It's spring time and the show season is starting... Time to get your tack in shape!
I recommend the Effax Leather products. They are proven to work well on all leathers and easy to apply. You can start with a sponge and warm water to remove dirt and dust.
If there is mildew, add vinegar to warm water (clear vinegar such as white wine vinegar, about 1/2 vinegar or less, 1/2 water or more) to kill the mildew spores. Use old rags and toss immediately away after using. Do not rinse and re-use. Let dry - best in the sun as the sun kills mold spores as well. Don't use too much water or immerse the leather in water as the water will dry out the leather and make it hard and brittle. Mildew and mold will damage the leather, so as soon as you see signs of it, clean and condition your saddle.
Next use the Effax Leather Combi to wipe down the remaining dirt and condition the leather. This will soften the leather and it is really easy to apply with a sponge or micro fleece towel since it is liquid. Best wipe down your bridle and saddle after every ride.
Once the Effax Leather Combi has been absorbed, apply the Effax Leather Balm. This is a thick cream, still easy to apply and smells pleasant. You only need to do this step about once a month. If your tack is in bad shape, you may have to do these steps more often initially. Let the Leather Balm soak in. If needed, wipe off excess balm that has not soaked into the leather. You can use a micro fleece towel or a sponge and for the seems and creases, old toothbrushes work great - just run them through the dishwasher to clean off fluoride and germs first.
There are many good leather cleaning products out there, just don't use glycerin soap regularly because it builds up a sticky layer over time that is hard to remove.
Faded places on boots or saddle can be dyed with leather dye, available at leather stores or shoe repair places. You may want to talk to an expert at this point to avoid streaks and irregular coloring. Staying on top of your leathers will eliminate this problem. For light fading, I use an old fashioned shoe polish like Meltonian Boot & Shoe Polish by Johnson, available in men's shoe departments. It has to be polished with a lint free rag or soft brush after applying it, so it's a little bit more elbow grease, but worth the effort!
You can purchase the Effax Leather Comi and Balm right here at ZIKYboutique and when you buy both, we automatically ship a complimentary micro fleece towel with your order:)
So gather your tack and get started! Have a tack cleaning party with your friends!
You can message me with questions regarding tack maintenance in the contact box in the right bottom corner.