Your saddle can be an expensive piece of equipment, and if you are putting it into storage, you want to take some steps to ensure that it is in good condition when you take it out of storage. Wondering how to protect your saddle? Check out these tips:
1. Choose a climate-controlled storage facility.
When choosing your storage facility, look for a place with climate-controlled storage lockers. This will protect the leather of your saddle from warping. If you have to use storage garage that does not have humidity control, place some desiccants in the unit. They will absorb extra moisture from the air and keep it away from your saddle.
2. Invest in a saddle stand or rack.
If possible, invest in a saddle rack or stand. That holds your saddle and prevents it from getting misshapen. In contrast, if you hang your saddle from its horn or stand it on its side or fork, the leather may get stretched or smashed, respectively.
If you don't have a saddle rack and you are storing other items, you may be able to use them as a makeshift saddle rack. Headboards, sawhorses or even the handlebars of your bicycle may act as substitutes.
Make sure that the fenders, saddle strings and other parts hang straight down to preserve their shape, and, ideally, your rack should be tall enough that these elements don't drag on the ground.
3. Clean your saddle before storing it.
To avoid dust discolouring your saddle when it's in storage or stains setting in the leather, make sure that you clean it thoroughly before putting it into storage. Use a commercial saddle cleaner and conditioner. Then, oil it to help protect the leather.
4. Use a saddle cover.
You also have to be vigilant about dust while your saddle is in storage. To protect it, use a saddle cover. Ideally, you want a fitted cover or a cover with a zipper so that your saddle is completely covered. If you decide to use a saddle cover that only fits over the top of your saddle, you may want to protect its underside by placing a sheet on top of the saddle rack and underneath the saddle.
5. Take precautions against mice.
Unfortunately, mice like to snack on leather, and that can damage your saddle. To prevent that, make sure that the storage facility you select has rodent control measures in place. Also, look over your unit to ensure it is well sealed. Finally, consider leaving some mouse poison out to ensure mice that get into your unit will die quickly.