Leather Care

Specially formulated leather care products are essential for preserving the strength, integrity, performance and appearance of your leather tack and riding boots. Leather items represent a significant investment in your sport, your horse’s comfort and your performance as a rider. By cleaning and conditioning these items properly, you can enjoy the highest return on your investment by extending the leather’s useful life indefinitely.
Why use leather care products instead of conventional soap and water? Leather is a treated animal hide that requires a gentle cleanser designed not to harm the leather, strip its essential oils or dye, or block its pores. Like your own skin, leather suffers abrasions and dryness from irritants like sweat, sand, dirt and sun. The proper leather cleaner, used regularly, prevents irritants from causing permanent damage or leaching moisture; some provide moisturizing as they clean. Leather conditioners, offered in varying strengths and formulas, can help keep leather supple or help restore moisture when damage has occurred through neglect.

The choice of leather care products available on the market is expansive, and Dover Saddlery is pleased to offer a comprehensive collection of brands. To choose, first consider your tack. Many leather tack and boot manufacturers recommend that a particular suite of leather care products be used for cleaning and conditioning; always follow those recommendations. Other saddlers and boot makers produce and market their own saddle soaps and conditioners for use on their products and others, including Passier®®, Stüübben, Parlanti, Sergio Grasso and Der-Dau.

If your equipment has no set recommendations for leather cleaning and conditioning, then you can choose your leather care products according to personal preference. You can opt for convenience in tack cleaning with a one-step product or a system that includes a cleaner as step one meant to be followed with a conditioner as step two. The traditional tack care method involves a simple, inexpensive bar of glycerin saddle soap. Just wipe away dust and sweat immediately after a ride using a moist sponge, then rub a thin layer of glycerin soap on your tack to keep it soft, but not sticky. If you prefer adding a touch of luxury to the task, consider a scented saddle soap.

Leather care products for riding bootsriding boots follow along the same lines. If your boots do not require a specific brand of boot cleaner, cream or conditioner, you can choose according to personal preference from one-step products to suites of boot care systems.

A note about genuine sheepskin fleece products: these contain an actual animal hide that, like leather, can dry or warp significantly if laundered with a conventional detergent or soap. Wash your genuine fleece items only when necessary and then, only with a cleanser made for the purpose, such as Mattes Liquid Melp or Leather Therapy®® Laundry Solution. In between, keep the fleece fluffy with brushing and air drying.

With brands such as Effax®®, Belvoir®®, Lexol®®, Fiebing’s and others, finding your ideal leather care products is easy at Dover Saddlery.