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Saddle Trouble

horsewisperer

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SO, i got another english saddle at a local flea market. and its so old or has not been cleaned in so long one of the knee flaps has curled...i have no idea how to un curl it, its really stiff and hard to move. not a happy camper. i know how to clean saddles but this one is a lost cause on me. help would be greatly appreatied.



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Hmmm...just a head scratching thought but maybe use a steamer to soften the leather enough to bend it to the shape you want it in and then maybe some leather conditioner after it dries? Good luck with it whatever you decide.

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Indeed! I am also thinking (as an after thought) that maybe the time to lather in the conditioner/cleaner might be while it is still damp from the steam while the pores are still open? I am no expert on reconditioning old leather but it makes sense in my mind. Your pores open when you are in a steam room so I am thinking the leather pores would open to some extent as well. This would allow any conditioner to be more easily absorbed into the open pores maybe? Anyway good luck with that project! =)

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I've seen this movie.  A fellow gave me a saddle that was last ridden the year I was born - more than 60 years ago.  The leather was harder than Chinese arithmetic.  How to fix it?  Time and patience.  It took about a year of applying oil and conditioner until I could get the leather to a point where I could sew it. I started with Fiebing's salt remover (small amount) and then moved to neatsfoot oil.  I worked some over the surface every day or two until it was obviously soaking in.  Then I worked Skidmore's conditioner into the entire saddle about once a week.  Whatever you do, DON'T soak the leather in oil hoping to fix the whole problem quickly.  It won't work.  Nor will the application of heat.  Only time and patience will serve.  Good luck.

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I received an old coggle shell roper, that belonged to my dad when he was in his early 20's, the couple that got it from him never took care of it, after riding they straddled it over a 55 gal steel drum and forgot about it. for nearly 20 yrs. when I picked it up it was curled under and dirty n dry couldnt hardly touch the leather from fear it would crack in half. when I got it home I gently took it apart peace by peace n put it in warm water with murfies oil soap n let it set over nite. took it out of the water, started to clean with saddle soap. took over a yr to recondition the saddle back to riding condition. when nearly dry i set it out side to let the sun warm it up. started rubbing bear grease into. today the saddle is in great shape an riden every day. remember it took time to get it to the condition its in, it will take time n alot of tlc to restore it 

 

 

 

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