What can I do about a squeaky saddle?


Your saddle could be new or old, cleaned/conditioned every day or totally neglected, and then one day you start to hear a squeak. A REALLY ANNOYING squeak. With every step. In a very tidy nutshell, it’s easy to figure out the reason for the squeak.


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Reasons that saddles squeak


  • Dry leather


  • Popped rivet in the head plate


  • Broken head plate


western saddle with tooling and chrome


  • The head plate of your saddle is the bent metal plate that sits over your horse’s withers and forms the shape of the pommel. It looks like a boomerang! The rivets that hold the head plate in place (critical little rivets) can come loose, get wonky, or even pop out totally. In any case, the structural integrity of your saddle is compromised and a repair is in order.



saddle gullet near the pommel


What can you do about a squeaky saddle?


  • Oil the saddle to make sure the leather is soft and supple. Make regular cleaning, conditioning and oiling a daily part of your routine. This extends your horse’s saddle life and makes a very nice cushion for your tush!


  • Have your horse’s saddle looked at by a saddle fitter to examine the tree and head plate. If something is broken there, your saddle fitter should be able to arrange repairs.



black dressage saddle on a railing


Use baby powder between the flaps to get rid of the squeak.


  • While I have never tried this, I suspect it might work, but only if that part of the saddle is the cause. If it’s the tree that is causing the squeak, you just snowed on your saddle for no reason. One more thought on the baby powder trick – this may dry out your leather. And dry leather = damaged leather = easily broken leather = you’re in the dirt.


underneath a saddle showing the gullet and flaps


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