Sunday, November 15, 2020

Caring for Boots, Bridles and Leather

Caring for leather is key if you want your boots, belts, bridles and saddles to last.  Cleaning boots is not my favorite thing to do (but hubby who is ex-military is the very best boot cleaner I know and sometimes I bribe him before a big event). But he has taught me a lot about boot cleaning.  This vintage boot/shoe care butler is probably a good thing to have it you own multiple pairs of leather boots. Some things never change.

You need new boot polish. And your boots don't have to have fancy:

And a good boot brush. Again, you don't need fancy:

Here is an entire kit, ready to go. Wouldn't this make the best gift for the equestrian who has everything?

I like this old one which is full of stuff but sometimes vintage is the best. Buy it just to keep the old box and fill it with updated polish and brushes.

Another boot trick - use an old pair of panty hose to shine them. This works great!  And I keep an old toothbrush in my cleaning kit for putting polish on the edges of the boot. I also use this kind of cream:

Everyone creates their own system after a while but here are some tips, ideas, perhaps there's an idea for a holiday gift in here somewhere......

I use various cleaning products but keep a few staples in my barn at all times:

1) Neatsfoot Oil - Keep this in a hoof polish type container and when my bridles get dry (especially if they have been sitting for a while) I coat the leather on both sides and hang to dry. Really dry leather may need a few coats and let it hang where it can drip. Walsh's is my favorite brand.  But you don't need fancy.

Put it in one of these for easy application for saddles and bridles:

2) Plain old saddlesoap - I use this all of the time with a barely damp sponge to clean after a quick ride.  I like the bricks and have a wooden holder that it sits in.

I also like the Stubben Saddlesoap. It costs more but this tub lasts forever. 

3) Leather conditioners are pure personal preference and I can't say that I prefer one over the other. The saddle makers make their own brands and they are expensive but very good. I use this one but in winter in the barn it gets hard, so it's easier to use in warm weather:

This is another good brand I often use.  It lasts forever too!

I also keep a bottle of spray that I can use to go over tack after a ride when I don't have time to clean well:

Happy tack cleaning!

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