We recommend only cleaning the leather with “Leather New” or “Fiebings Liquid Glycerine” – liquid glycerine saddle soaps. You should not clean the saddle too often though, because even though these products do not darken the leather, with repeated use you will notice the leather turning more of a golden color. The majority of the time you can either vacuum off the saddle or brush it off with a soft brush or dry sheep’s wool pads.
When you start out with the best quality of leather available, like that of the leather used for Blue Ribbon saddles, you don’t need to condition the leather immediately. If you should use a product like Lexol or Neetsfoot Oil on the saddle, you will darken the color and/or end up with spots on the leather.
When you use the liquid glycerine soap, NEVER SPRAY IT DIRECTLY ON THE SADDLE – spray just a little on one of the sheep’s wool pads and rub that onto the leather portions of the saddle, rubbing well into the tooling pattern. Take the other dry piece of sheep’s wool and buff the leather well. When finished, put the sheep’s wool pad you used into a Ziplock bag. You can use that pad later to quickly buff off your saddle when it needs just a light cleaning.
We prefer Haggerty Silver Polish (a blue aerosol can) for cleaning and polishing the silver on your saddle. SPRAY IT ONTO A TERRY CLOTH TOWEL – do not spray it directly onto the silver because it will run down onto the leather, along with the tarnish. Rub the towel with the Haggerty on it over the silver. It will leave a light film. Polish the silver with a clean area of the towel, rotating it as it gets soiled. Do not keep using a dirty area of the towel – this will only rub the tarnish back into the engraving on the silver and it will not get clean. It is important to get ALL of the Haggerty off, so you might have to put some effort into it. If you accidentally get some black from the tarnish on the leather around the silver, you can usually remove it if you wipe the area with a terry cloth towel sprayed with Glass Plus or Windex.
If you want your saddle to remain light in color, it is best to cover it when not in use. The leather will darken from light unless covered. A saddle bag is a wise investment. When you put the saddle in the saddle bag, twist the fenders back the way they are when you are riding so that the natural twist we put in them when the saddle is made doesn’t flatten out.
The serial number for your saddle is located under the left fender, stamped into the leather of the skirt. We suggest you keep a record of this number for insurance purposes. If you send us an 8 x 10 colored photograph from one of your shows (sorry, but photo cannot be returned) we will try to use it in one of our ads. If we don’t have a photo we can’t use it!
We thank you for your business and if we can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to call. Enjoy your new saddle….with care, it will last a long time.