A new saddle or bridle is an investment, so it’s important to look after them from day one. New leather items often feel stiff and will usually benefit from light oiling before use.
As a general guide, a thin layer of Neatsfoot Compound should be applied to the grain and two thin layers to the underside or flesh.
Repeat the process whenever the leather feels dry or stiff.
Take care to oil stirrup leathers only very lightly as supple leathers will stretch much more easily.
Some items now come pre-oiled and ready to use, while others have a protective layer which is easily removed by cleaning and then treating as above.
Once it has been in use for a short period of time, new leather will soften and ‘give’, so minor fitting adjustments may then be required.
It is always important to first check the type of leather used on your saddle or bridle and how the leather has been finished before starting any type of treatment.