Posts tagged #saddle soap

Get Happily Ever After For Your Tack by Avoiding the 7 Worst Enemies of Your Leather: Sunlight

Who doesn’t love a sunny day? Especially after gloomy winter skies. When that sun pops up, do you envision a nice leisurely trail ride, a hack in the outdoor ring, and days at the showgrounds? It is fabulous that you are so happy about that glowing bright orb in the sky (we are, too), but now the other shoe drops. Your saddle and other leather equipment and boots are sadly just not as big a fan as you are of those warming rays.

Truth be told, your leather has vampire tendencies - a predilection for dark places and a fear of the sun! Welcome to our second installment in our series of 7 articles about the worst things for your leather. No doubt you’ve guessed it. In this second article we are talking about why light is such a bummer for your gear and how to best protect your prized tack. Don’t worry - coffin not required! :)

Why Light Hurts Your Tack

It’s the usual good old story of how sunlight bleaches out the color in items that sit in the sun for too long. The sunlight’s UV rays do a number on leather, fading its color and dulling its patina just like it does to your car’s paint job and your patio furniture. As if wrecking the beautiful rich, deep color of your tack and boots isn’t enough, the UV rays are also able to penetrate deeply enough into your leather to cause fiber damage. This results in weaker, more brittle leather and a shortened lifespan for your favorite saddle.

Although sunlight is often the most common light source we think of in our equestrian pursuits, keep in mind that indirect and artificial light is also damaging. Tack room and barn lights, as well as arena lights, all emit UV rays and contribute to fading and fiber damage over time. And as you’ve learned about through the care of our own skin, you are aware that UV exposure even occurs in the shade and on cloudy days.

Ok, so it’s not exactly like you can slap a coat of sunscreen on your saddle and call it good. Hmmm, though we haven’t tried it, but strangely I don’t think we’ll get all busy with the Banana Boat just yet. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to shelter our tack and equipment from harmful light sources.

How to Avoid Light Damage

The good news is that your leather probably doesn’t normally get that much exposure to sun and other lights. Unless you just leave your saddle sitting naked out in the sun or in a lighted space regularly, your saddle isn’t picking up too many damaging rays. The real key to minimizing light damage is to shield your equipment.

Here are a few easy and inexpensive tips and habits to adopt:

  • Gotta have your tack outside, such as at a show or at your trail campsite? Keep your tack in the shade when not in use. A handy awning, tree, shade of a building…anything will do.

  • Cover your tack when not in use. Loosely cover your saddle with a saddle cover or a towel or blanket. Do the same for your bridle, girth, and other tack - pop it in a bridle bag or use a towel or blanket.

  • Don’t leave your tack chilling out in the sun while at horse shows. This is kinda a pet peeve of ours. Even if you aren’t able to get your tack cleaned and put away right away after your ride, just quickly drape a towel over it to protect it until you can come back to it.

  • Cover your saddle when you put it away in the tack room, your home, or wherever you keep your tack.

  • Store your boots inside and out of direct sunlight. Take it even a step further by keeping your tall boots in a boot bag or in the original box.

Of course, we are big fans of a regular cleaning and conditioning routine for all of your leather, too. (Find all the products you need here!) This will help keep fibers healthy and strong enough to stand up to and slow down damage, fading, and aging caused by normal use and light exposure.

The Takeaway

How fantastic is this that you can do wonders to protect your tack by just tossing any old towel over it? You have to admit that this is a pretty simple, zero effort, basically zero cost habit to get into, and your leather will love you for it! So cover up, Buttercup, and enjoy all the sunshine you want!

**Be sure to keep an eye open for our next and third article in our Series coming out next month!

Miss the first article? No problem! Check it out here: https://www.sterling-essentials.com/blog/get-happily-ever-after-for-your-tack-by-avoiding-the-7-worst-enemies-of-your-leather-water

A Sweet Spot at the Spokane Tack Trunk

Having once resided in Spokane, Washington for a few years, we definitely have a sweet spot for the Spokane area. As a result, we are particularly delighted to share the news that our products are now in stock at the Spokane Tack Trunk in Spokane Valley, Washington. Whether you prefer Western or English, show or casual, they've got you covered with their extensive selection of equestrian goodies! They are also carrying our handy little Leather Care Starter Sets, so look no further if you are looking for a gift for your trainer or for your horse loving friend.

Sterling Essentials Leather Care Products at Spokane Tack Trunk

What's In the Cleaner?

We are often asked whether our Leather Cleaner bleaches tack or uses harsh solvents. Excellent question!

Historically, many liquid spray cleaners allegedly used strong and harsh solvents and bleaching agents in order to clean tack. Sterling Essentials is not part of that group.

Our Leather Cleaner only contains a special proprietary blend of natural food-grade ingredients, as well as therapeutic grade essential oils. We do not utilize petroleum products, industrial solvents, or other bleaching or harsh ingredients. Our philosophy is to get excellent tack cleaning results through the use of gentle and responsible products.

The Sterling Essentials Leather Cleaner will not bleach tack. However, we recommend that you test our products in an inconspicuous place on your tack when first used in order to ensure you are happy with the results.

With our gentle ingredients, you can be confident that your tack is getting kid-glove treatment!

To learn more about getting your leather clean and beautiful, check out our Learn page to view videos and tips: www.sterling-essentials.com/learn

From Horses to Puppies and Everything In Between at Tony's Tack Shop

We are happy to share that Tony's Tack Shop in Essex Junction, Vermont now carries our products! If you're looking for a friendly tack store that has all of your needs covered, look no further than Tony's Tack Shop. From puppies to the best equestrian supplies, Tony's has what you are looking for and backs it up with great service.

And did you know that our leather care products are also handy for taking care of more than your tack? Sterling Essentials' products do a wonderful job on collars and leashes, so we can even help keep you and your pup happy! We hope you stop in and see these fine folks at Tony's soon!

logo.jpg

Best 4 Fun Uses for Our New Leather Care Starter Set

Were you one of the lucky riders or volunteers that received one of our Leather Care Starter Sets this summer at a show, during a tack store giveaway, or as a prize at another event? If not, you are in luck, because these extremely popular Sets, mini versions of our full size Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner, are now available for purchase online and at many local tack store locations!

Available in Lavender fragrance, these handy and delightful 2 oz. sized cleaner and conditioner pairs have so many fun uses.

Based on feedback from your fellow equestrians, here are some of the best unique ideas for using the Leather Care Starter Set:

1. Holiday stocking stuffers! These Sets are that just right size to tuck into the stocking of a lucky equestrian.

2. Handy, small, lightweight travel size to pack for horse camping trips to the beach. You won't have to make the choice between deciding whether to skip cleaning off all that sand and salt water residue or being bogged down with packing heavier, larger full size cleaners and conditioners.

3. Keep in your tack trunk for travel to shows and keep your full sized products at home. Save weight and space in your trunk. Cut down on packing time and effort rearranging your tack trunk just for shows.

4. The perfect gift to say "thank you" to your trainer.

So many possibilities! What other ways do you use the Starter Sets? We would love to hear, so send us your thoughts: Contact Us.

Ready to restock or try a Set? Visit Leather Care Starter Set to get started.