frequent washing. To wash use warm water with a small amount of soap.
Scrub with a wool pad, sponge or soft brush. Rinse well with plenty of
water and allow to dry (do no leave your saddle in direct sunlight when
wet). Spot cleaning of the sweated areas is encouraged, wet clean the saddle
on an as needed basis only.
Preparing the Oil:
"an important step"
Warming the oil is the secret to oiling leather. Cold
oil will coagulate on the surface and leave a greasy, waxy residue. The
warmed oil penetrates the leather and leaves no residue. Ideally, use a
"Crock Pot" to heat and store your oil. This saves the mess of having to
pour the oil into other containers. In any case, keep and reuse your oil.
As long as it is kept clean it can be used. For those who don't have access
to a Crock Pot, a pan on the stove or a dish in the microwave will work.
(I do not recommend these methods). PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Heat
the oil to between 150 and 180 degrees. My Crock Pot on low takes 2 1/2
hours to reach 180 degrees.
Hot oil is HOT! Please be
careful! Use suitable containers and devices only!
Applying the Oil:
"the main point"
Warm the saddle in preparation for oiling. Use the edge
of a wool pad, spread the oil in a circular motion. Treat the entire saddle
evenly, do not apply more oil to some areas and less to others. Light coats
a preferred to one heavy coat. Pull the fenders down to oil the top of
the stirrup leathers, do not pull them out as they are difficult
to replace. Padded seats and some leathers may require different
care. After treatment let the saddle stand for a while, any streaking will
even out. Go back over light areas or the entire saddle as needed.
Latigos generally require little oil. When needed, lightly oil the grain
side only, wax the back side with paraffin or candle wax to prevent sticking.
Keep the saddle warm for a few days to allow the oil to move through the
leather. A word of moderation. You can over oil leather, repeated
heavy oiling isn't necessary. Two or three light coats work better than
one heavy coat.