interesting leather observation


New Member
Feb 25, 2005
If you have an infestation of mildew or mould you should remove it before soaping the leather. A good mixture for killing and removing it so it doesn't return is one teaspoon of pine oil (a very strong disinfectant - ask for it at the pharmacy counter) in one pint of warm water. Wear rubber gloves. Dampen a cloth in the liquid and rub the leather well. Let it dry thoroughly, preferably in sunshine, before soaping and you shouldn't be bothered again. Wrap your saddle in an old COTTON sheet and use a cotton pillow case to wrap your bridle for storage. Old towels are good to but not anything made of a synthetic material. Those nylon saddle cover things are not a good idea as the air doesn't circulate properly and the leather can't dry properly.

It is no accident that the old tack rooms had open fireplaces - gentle warmth and fresh air (and a certain amount of sulphur in the atmoshere from the coal fire) are the enemy of mould and mildew. However, a hot, dry atmosphere will dry out leather.

When you clean tack don't just wipe over with a soapy sponge. Work the soap well into the leather. Good quality saddle soap "feeds" and preserves the leather and helps keep mildew away.

And now for the disgusting bit. I was always taught to spit in the saddle soap to moisten as it helps to prevent mould. Something to do with the enzymes or chemicals in spit. Works for me!
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Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
Couldn't aggree more, those dratted nylon, plastic saddle covers are a satanic invention, they make saddles rot in thier own sweat.