Friday, September 5, 2014

EAH Blog Hop: Keep It Clean

Equestrian At Hart asks: "In this weeks blog hop lets talk about what cleaning products you use on your tack and why?"

First things first: thank you for not asking how often I clean my tack! I suspect the answer would have made some of you cringe in really painful ways.

My tack cleaning preferences have evolved over the years. I am not (yet) a devotee of Higher Standards. It's not for lack of curiosity. It's a combination of ingrained Yankee practicality and lack of financial wherewithal. I already have a whole jar of saddle soap that I really like, and can't justify buying more.

What's the soap I really like, you ask?

MOSS Saddle soap, which stands for Morgan's Original Saddle Soap. My jar looks nothing like this, but I do have the citrus basil scent. I've been working on it for almost seven years now. It soaps up nicely, cleans nicely, smells divine, and leaves my hands soft. My only complaint would be that it doesn't cut through really truly heavy gunk - we're talking the layers of rubbery stuff you have to peel off reins with your fingernail. (Are you cringing yet?)

As for conditioner, for years I used Leather Therapy's Leather Restorer. I really liked it for strap goods - it was great to work in with my fingers while watching a movie. I was always kind of meh on it for my saddles; the liquid nature of it meant it ran everywhere.

Finishing up my last bottle happened to coincide with Tristan's spring saddle fitting. I've known and liked my saddle fitter for years, so with my older saddles in front of her, I asked her what she would use to help bring them back. She suggested Stubben Hamanol, and I bought some from her and started using it.

Pros: I freaking love how it works. The thick creamy nature of it means that I can really slather it on and leave it to soak in. Noticeably softer leather after just one application.

Cons: It smells like MTG. If you've never had the pleasure of smelling MTG, imagine a pan of bacon left out in the sun to go very rancid. Now bottle it. Yeah, like that. Considerably less than appealing.

It's worth it, though.

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