I am truly horrifying about cleaning my tack. I know I should wipe it down after every ride and scrub it and oil it once a week, but I’m afraid rinsing the bits after every use and a good cleaning once a month or so is as far as it goes.
That said, I really love the feeling of leather when it’s been looked after. I wouldn’t call myself a leather snob because I own some real el cheapo leather, but I definitely adore good leather. Especially good reins – I don’t have a single set of those cheap and nasty nylon or rubber reins. They give me the willies. Mine are all leather, either plain or braided, and well oiled.
Recently, I’ve been using Dubbin to condition my leather. I had always used Trident’s leather oil, but I’m really not a fan of anything Trident – it’s really not that cheap and most of the stuff is sucky. The oil was no exception, leaving the tack feeling saturated and smearing oil on my hands whenever I touched my bridles afterwards. And yeah, slippery, oily reins aren’t a great plan.
Dubbin was an improvement on the Trident oil. In fact, quality Dubbin was amazing: never slippery or oily and it was great for waterproofing and conditioning leather. It wasn’t the best for softening new or hard leather, but a great day-to-day thing.
I think my last tub of Dubbin was poor quality, though. It left the leather feeling tacky after a few uses and collected a lot of dust, and after each ride my hands were sticky and oily. Besides, new Dubbin tubs were about $8 each, and that’s when this little beauty caught my eye.
I hadn’t used oil for ever, I was tired of Dubbin, and the price tag on this was R37. To the foreigners, that’s less than four US dollars. I plonked down this exorbitant amount of money and went home in an experimental mood.
Today I tried it out on a brand new show halter that was so stiff it held the shape of the loops I’d been holding it in. And guess what? I LOVE THIS STUFF. It has absolutely no odour, you just put some on a cloth and rub it in, and it absorbs instantly. Yes. Instantly. The difference is immediate. I think it’ll need a few coatings to make the leather perfect, but it was a massive difference. And the best part? No oil residue anywhere. I didn’t even smell like I’d been cleaning tack afterwards.
I’ll be interested to try this stuff on well-oiled tack, since it worked so well for thirsty leather.
What about you, fellow leather obsessees? What’s your favourite leather care product? Why?