Breaking Bad: How to Break In Your New Leather Tack
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Breaking Bad: How to Break In Your New Leather Tack

Posted by Liv Gude, Thu, Aug 18, 2016

Everyone loves new tack! It’s gorgeous, super clean…but also stiff and uncomfortable. So, how do you turn your new tack from standing up on its own to being comfortable for your horse? Easy: a few simple steps and some patience.

Leather goods, like saddles and bridles, are made up of protein bonds deep inside the leather. These bonds are what give leather its flexibility and strength. It’s critical to keep these bonds intact and strong; otherwise the leather is at risk of snapping and cracking. You may have seen some old, dried-out bits of tack with visible cracks. This leather is beyond repair and rejuvenation, at risk of breakage, and generally better suited to being a display item rather than something your horse wears. The cracks are signs of the wear that occurs as a result of those protein bonds breaking down and losing their elasticity.

Your new saddle and bridle are stiff, as they have just completed the tanning and manufacturing process. Your job is to make them usable! There is the old cowboy way of doing things, which entails soaking your brand-new investment in the water trough and then riding all day in it.

Luckily, today’s leather care products let you take care of breaking in your tack without the wet bum. Tack care products include saddle cleaners, saddle conditioners and protectants. First, use a cleaner (such as Lexol® Leather Cleaner) to ensure that your leather’s surface is free of any dust, dirt or grime. Then, use a conditioner (such as Lexol Leather Conditioner) to help soften and stabilize the protein bonds in your new tack. You will need to clean and condition your tack a little more than you normally would as you are breaking it in. For in-between quick cleaning and conditioning, use NEW Lexol 3-in-1 Leather Care! The 3-in-1 formula cleans, conditions AND protects your new tack from sun damage. 

Using your new tack is also a great way to break it in—although for the comfort of your horse, be sure to clean and condition your tack before you go for a spin. Then, keep up the daily routine to help your leather goods last a lifetime. Lexol’s 3-in-1 Leather Care is designed to make tack cleaning easy and quick, so you can avoid those dreaded days of taking all of your tack apart to clean and condition. A few moments every day prolongs the life of your leather and lets your saddle and bridle stay comfortable and clean for your horse. It’s that easy!

Liv Gude

The founder of After many years of grooming several Olympians, Liv saw the need to bring Professional Grooms of all disciplines together in a supportive, informative community in an effort to acknowledge them as skilled individuals, deserving of all the rights and respect that other professionals earn. is also dedicated to sharing grooming knowledge and horsemanship skills to horse lovers everywhere.


Frank Plummer 09/08/2016, 1:32:25 PM

Always learning new tricks on grooming a horse or dog to show . Looking forward to this ..

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