All Bates Saddles feature hand selected, grade one, full grain, pure aniline dyed European leather. You can be confident that the naturally finished leather in Bates Saddles is the best in the world and, if cared for, will offer many years of excellent service. Select models feature double-lined leather renowned for ultra soft and grippy characteristics, ensuring immediate comfort and reducing any ‘breaking in’ time traditionally associated with new saddles.
Proper care is crucial to maximising the performance of your Bates saddle. It is a natural product and its life is reliant on maintaining a certain level of moisture. Your saddle should be regularly cleaned, using glycerine saddle soap and a damp cloth or sponge to remove dirt, which may otherwise scratch the surface. Cleaning should always be followed with a rich, wax-based dressing, such as Bates Leather Balsam. We do not recommend the use of oil on your saddle.
Prior to riding in your new saddle, it is recommended that you liberally dress your saddle with Bates Leather Balsam, allowing it to soak in overnight. The overnight process ensures maximum penetration into the leather, helping to seal in the moisture and protect your saddle. Bates Leather Cream can also be used to replenish and rejuvenate the moisture content in your saddle, however a leather balsam penetrates deeper into the leather and offers a surface barrier, protecting against wear, water and sweat.
Apply your leather balsam or cream heavily in high wear areas, such as the top of the saddle flap where the stirrup leathers will rub. You may apply your dressing to all areas of your saddle that are not suede, including the padded inserts and girth straps.
Treated in this manner, you will achieve the traditional, rich patina of aged worked leather and can expect years of excellent service from your saddle.