Just Saddles

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Just Saddles

Care & Safety

One of the most important safety factors which concerns good quality Saddlery, that has been carefully selected, fits the horse well and is subsequently maintained to a high standard is to maintain its condition.

Regular cleaning with a glycerine-based soap, leather food or balm will preserve the natural suppleness of your saddle and keep it in good condition. Avoid exposing your tack to direct sunlight, as extreme heat and temperatures can damage the leather. Leather that is neglected, immersed in water, particularly hot water, or dried over heat will become brittle and will snap in use.

On the saddle itself the most vulnerable area is the girth straps and their attachment. The stitching securing the girth straps to the webs passing round or over the tree will wear or perish in time and will need to be replaced. Girth straps, however good the quality of the leather, are subject to wear. When the holes stretch and the leather is in danger of splitting between the holes new straps should be fitted.

The so-called "safety" catch on stirrup bars should at all times be kept in the open position. A closed catch can prevent the stirrup leather being freed in the event of a fall and may result in the rider being dragged.

Stirrup Leathers

Stirrup leathers receive the most wear at the point where they turn through the eye of the stirrup iron. It is for this reason that stirrup leathers are made with the tougher "grain" side (the outside) facing inwards, since the dressing etc. makes it more resistant to friction. A wise precaution is to check the stitching regularly. A better insurance is to replace leathers frequently with best quality new ones. The rule of prevention is better than the cure, is one that strongly relates to the care of stirrup leathers.

Stirrup Irons

Buy stirrup irons made from stainless steel, nickel ones are cheaper but are liable to bend or break. If using a conventional pattern iron choose one big enough to slip off the foot in an emergency but not so big as to allow the whole foot to pass through and become trapped. Always wear appropriate footwear, riding boots or heavy shoes rather than flat-soled trainers, a small wide heel is always better.

Saddle Storage

Avoid storing your saddle on the common frame type of saddle rack, they will crease the underside (panels) of your saddle and this in turn can distort the pressure on your horse back immediately behind the shoulder which is the most important area of contact in the fit of your saddle. We suggest you consider for example a pole rack or saddle horse. If possible keep your saddle under a fabric saddle cover.

correct safety equipment