Fit is Everything - Infinitely Adjustable for Optimal Comfort & Performance!

Proper care of your saddle and leather accessories

It is important to keep your saddle clean so that it doesn’t irritate your horse’s hide. Ideally, saddlery should be cleaned after each use. At the very least, it should be given a quick wipe, cleaning thoroughly once a week by:

  • Using saddle soap to rid the leather of accumulated sweat and grime
  • Rinsing off any soap product completely
  • Applying moisture/conditioner

Highly recommended is a leather balsam conditioner which can effectively be used on all leather items you may have. Read the article by Jochen Schleese on “Choosing a Conditioner for Your Leather Tack” published in The Hoofbeat in January 2014.


When using oil

  • Use leather oil as a one-time application over the entire saddle or other tack to darken the original color
  • Only use it on the panel thereafter as a lubricant, since the wool will soak up any excess. When you use it on the seat, it will soak through and onto the laminated and glued layers of the tree, possibly resulting in the eventual breakage of the tree (especially if you have an English spring tree). Even with saddles built on other trees, it is not recommended to apply oil more often.
  • Don’t use oil used anywhere the leather comes into contact with your person (breeches, gloves) as it tends to discolour these materials
  • Don’t use too much oil on the flaps as it makes the leather too flexible
  • Make sure you use products that are meant for leather (don’t use baby oil or olive oil)


Storing your saddle

To store your saddle or tack over a longer period of time, keep at room temperature, but never cooler than 5 degrees Celsius (about 35°F), and at a humidity of 30-40% to retain the suppleness of the leather.  If it appears mildewy when you take it out, give it a good wash and a leather conditioner will soon restore the original looks.


Girth Care and Conditioning

  • Rinse off the sweat and if in very hot climates, if the girth is soaked with sweat, you can use a hose liberally or dunk it in a bucket.  If there is only a little sweat, you may simply take a wet rag and wipe it off.
  • Condition it with oil (Neatsfoot is recommended) (Passier cream appears to irritate the skin in the ‘girthing’ area of some horses).  Avoid using Hydrophane oil. Remove all of the sweat and dirt before you apply oil. If you only wash your girth but do not follow up with conditioning it with oil, you will run the risk of your girth drying out and cracking.

(Our current tack tags, attached to all new items, indicate that we have recommended Passier Cream – this is true for all other tack with the exception of our girths. New tags for the girths will be coming soon and will also explain the aforementioned procedure)


Italian Calfskin Care and Conditioning

Please condition all saddles made of Italian Calfskin, (such as our Jeté and the upgraded Merci) with Passier Cream only. If you insist on using oil, only Neatsfoot is recommended (no hydrophane!)

 

 

 

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Testimonials

I have been riding in Schleese saddles for at least 20 years. When I bought my first horse I rode in a second hand JES and when I got a "real job" and a new horse I purchased a slightly used Wave. Having a Schleese was just the right thing to do for me and my horse, and the frequent fittings were part of the scheme of developing a horse and doing right by them. I searched and tried many different brands, semi-custom, custom, shoulder freedom, wider gullets etc., etc.  If it looked good for the horse, it felt horrible to me, if it was comfortable for me, it couldn't fit the horse.  Eventually I tried out an Obrigado saddle and REALLY liked it. In cold, horrible weather, at the end of a long day at Lamplight, Julia Dixon-Curtis and Alexa Frye cheerfully let me try saddle after saddle, discussed the best options in less expensive models and talked about ways to modify my current saddle.  It really went on and on, and those two positive, helpful, encouraging women just supplied me with information, said nice things about my horse (it helps!), let me 'hem and haw' and ask 10, 000 questions.  I felt like an important client with a crucial but difficult decision to make.  At NO time did I feel pressured, or demonized for saying that considering the $ to my family vs what was best for my horse might be a legitimate consideration.  I now have a custom wonderful Obrigado that fits me and my horse wonderfully. It was VERY much worth the price and a saddle that I do believe I can grow old with.  It is beautifully made, with details that suited me and my horse. Those two are wonderful representatives of your company, they are easy to work with, very knowledgeable and a perfect combination as a team.  Your company has very strongly shaped my whole adult horse riding life.  I am a very educated consumer thanks to all  my years of watching saddle fitting and riding in your [Schleese] saddles.

— Paula Smeltekop - Mount Prospect, IL

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