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Need Help Identifying My Old Saddle And Restoration Tips!

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Back in 1988 when I was 6, my dad purchased this saddle for me second hand even though I didn't have a horse and could only take lessons sporadically. As you can imagine, I was quite the happy kiddo! My own saddle, wow!

It had definitely seen better days and had a repaired crack in the cantel, so he got it at a discount.

It has sat in our various storage areas over the years. And now that we are finally living in a house where I have room to set it out I want to clean it up and set it up properly. Who knows...maybe I'll still get to put it on my own horse some day. :cowboy:

I have crawled all over this trying to find a manufacture brand, label or even a serial number. No luck. The saddle is pretty heavy, even to me now as an adult. There is extensive tooling all over, but the only "silver" are the little buttons which hold the leather strings and are so corroded they look like the leather next to them.

Can anyone here identify it? If you need me to grab more pics with different angles, just let me know!


As for restoration:

For the leather, I'm starting off with a damp cloth wipe down to remove all the dust and debris from the years. Then I'm hitting it with a toothbrush and "Lexol pH" to clean it. Then wipe it off and then I need to get a good leather conditioner since the strings are very dry and stiff (and the rest of it feels like it could use it too.) That's what's been suggested anyway, but I'm happy to take more advice!

The "Silver" buttons: Well as you can see from the pic they aren't really "silver" anymore. I have no idea what metal they are, but they have corroded to the point of looking like the leather next to it. I have tried water, toothpaste/brush, steel wool, and a dremel carbon steel brush on low. Of all those, the only thing that made even a slight difference is the dremel brush and not by much. I'm definitely needing advice on how to clean these guys up. I suppose I could always replace them, but I'd like to keep as much original equipment on there as I can (same reason I'm trying to restore even the leather strings...) I do have some Cape Cod metal polishing cloths for if I succeed in getting the corrosion off.

What do you guys think?

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I did a restoration for a lady a couple of monthes ago on a saddle very much like this one. It sat around in her basement for 20 years or so, and she wanted it cleaned up. It was really dry and brittle, and it was quite a challenge:)

I cleaned it, made sure it was completely dry, then oiled it. By the time I was done the first pass with neatsfoot oil, it looked like I hadn't even touched it. Long story short, it was in my kitchen for two weeks bathing in oil! It may not be the way the "professionals" do it, but I actually poured oil all over it, and wrapped and tied it in construction garbage bags.

It did a beautiful job, and my client was thrilled with the result. For the strings, I just filled Ziploc bags with oil, and twist tied them around the strings and let them soak. I had to replace the conchos on it, they were too far gone.

Like I said, it may not be the conventional way to do it, but it works for me:)

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