When I worked in a saddle shop in Bozeman, Montana (1983), I became acquainted with a boot/shoe repairman by the name of Howard Pfaff. He loaned me his mare for a team roping that summer, but the thing I remember most about knowing him was something he said. He sold boots as well as having a repair shop, and one of the things he told his new boot customers was that the boots would never be cleaner than when they are new. Therefore it was a good time to treat them with a wax based sealant so that dirt and whatever other stuff would less likely penetrate the fibers of the leather and do some damage. This would stick with me when it came to saddles. Dirt and salt from horse sweat will begin to penetrate the leather the first time you use the saddle. For this reason, I use Ray Holes Saddle Butter to treat everything that will come into direct contact with the horse…back cinch, billets, stirrup leathers and fenders especially. While Saddle Butter is an excellent conditioner, the wax in it makes a good barrier to prevent dirt and sweat from doing their damage. After applying, I allow it to ‘soak’ in for a day or two and then buff off any waxy residue because a sticky surface will collect dust. Sarah Rowley now owns the Ray Holes Leather Care Products and operates out of Butte, Montana. She is the great grand daughter of Ray Holes. She, and her grandfather Gerald Ray Holes often set up a booth at the Sheridan Leather Show in May.
Follow this link to her website: Ray Holes Leather Care