New SaddleA new saddle
Whilst there are many contradictory opinions about soap, conditioner and oil, two things are quite clear: your saddle needs to be kept tidy and to condition. I' m not so diligent, but I do my turn at least once a weeks, with a "take everything apart" wiping every few month.
I like Effax or Ledertherapie-Reiniger for really filthy stickiness. This is a great point to use sparingly with detergent and water: use just enough to clean the soil - do not fill the upholstery. As an example, many businesses no longer advise you to oil your new saddle. There is no need to oil Black Country's antique leathers, and nubuk leathers should not be lubricated or conditioning at all - just clean with soapy, clean with running tap liquid and polish with a clean cloth to return the siesta.
When you are unsure, ask the saddle maker and see what he recommends. If not cared for often enough, the leathers can dehydrate and tend to crack; vice versa, over-conditioning (especially with a highly oily conditioner) can cause the fibres of the hide to silt up.
Both will shorten the service lives of your saddle by years. The frequency of your training depends on the kind of saddle used, how often and under what circumstances you are riding, as well as the climatic and meteorological factors. But some of the tougher types of skins (like Passier's) take longer to crack, and the right care can help the game.
On the other side, Black Country's antique leathers are pre-oiled, break down quickly and probably don't need to be cared for as often. As for Passier's Balm, all well-known makes (Effax, Stubben, Ledertherapie, etc.) are the same. Spread a thin layer on ALL the saddle leathers: both sides of the saddle flap, the jockeyeys, the buckles and truncheons, the panel (including the bottom) and the oesophagus.
I am often asked: "Can I use _____ on my saddle? "Treated like your skin: Keep your leathers moist and clear with special formulations and keep away from rough conditions! IMPORTANT: If your new saddle is flockned with fiber, you must have the flock and the saddle fitting inspected after approx. 10-20 hours.
Remember that at some point you will probably have to remove all the yarn from your saddle and have it substituted with new yarn. The upholsterer can tell you when it's about. If possible, your saddle should be mounted on a saddle stand - either in commercial or home-made design.
To avoid the risk of dirt, use your saddle cloth (or a large towel) to keep it away from the cats' males. Tilting the saddle onto the knob is sometimes good, but when stored in this way, the keys (especially with a close-contact or all-purpose saddle) can crinkle and scratch the keys and the knob.
Do not pile up a saddle, as this can cause the cushions to lie on the saddle when the saddle is made with flock. Maintain your saddle in a cool (and preferably dry) area - no wet sockets. Moist storing is conducive to the development of moulds. When turning, make sure that your saddle is out of the range of your (or another!) saddle.
Inquisitive noses can make your saddle fall to the floor (which can chafe or break the hide or even break the tree) and prevent it from toothpick. It is a good notion to be able to climb from the floor if necessary, but making a practice of it is hard on your horse's back, the saddle flock and can finally turn the canopy.