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Back in the Old West, the majority of cowboys chose their holsters from what was available at the local gun shop, and others purchased better quality rigs from saddlery shops when they hit big cattle towns after a trail drive and they had a few bucks in their pockets. Others less fortunate simply modified old cavalry holsters, making due with what was at hand. The point is, the majority of holsters were simply made, did their job and wore out over time. Most cowboys, farmers and working-class folks had to make their leather last a long time, and when holsters, belts, saddles and tack got worn, scuffed or dry, they used the simplest means for maintaining them: a scrap of cloth, some saddle soap for cleaning and neat’s-foot oil for protection. 

RUN WITH A WARHORSE: Today, old leather can be cleaned and preserved a number of ways, including still using neat’s-foot oil. The techniques have never changed. Scuffed up and worn leather is typical of the wear holsters endured on the open range. Warhorse all-natural leather deep cleaning soap and conditioner can help restore old leather in one application with a classic combination of vegetable glycerin, saponified vegetable oils, water and citric acid. Warhorse removes dirt, cleans and protects. It took only a few minutes to get the well-worn holster shown looking almost like new. After drying overnight, a little hand rubbing brought back a nice luster. Warhorse won’t restore your old gun, but so long as you keep it holstered no one will be the wiser! For more, visit warhorsesolutions.com or call 855-761-0007.—Dennis Adler

 This article originally published in AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN®  2014-#158 issue. Print and Digital Subscriptions to AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN®  magazine are available here

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