Saddle Care 1

A well cared for Kent Saddle will last many years

Looking after your saddle is as important as taking care of the horse it goes on. We provide vital information as well as a range of quality products to help you get the most out of our saddles.

Leather Care

Our range of tried and true leather care products that increase the longevity of your saddle and leather goods, keeping them looking new.

Seals and conditions diary covers, briefcases and other fine leather products. Shines the leather with minimal darkening.
Conditions and softens leather. Great for bridles, reins and all leather horse tack. Kent Saddlery Leather Conditioner darkens leather.
Soaks into dry unconditioned leather. Kent Saddlery use Neatsfoot oil on all Kent Saddlery Saddles. Neatsfoot oil darkens leather.
Waterproofs, softens and preserves leather footwear, boots, belts, knife pouches, jackets etc. Glosses leather with minimal darkening.
Softens and preserves fine leather products. Ideal for smooth-out leather saddles. Slight darkening may occur.
Preserves, softens, protects and repels water on car and furniture upholstery and fine leather goods.
An Australian made wax provides a protective coating that repels water and rejuvenates leather.

For cleaning and preserving fine saddlery, riding boots and other leather articles

Initial Treatment

A new saddle needs breaking in like a pair of boots.

Special attention is needed from the start to take the squeak out and make the leather soft and pliable and the saddle comfortable to ride in. Oil rough out and smooth out leather in exactly the same way. Once you’re sure that the saddle is the right size for you, oil the saddle.

Saddles need to be completely dry before oiling.

A liquid saddle dressing like Neatsfoot Blend. (also available in a Squirt Bottle) is ideal for a new saddle because it soaks into the leather very easily and it can be poured or squirted into hard to reach places. Pure vegetable oil or olive oil is also good. We don’t recommend bullock fat or mutton fat as it is very greasy and messy. We have also seen disastrous results from people putting hot fat onto leather. It cooks the leather.

You may need to oil a new saddle about three times over a few weeks.

You may need to oil a new saddle about three times over a few weeks. Oil the fenders more frequently, especially the backs, to protect from sweat. Fenders also need to be pliable because of the constant movement. Frequent oiling of the saddle when it is new will help to take the squeak out sooner and will shape it for a comfortable ride.


A used saddle may need to be washed before oiling

  • Use warm baby temperature soapy water with a scrubbing brush.
  • Hose off with clean water.
  • Allow to dry in a well ventilated, shaded area.
  • Don’t put the saddle out in the sun to dry as the sun shrinks and hardens the leather.
  • Felt or wool lining can be washed in the same way.
  • Felt can become hard and glassy if horse sweat is left unwashed.
  • It is a good idea to have two saddle cloths and wash and change them daily.
  • Wool needs more care than felt and doesn’t have the same life expectancy.
  • Once dry, Rough out leather can be brushed with a wire brush to spruce it up.
  • Then treat in the same way as a new saddle, making sure the saddle is completely dry before oiling.



Ideally your saddle should be placed in a well ventilated, shaded or roofed area when not in use. If you have to leave your saddle outdoors, a shaded area is best. If not possible, spread a saddle cloth over the saddle. Saddles deteriorate very quickly if left outdoors day and night with no covering. The moist night air swells the leather and the hot sun then contracts and bakes it. Over a period of time the leather shrinks and cracks.

If the saddle isn’t going to be used for a while

We recommend that you wash it thoroughly and don’t oil it, particularly in humid conditions such as in the north during the wet season. Oiled leather attracts mould which can have a disastrous effect on leather.

For medium to long term storage

Clean, dry it and hang it up or sit it on a rail in a well ventilated shed. Don’t leave a saddle in a closed gear bag in humid conditions for any length of time. Condensation inside the bag encourages mould. Oil the saddle again when ready for use.

Chat with our Saddlers

We have decades of experience in saddle maintenance and repair. If you're uncertain about anything, why not give us a call.