Caring for the leather in your saddle

Prevention is the best cure for leather, regular care will dramatically increase the life of your saddle. Remember to protect your leather before exposure to sun, rain and sweat. 

Assess the level of leather care required

Look for signs the leather in your saddle is starting to become dry – has the colour started to fade, is the leather feeling more stiff and boardy, is the surface grain in-tact?

Depending on the condition of your saddle, you may require a different level of treatment. Below we explore:

  • Regular leather care
  • Intensive repair
  • Restoration 

Regular light leather care

  1. Prepare the leather using a glycerine saddle soap and damp cloth to remove surface dirt and oil.
  2. Protect your leather by applying a wax-based balsam and gently working it into the leather using a soft cloth and circular motions.
  3. Store your saddle with care in a dry and ventilated room, with a dust cover. Ensure the panels of your saddle are supported by the saddle rack and are not causing uneven pressure, or indentations.

 Intensive Overnight Repair

  1. Prepare the leather with glycerine saddle soap and a damp cloth.
  2. Liberally apply a wax-based balsam over the leather, work it into the leather and allow to absorb into the leather overnight.
  3. Use a soft cloth to buff away any excess remaining on the surface of the leather the next morning. 

Restoration Program

Using more product, more often and by really working it into the leather, we aim to replenish the fat content for improved suppleness and to recreate a surface grain.

Following an intensive overnight repair, continue to apply a light balsam before each ride. The action of riding will help work those fats into the high-wear areas and recreate that surface grain.


Importance of regular maintenance.
Top: regular maintenance with balsam applied to the saddle after every 20 000 rubs with a stirrup leather, for 125 000 rubs in total.
Bottom: no balsam applied, visible damage after only 50 000 rubs.

For more information