J. M. Saddler, Inc. was founded in October of 1986. The name was formed from the first initials of the names of the first two partners, "J" and "M", who started the company, and "Saddler", which came from the name the U.S. Cavalry designated those persons who made and repaired the saddles, bridles, harnesses and other equipment for the horses. The chevrons these enlisted men wore reflected their Army specialty. The emblem the Saddler wore at the center of his chevrons was a head knife. We use the same head knife design on our label. A head knife is used by leather crafters to split the tanned hide of an animal into a thinner and more flexible piece of leather.
J.M. Saddler, Inc. began with two products: Saddler's TLC® one step leather cleaner and conditioner, and Saddler's® Preservative. While the company may be "young", these products are from a formula used by nine generations of harness makers. The formula originated with a family of German harness makers and was passed down orally from one generation to the next. Eventually, the formula was found written down in German in a book dating back to 1839 and then translated into English in 1849. These craftsmen understood that dirty leather becomes stiff and hard because its pores are plugged with dirt and grime. In order to properly clean leather, the formula needed an emulsifying agent that would go down deep into the pores and bring the dirt up and then replace the natural oils. Most leather cleaners only did half the process. They removed the dirt but left the leather dry. Using this formula, Saddler's TLC® does both parts of the process in one easy step.
The last of the German harness makers began his business by taking the tack that he had made to Horse Fairs that were held each Friday evening. He would also mix up small batches, about two gallons at a time, of the leather cleaner and conditioner and preservative, put it in jars and sell it at the fairs. The profits were used to buy horses for his farm. During the last four years of his life, one of the J.M. Saddler partners apprenticed under him, learning the craft of harness making as well as the qualities of fine leather. When he passed away, his tools, equipment and books were given to his apprentice who continued making the formula. As time went by, this apprentice began making larger quantities of the formula, 500 gallons at a time, putting it in 55-gallon drums and taking it to the race tracks to sell. People would bring their own buckets to fill with the cleaner that had become so well known among horse owners.
Several years later, the two soon-to-be partners met and what started out as a friendship also became a partnership known as J. M. Saddler, Inc. The company continued to grow in the equestrian market and eventually branched out into the luggage market, leather furniture market, shoe repair and classic car restoration. In 1988, J.M. Saddler, Inc. became an official supplier of the U.S. Equestrian Team.
During the 1990's, two more products were introduced into the line: RAPLAST®, which is used to aid in preventing horses from chewing on wraps, blankets, manes and tails, and wood; and DOG GONE®, which is used as a training aid with dogs to stop repeated chewing on the areas of application.
In early 2000, two more products were introduced under the SADDLER name: SADDLER'S® BLANKET WASH and SADDLER'S® SPORTS FABRIC WASH. Soon to follow were OLD MacDONALD'S® CITRONELLA, TEA TREE OIL and ANTI-FUNGAL SHAMPOOS. OLD MacDONALD'S® HOOF DRESSING and UDDERLY WONDERFUL SALVE™ were added to the product line in 2003 and 2004.
In January of 2004, J.M. Saddler, Inc. introduced a whole new line of professional horse products under a new label: BLUE STALLION®.
J.M. Saddler, Inc. currently manufacturers eight different product lines, consisting of more than 20 items in sizes tailored to various needs. Our products are distributed world-wide and to six major industries, e.g. equestrian and pet, luggage and furniture markets, shoe repair and automotive aftermarket.
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