Tack on a win.

I spent most of Sunday feeling pretty down. Feeling stalled out and stuck is zero fun! I’m sure lots of other horsey folk who have experienced having injury, pregnancy, lack of money, you name it keeping you out of the saddle can relate.

On a bright side, a pair of field boots I won’t be able to fit my sausage calves in anymore without magic finally sold on ebay! They should just start labeling boots with a slim calf “LOLz try fitting in me after you turn 22”. I spent most of my show with Sully last winter trying to maintain feeling from the knee down.

I was also considering listing my CWD saddle for sale. Its in great shape outside of some cracking on one of the knee pads that wore away over the summer when I wasn’t cleaning it regularly post injury. Some mildew got up in that crack and festered away. I will not lie, there were tears when I discovered this newly developed blemish. I used to give this saddle regular massages. It cost nearly as much as my horse. I love it.

But, no matter how comfy the saddle is, dealing with foam panels when your horse’s back changes every month is difficult. My dressage saddle is wool flocked, fits him in the present, and I could really use 2k in tha bank.

The catch is the water staining on the seat. I bought it like that, as the online used tack shop I bought it from had conditioned the living shit out of the saddle right before photographing it so I had no idea it was there. But Sully was really happy with it when I bought it and I felt like I was riding on a butt cloud despite the uggo seat, so I kept it. Behold, yesterday:

I have read about using diluted lemon juice but was always too scared to use anything but balsam on my baby. However at a certain point you hit realization that your saddle aint getting any younger (mine is a 2006 model) and between the spidering and the staining on that delicate calf leather (never again, grain leather you are good enough for me) you are willing to try anything and there’s not a lot you could do to make your saddle look worse.

I started with a 50/50 dilution of lemon juice and gently scrubbed the whole seat with a lemon dipped washcloth. Then, heated some olive oil (again, woah, going out on a limb here with these home spun techniques gleamed from forums) and applied a a few layers. Once it soaked in, I applied a top layer of balsam. I have read that this will lock in the olive oil so the darkening effect won’t quickly dry out and lighten.

Today, ta da!

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I am really happy with how the seat looks, so much so I will probably hang onto it a bit longer, see if this darkening really lasts and cross my fingers it might still fit booger this summer. 😈 What’s 2k when you have a pretty french saddle to stare at? 

Do you have any weird tack cleaning, conditioning, darkening, or repair techniques that have worked for you?

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2 thoughts on “Tack on a win.

  1. WOW, I have never heard of using lemon juice and olive oil. What a difference. I’ve used Mink oil. (Don’t think it’s actually mink, but that the name on the can) and it gives that rich, darkened glow.

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    1. Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised! Kind of scary at first since the acid definitely has a bleaching effect, but then it darkened right back. I have been meaning to try mink oil! I hear it gives a nice sheen as well as darkens.

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