In a lot of what we’re finding in horse work, “getting back to nature” is proving to be an effective, even ideal philosophy. That is: if we consider how horses live naturally, it’s often better for the horse than our man-made alternatives (stalls, grains, blankets, etc.).
In a parallel universe, we’re finding that nature-based products are best for our horse gear. We chatted with Susan and Vincent Skidmore recently. They run Skidmore’s, a Washington-based company which makes products for leather care and conditioning. Many say Skidmore’s is the only thing to use on saddles, bridles, leggings, and boots.
Some 30 years ago, Vincent Skidmore started with a notion and began by mixing beeswax and other natural ingredients in a coffee can. He brought it to saddle-making friends in and around Laramie, Wyoming, where he was living at the time. With a little tweaking, a now tried-and-true product was born. Scores of high-end leather makers swear by it, including Dave Thornbury and Loren Skyhorse, said Skidmore. The leather cream is used on saddles worth tens of thousands of dollars and even on Rolls Royce upholstery, he added.
I know what’s NOT in it: no animal products and nothing synthetic. But other than acknowledging its “piney” smell, neither
Vincent nor Susan would give any hints on the proprietary blend.
Whatever the products contain, Skidmore’s creams have an increasing fan base. The motorcycle demographic (folks who also have a lot of leather to care for) has discovered them, too.
“We sell to a ton of Mom and Pop saddle shops, to the Amish community, saddle makers, boots and chaps makers,” said Susan from their shop in Port Townsend, Washington. The company has steadily grown through word-of-mouth and the testimonials of its customers.
Skidmore’s is part of our All-American November celebration. When you sign up for the Remuda Reader subscription, you’re automatically qualified to win a prize pack including a Skidmore’s gift box. Read more about that here.