Checking your saddle stirrups for cracks and tears is an important part of saddle care to prevent an accident while riding your horse.  Bryan Biggs of Veach Made Leather Works shows you how to check out your saddle stirrups and gives you tips on how to keep your leather clean and soft.  Parts of your stirrups are out of sight and can be out of mind, and you don’t always think of checking the part of your stirrups that you can’t see. 




In time, leather can tear or rot and sometimes you don’t even know it’s there, especially if you don’t ever adjust your stirrups on your saddle.  A couple of times a year you should check your stirrups by pulling  the stirrup down from where it bends over the tree. Oiling this and keeping it soft will help reduce dry rot and keep the leather soft and supple.  If you notice any tears or dry rot, you immediately need to make sure you replace the leather to prevent an accident. If the stirrup breaks, you could fall while trying to mount or dismount, or it could break while riding when you are putting pressure in the stirrup.





Getting your saddle wet won’t hurt it and isn’t as damaging as the sweat from your horse.  Sweat off your horse will cause the leather to begin to dry out and break down the leather causing dry rot and tears.


Bryan says to  make sure and keep your saddle and leather well oiled and clean which will help extend the life of the leather, and reminds you to make sure and pull the stirrup down a couple of time a year and check to make sure the leather isn’t breaking down at the bend of the stirrup where the leather goes over the tree. 


For more leather questions, contact Bryan Biggs at Veach Made Leather Works


– Lisa Cantrell, Foxtrot Urbane