Here at Peter Horobin Saddlery, we pride ourselves on using the finest leathers to skilfully craft some of the most beautiful, comfortable saddles that money can buy. We take the greatest care in making saddles to suit all riders riding in all disciplines. However, once you purchase your new or second hand Peter Horobin saddle, the care should not stop there!!! The old saying of ‘Look after It and It will look after you’ is most certainly appropriate when it comes to talking about your saddle. The more time we spend cleaning and nourishing our saddles, the longer your investment will last and the more beautiful it will look.
There are a few important steps that we believe you should follow and a few handy tips and hints along the way that will help you take care of your saddle just like we do here at PHS. Try it out at home and see the results for yourself!
At our saddlery, we like to do things a little differently. We believe that following the steps in order, not only helps get rid of dirt and sweat from your saddle, but they will help nourish it in the best way possible to keep your saddle in tip top condition.
Step one: Oiling your Saddle
Whether your saddle is old or new, oiling the saddle first will help nourish the saddle and bring any dirt to the surface. First, pour the amount you think you might need of your Peter Horobin oil into a bowl. Pop in a paintbrush- you can purchase a nice soft one from any hardware store. It really helps control the spread of the oil and also get it into any hard to reach places. Using the bowl will also help minimise any dirt or grime getting back into your bottle and will eventually stop the spread of old dirt back onto your saddle. Oil everywhere. All soft and hard parts of your saddle should be oiled, except the girth points as we don’t want them to stretch.
Do not forget to turn your saddle over! The underside is just as important and the sweat flaps absorb so much sweat and dirt from your horse’s coat so do not forget to do them too! Cover the saddle liberally and evenly in oil. Use your paintbrush for those parts that you might not be able to reach.
Once you are done, allow your saddle to dry. This lets the oil fully soak in to all parts of the leather. If, after an hour or so, the saddle still shows signs of excess oil, just give it a wipe using an old rag. It means the leather has had enough and that oil is surplus to requirements. Now you can move on to step two!!
Step Two: Grab your soap!
We liken the next step very much akin to ‘washing your hands’. You have brought all the dirt to the surface by oiling your saddle, now you need to wash it all off, just as you would do for your own hands. Every pot of Peter Horobin Saddle Soap comes with its very own sponge. Dab your sponge in some water. Then transfer it to the pot of saddle soap and give it a good scrub around the pot. It is important to get a decent covering on your sponge and to get a good lather going, so that when you apply it to the saddle the dirt will be washed right out. Do not just focus on the main parts. Really get into the stitch linings too. A lot of dirt can build up here with every day use, so make sure you get into all the little grooves and spaces too. You really want to give your saddle a good scrub.
Do not forget to do the underside of the saddle! It is so important to remove all dirt and sweat from the underside so that grease does not build up under there. Also, if you like showing or doing dressage, cleaning thoroughly under this part will keep your beautiful white saddle pads beautiful and white!
Once your saddle is all soapy, get yourself another old rag. Wipe away all the excess soap on the leather. Do not wash it off. You will really be able to see the dirt come out at this stage. Now, just leave your saddle to dry.
We have just “washed our hands”. Now we want to moisturise to keep the leather looking healthy and nourished.
Step Three: Moisturise
As everyone knows, looking after yourself and your skin, particularly when you are outdoors so much, is very important. That is why we moisturise our hands after we wash- it helps put moisture back into our skin after the work, weather and washing takes it out. Think of your saddle as skin. Let’s be honest, it is just that!
Again, grab an old rag. Take your pot of Peter Horobin Saddle Balsam and rub your cloth into it, getting a good amount on the cloth. Clean everywhere- do not leave anywhere out. Even clean your girth points this time. Run your cloth down the length of the point right to the tip. This will moisturise those parts without softening and stretching the leather.
Even do the underside!! Just because you will be riding on top of the seat, does not mean that we should ignore the underside! Rub the balsam all over here too. It will keep it nice and supple and healthy looking.
Let the balsam absorb by leaving your saddle to soak it all in for an hour or two. Then go out and enjoy yourself! Saddles provide us with the means to go out and ride free. Make sure you look after yours so that you can continue to do this over and over and over again through the years. Looking after your saddle will mean you can be proud of your purchase for years to come.
Remember; your saddle is an investment. The better you take care of it the longer it will last. That is why purchasing a new Peter Horobin Saddle is so important. The quality of the leather, coupled with beautiful craftsmanship and long lasting love and care will mean that it won’t just be your horse that will be comfortable. You will be too. Peter Horobin Saddles. Wear with pride.