Friday, December 30, 2016

Leather Tack & Winter Weather

The Problem

Winter weather is no friend to leather, especially polluted rainwater. Microscopically, leather is made up of collagen fibers. During tanning, hides are soaked in chemicals to prevent its fibers and their bonds from decomposing. Natural fats and oils are tumbled with the hides to keep the protein bonds from drying out and to make the leather supple.

Protein bonds must be lubricated and kept supple, this is the key to long lasting leather. If the bonds dry out completely, they shrink, become brittle and break. Once broken, they are permanently weakened. Soaking leather in oil may make it supple again, but damaged fibers can’t be repaired or strength restored.

When your equipment gets drenched, the water forms temporary bonds with the lubricating oils. These vital oils float to the surface as the water evaporates.  That’s why the leather feels stiffer.

The Solution

Take action to get therapeutic oil back into that wet leather before its fibers completely dry. Remove dirt, sweat and mud from the wet leather with a damp rag. If the leather is really dirty or old conditioner has come to the surface, use a non-greasy, neutral pH leather cleaner to get the surface clean.

Wet leather needs to absorb conditioner deep within its fibers to replace oils flushed out by water. While the leather is still damp, apply a light coat of a penetrating, neutral pH leather conditioner. Capillary action will pull the conditioner down between the fibers. Thick or waxy conditioners tend to stay on or near the leather's surface, so look for conditioners with a neutral pH and avoid cleaners or conditioners with a harsh, alkaline pH. An alkaline pH, such as that of soaps, can damage and eventually weaken leather fibers.

An Ounce of Prevention

Water can move dyes, leaving spots and splotches on leather once dry. Often, stripping and re-dying is the only recourse to restore even color or the depth of color.

Preventing the problem with a waterproofing product is much easier. Grease based dressings form a physical barrier that keeps mud and water away from leather's pores. However, they are sticky, attract dirt, and cannot be used on nappy leathers like suede.

Silicone sprays are non-greasy and can be used on both suede and smooth leather. However, they can make leather surfaces slippery and can affect the color of porous leathers, and can dry leather if overused.

Acrylic copolymer is the newest option for waterproofing. It forms a microscopic net too fine for water molecules to penetrate but porous enough to allow water vapor to pass through. It creates a unique, flexible coating that protects leather fibers from rain, maintains breathability, isn’t slippery, and acts to fix dyes in porous suede.

If you're caught out in the rain, don’t panic, look at it as an opportunity to stop putting off that leather conditioning and waterproofing you've meant to do but just haven't gotten around to yet and embrace the opportunity to care for your tack!
You can find quality leather tack at

Friday, November 25, 2016

HALTERS – Nylon or Leather?

Horse owners are required to make many choices as they care for their treasured equine friends.  One of the most commonly purchased horse care items is also one of the most used and essential items we own, the halter.  Choices available are nylon flat halters, nylon rope halters, and leather halters.  Halters are typically paired with a horse to match the training development stage of the horse. Another consideration in determining which type of halter is best, is choosing one that suits the experience of the handler and of the horse. Of utmost importance is the safety of both handler and horse.

Nylon rope halters are usually an economical choice, very strong and offer a degree of greater control for horses with behavioral issues that may need to be worked out. A flat web nylon halter is a classic choice.  However, the durability of a nylon halter also happens to be one of their main disadvantages. A horse that is tied with a nylon halter can injure itself if the halter gets tangled or caught on an obstacle, which makes for a potentially dangerous situation. So, while nylon halters may be used for moving a horse from barn to pasture and back, the possible danger of injury prohibits leaving a nylon halter on for an extended period, especially overnight when a horse is unsupervised. 

Leather halters can come at a higher price, but are categorically much safer than nylon halters. Natural leather halters can be considered breakaway halters and are designed to break if a horse gets their halter tangled or caught on any obstacle.  Leather halters are an excellent choice while trailering, again because of the breakaway ability.

Unlike leather that breaks, nylon tears. This often means that it will take multiple, very forceful events for a horse to free themselves of their nylon halter once tangled or caught on an obstacle.  It's not by accident that horse tack is made of leather.  

It is not uncommon to hear stories of horses who have been severely injured trying to break loose from a caught halter.  Stories abound of horses found with any variety of items trailing behind them from which they have torn loose. Many a horse has been inured running through a fence, getting caught in a gate opening, etc., being afraid of something “chasing” behind them. 

While we can’t always have every item of tack that we may desire, when it comes to the health and safety of our equine friends, the choice is no longer a desire but a need.  Having both types of halters in our barns is a must.  Check out the selection of fine leather and nylon halters at Buckaroo Leather.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving the Western Horseman with the safest, most durable, Quality American made leather horse tack.......
Buckaroo John Brand Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand!

Visit Our Unique Store Today Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

From all of us at Buckaroo Leather, we wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving the Western Horseman with the safest most durable Quality American made leather horse tack.......
Buckaroo John Brand Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand!

Visit Our Unique Store Today Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

We would love to see you!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Four Key Points to Look for When Purchasing Leather Horse Tack

The Four Key Points to Look for When Purchasing Leather Horse Tack

1. Start with the feel of the leather: Is the leather soft and supple? You want to avoid purchasing tack that feels dry because the quality will be subpar. If you bend the leather and you see it starting to crack it is useless and may become very dangerous when riding. It should be bendable, soft and not stiff. Even if it has not been oiled, tack should still stay supple. However, when buying new tack if the leather feels overly soft then this is not good either. This sort of tack has had too much oil applied and is often a technique to disguise bad quality leather.

2. Next Smell: Yes, it important to smell the leather. Quality leather has a fresh warm smell, whereas inferior leather can have a chemical or ammonia like smell. Off odor is the first hint that the leather has been tanned too quickly and inexpensively. Top quality leather has a beautiful natural smell to it, no matter how old or how new it is. The more you handle leather the more you will be able to tell what smells like good leather. If you don't think it smells quite right then this is the first sign to identifying bad quality leather.

3. Look at the Color: Even though, some quality leather may be dyed it will still show the pliability and fresh smell noted above. Inferior leather seems to be “dull”. Dark color dyes can hide lower quality and poorly matched leathers. Avoid leather tack that looks blotchy or faded.

4. Check the details: Why would you put quality craftsmanship into poor quality leather? Well, you wouldn't. It wouldn't make logical sense. Look at the stitching of the leather; has it been finished off neatly and is it even? Stitching that is neat and even, then finished off and tucked in is a hallmark of good workmanship and quality tack. Also, look for durable hardware with strong steel tongue buckles and rounded edges that won’t cut into the leather.

If you are looking for quality equipment visit Buckaroo Leather Products for a wide variety of tack and equipment as well as other leather products needed for horse riding. Purchase headstalls, reins, leather halters, bits, hardware, hobbles, rawhide gear and leather care products at Buckaroo Leather.  The materials which go into the making of Buckaroo Leather Tack and the craftsmanship employed in it’s making are elements of the highest importance. You could have no higher guarantee of quality and workmanship than the name Buckaroo Leather upon your tack. It represents an organization proud of its establishment in 1979, and ever since catering to horseman and women with two generations of experience and knowledge applied in the making of riding equipment to the most exacting standards. Buckaroo Leather is The Brand to Demand!  Visit us at or give us a call (530) 545-0139