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Discuss repairing an old dry saddle? at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

Two days ago, my neighbors gave me an old western saddle,, It is in bad ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member mystic_unicorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    repairing an old dry saddle?

    Two days ago, my neighbors gave me an old western saddle,, It is in bad condition, but hey, a free saddle is a free saddle... And i kinda happen to like old western saddles.. I just need ideas on how to fix it! The leather is really dry, its cracking in places..That is my biggest concern. And the fluffy stuff on the bottom (not sure what its called),, is all missing. Also, last year i redid the stirrup fenders, i re-attached them.. but i didn't have leather, so i used twine.. where would i find leather string for that part? The 'silver' stuff is flaking and rusted.. that's not quite as high on my list, but if fixable, I'd love to know how..

    What can i put on the saddle to make it less dry? (i don't care if it makes it darker)

    how would i go about stitching up a leather strap that holds the girth on (a somewhat important part, lol)..

    Will the missing fluffy stuff hurt anything?/ how do i get more?

    I do not want to pay to have it redone, i'd really like to do it myself if possible..


    I've been snowballed!

  2. #2
    Senior Member day_dreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    you'll probably need to take it to a saddler to re-fleece it(that fluffy stuff on the bottom that's not there anymore! ).

    But, TONS of oiling should help.

    As for the fender/stirup...I have no clue. Probably another job for the saddler.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member mystic_unicorn's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Is the fleece necessary for use?
    I've been snowballed!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I agree. I would probably take to a repair shop for the stuff under. Neatsfoot oil is good to help bring leather back to life. It may take a lot and also, it may never come back. Most any saddle shop will have leather strips that you can purchase. Just be careful. Those old rotten saddles will break and can cause injury.

  5. #5
    Senior Member+
    Join Date
    May 2006
    i would say re fleecing is necessary for sure if you're planning on using it.

    A local guy a round here quoted us to re fleece a saddle for 150-200$.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mystic_unicorn's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    For 200, this saddle would be left as decoration .. I'd really like to do the repairs myself, and show the saddle in fair as a still exhibit (showing repair skills of some sort... idk, but it sounded like a good idea..)

    I have actually ridden horses in this saddle, and it is/was sound enough strength wise for riding last year, but it was the only saddle they had so there was no other choice... I, on the other hand, own like 5 saddles, and would rather not use this 'till it has the necessary repairs.

    Would mink oil work for trying to bring it's life back?

    ETA: i forgot to mention.. they left this saddle outside.. all winter long.. in the snow and all... so its considerably worse than it was then.. i kinda forgot about that..
    I've been snowballed!

  7. #7
    Senior Member+
    luvs2ride79's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Arkansas, USA
    Fleece isn't necessary if you use a good saddle pad.

    For the leather, get a big thing of Neatsfoot oil (NOT the compound). Clean the leather gently with a glycerin bar or saddle soap. Use plenty of water and really suds up the leather to work the dirt off. After it's all clean, put coat, after coat, after coat of oil on it until it stops soaking it up and the leather feels pliable.

    Put it on a stand or porch rail (something no more than 6" wide) and put something weighted over it to help turn the flaps down. Let the saddle dry. Once it's dry, use a good leather conditioner, like Hydrophane Leather Dressing, Passier Lederbalsm, or Oakwood Leather conditioner.

    For the rust, use an SOS pad or something like Quick-Glo metal cleaner & rust remover. Or you can replace them.

    Tandy Leather has a lot of saddle repair items that you can order.
    "To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider. It is a position in life."
    --Charles de Kunffy

  8. #8
    Senior Member+
    tlwidener's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    High Plains
    For a conditioner, you could also use Blackrock cream. It works great and is easy to apply. You'd use it after cleaning and oiling.

    In no other department of human knowledge has there been such a universal and persistent habit of misrepresenting the truth of history as in matters relating to the horse. -John H. Wallace

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Tallpine's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    how would i go about stitching up a leather strap that holds the girth on
    In the old days, they used what I call a 3-hole lace.

    You lap the leather over and punch 3 holes in a triangle pattern: 1 above and 2 below.

    Run each end of the lacing through the lower holes, then up and both ends through the same upper hole, then down through the loop that was formed. Pull everything tight.

    I'd be more worried about the condition of the rigging leather - especially where you can't see it under the seat and jockeys. Get brand new off billet and tie strap at least.

  10. #10
    Senior Member+
    Tack Collector's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Dreary Station, (NW PA, USA)
    In that 1st pic, doesn't it need a new rigging strap to hold the big ring on? Do I see a tear in that?

    I'd junk it, use it for decor, or sell it for the tree, assuming that's still good.

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