By Sue Newell, Qualified Saddle Fitter certified by the Society of Master Saddle Fitter UK
Saddle care is a bit different in the summer. Depending on where you live depends on how sweaty (sorry! Not a fun subject) everyone gets and then sometimes hot is just hot no matter where you live.
Most seats and rolls of the N2 Saddles are made of the roughout Makela leather and this leather is more porous than regular leather as it has gone through a machine to rough out the leather so when it is new, it has a “suede look” (The leather is NOT suede) . This conditioning of the seat pertains to the other leathers as well.
This means you will need to condition this Makela leather more than the skirt and the flap leather. If your seat is smooth or your knee rolls are smooth, you are not conditioning your leather enough. If you are sweating when you ride, you need to make sure to put Effax Lederbalsam on the seat every day, after you ride, to keep it sticky grippy and to protect the leather from your sweat.
The same goes for the panel (the side of the saddle that is against the horse). You need to keep this well conditioned as well, with the Effax Lederbalsam, especially if the horse is sweating through the saddle pad onto the saddle.
By doing this, you will extend the life of the seat leather and panel if it gets dry and you are riding in your full seat breaches, then this works like sandpaper on the dry leather. Keeping the seat conditioned, so it is sticky grippy, this allows the breeches to stick to the leather and yet it wont rub the seat leather raw when you ride.
The knee rolls need the same as they are the makela leather as well. They may not need as much as the seat.
You need to be using your saddle brush daily to keep the dirt off and the saddle in mint condition.
Billets get super sweaty this time of year as well, and should be washed with a damp rag and possibly saddle soap as long as it is not conditioning. The billets should never receive any conditioner unless you feel the leather is so dry it is cracking. Then one application should last your over a year. By conditioning the billets too much, they will stretch and become thin and the holes will stretch as well until they tear. They are made of leather meant to take tension and the conditioner counteracts this.
We want your beautiful N2 saddle to last a long time and for you to enjoy your rides. By all means, call your local N2 Saddle rep and ask if you are unsure. We recommend the Effax Lederbalsam only. Some of the other balsam products tend to be greasy and attract the dirt.