Keeping your leather tack in good shape isn’t hard, but it does require a little extra attention. If you want your saddles, headstalls, and breast collars staying in top-notch shape, you’ll need to ensure that you aren’t making these common leather care mistakes. Don’t worry, there’s some helpful tips too!

1. Myth: The following products are okay to use on your tack: all-purpose cleaners, baby wipes, and food products like olive oil or mayo.

Fact: Use appropriate tack cleaners and conditioners designed for leather. Many of the products above actually turn your tack more brittle or have a PH level that is way too high. Food products can lead to bacteria buildup over time.

2. Myth: Leather should never get wet.

Fact: Hard leather isn’t from water, but rather improper drying. You should never dry your tack with the use of heat. Furthermore, leather is actually made in water.

3. Myth: Saddle soap is all you need.

Fact: While saddle soap is inexpensive and commonly used, it definitely isn’t the best option for high-quality tack. The soap can actually damage and darken the leather because of the high alkaline. Choose an option that has a better PH balance, such as Lexol products.

4. Myth: Tack needs to be oiled a lot.

Fact: Most tack has already been oiled in the construction phase. The overuse of oil can weaken and stretch out the fibers of the leather. The use of a good conditioner will provide the correct amount of oils to keep your tack hydrated.

What are your favorite tack cleaning tips?