What can I do about a saddle that squeaks?
Your saddle could be new or old, cleaned/conditioned every day or totally neglected, and then one day you start to hear a squeak. A REALLY ANNOYING squeak. With every step. In a very tidy nutshell, it's easy to figure out the reason for the squeak.
What are some reasons that a saddle would be squeaking?
- Dry leather.
- Popped rivet in the head plate.
- Broken head plate.
The head plate of your saddle is the bent metal plate that sits over your horses withers and forms the shape of the pommel. It looks like a boomerang! The rivets that hold the head plate in place (critical little rivets) can come loose, get wonky, or even pop out totally. In any case, the structural integrity of your saddle is compromised and a repair is in order.
What can you do about a squeaky saddle?
- Oil the saddle to make sure the leather is soft and supple. Make regular cleaning, conditioning and oiling a daily part of your routine. This extends your horse’s saddle life and makes a very nice cushion for your tush!
- Have your horse’s saddle looked at by a saddle fitter to examine the tree and head plate. If something is broken there, your saddle fitter should be able to arrange repairs!
The magic stuff that holds your saddle together is inside.
There is an old horsemen's remedy about using some baby powder between the flaps to rid the saddle of a squeak. While I have never tried this, I suspect it might work, but only if that part of the saddle is the cause. If it's the tree, you just snowed on your saddle for no reason. One more thought on the baby powder trick - this may dry out your leather. And dry leather = damaged leather = easily broken leather = you're in the dirt.
What do you do for a squeaky saddle?