Leather Care Guide for Boots & Horse Tacks

General Leather Care Recommendations

for Extending the Life of Your Leather Equipment

The life of your leather equipment depends on the care you give it.

Most saddles & tack experience the tough rigors of the environment, and proper care is essential to prolong their life. Leather should always be properly cleaned before it is conditioned. Otherwise the dust & dirt could be pulled into the fibers of the leather along with the conditioner. The dirt will then act as an abrasive & cause cracking and premature wear. Also it could lessen the beneficial effects of the conditioner, and prevent proper penetration of the conditioner.

DO NOT use solvents for cleaning. DO NOT use cleaning products which are not specifically designed for leather. NEVER use heat or direct sunlight to dry leather or it may become brittle & loose its strength. Leather which has been burned thru this process should never be used.

Dust & dirt can be removed from the saddle fleece with a vacuum cleaner. If your saddle gets wet, clean all the leather parts that have been exposed to sweat & moisture & let dry naturally, then use conditioner. Always use the best quality leather conditioners available to you. The type you choose will depend on the leather type & color you are trying to maintain. Oils are superior for most leather use, however some darkening will occur. If you are trying to maintain leather with a light finish, we have had very good results with the “Bick” product line and also Meltonian Cleaner & Conditioner.

Always try to properly store your equipment. Never store your leather in plastic bags or other non-porous covers.To prevent mildew, protect your equipment from excessive humidity. In a dry environment, regularly condition the leather to prevent it from drying and cracking. Do not use silicone or waxes as they seal the pores of the leather and impair the ability of  leather to breathe. Greases should not be used because they also may seal the pores & pick up additional dust & dirt & slow drying time. Do not use mink oil or animal fats. They can turn rancid, causing the stitching and the leather to decay. They will also cause leather to darken. We are very experienced leather care professionals. We offer all type of saddle, tack and boot repair. Please contact us for all your leather care questions or repair needs.

Leather Care for Saddles

Clean Your Saddle

Quick and Easy

Julie Goodnight shows you how to do a routine saddle cleaning in a snap. Use a spray on glycerin based saddle cleaner and wipe off. You’re done!

If your saddle needs a little more intensive care, use our handy Guide to Leather Care to get the answers you need.

View the Guide to Leather Care

The most important aspect of saddle care is that the life of the leather depends upon the care you give it.

Most saddles experience the tough rigors of the environment, and proper care is essential to prolong their life. Use our best tips to keep your saddle in top condition.

How to Care for Roughout Leather


Roughout leather is extremely porous and behaves differently than the grain side.

To Clean Roughout:
Brush with a stiff brush (we have even used a wire brush on an all roughout saddle, carefully)

Some leather care products will significantly darken the roughout – sometimes temporarily or permanently.

Don’t apply leather care products directly to the roughout.


While cleaning your tack, it's the perfect time to complete walk around tack check.


Do you do a walk-around-tack-check each time you ride?

Here's what to inspect to keep you safer in the saddle:

  • Fenders
  • Stirrup leathers
  • Tie straps
  • Cinch
  • Bridle especially Chicago screws
  • Rein connections - Anywhere leather meets metal

Luck Saddlery Circle Y Saddles