I remember one really wet winter we had, where unless you had a covered arena, no one was riding. Once we had a few sunny days I happily went out to my trailer, where I stored my saddle and tack, eager to throw a leg over my mud clad gelding. However, much to my horror, when I opened the tack room door, my saddle and bridle were covered in mold.
Seeing my beautiful saddle and bridle covered in a layer of mold was devastating. However, it doesn't mean that your gear is ruined! While we don't seem to have any rain in the forecast, the winter months are approaching (or so I've been told). In anticipation, here are some ways you can prevent and treat mold on your hard earned and cherished saddle.
If you can, bring your saddle inside for the winter months. Clean it and set it on a saddle rack, indoors where the temperature is warm and the humidity low. If you can't do that, there are multiple saddle covers available for purchase that will act as a barrier between your saddle and the wet air, however it's not a fail safe and you should check your leather occasionally. Dehumidifiers can also work.
However, what should one do when the mold sets up camp? A simple and wonderful product that is readily available will kill those mold spores and not damage your leather is probably in your pantry: vinegar. Mix a bottle of 50:50 water and distilled vinegar, set the moldy leather out in the sun and spray the affected areas. Wipe down with a cloth and let the sunshine do the rest.
Remember, taking care of your leather tack will help it last for years! If you have any questions about leather care, please don't hesitate to reach out.