How To Clean Horse Tack
How do you clean horse tack including saddle, bridle, girth, and other leather pieces? Its simple with a few tricks and instructions.
In order to keep horse tack in top condition, it is vital to clean it every time you use it. If you ever go on vacation make sure to place the leather tack pieces in an air conditioned room to ensure best condition. A well crafted piece of tack can last an average of five or more years if properly kept up. There are a few supplies that are important to tack cleaning.
A choir boy scrubber is needed to clean the bit, as well as a soft but durable towel to wipe down the tack after it is cleaned. A leather cleaner, such as glycerin soap, or other meant for leather cleanser is essential, also a small sponge. An old tooth brush and a tooth pick are also handy things to have around for hard to reach crevices.
The best way to clean a bridle is to first take it apart. After the bridle is dismantled, clean the bit with the choir boy scrubber, do not put any soap on the bit for it would taste very bad for the horse. Work up some lather on the sponge with the glycerin soap, then soap up all the pieces of the bridle. Wipe down each piece with the towel, then stick the tooth pick through all of the holes to get the extra soap out. After the bridle is reassembled you will have a perfectly clean bridle!
The girth should be soaped up in the same fashion as the bridle, and the buckles should be rubbed with the choir boy scrubber. The saddle is probably the hardest piece of tack to clean. First remove the stirrups and stirrup irons. Rub the metal of the stirrups with the choir boy, and wash the pads with regular soap and water (do NOT use glycerin, they will become slippery). Soap up the stirrup leathers using glycerin soap, then poke the holes out with the toothpick.
Soap the entire saddle using glycerin soap, use the soaped up toothbrush to get into the crevices that lie within the saddle. Make sure to spend extra time on the underneath of the saddle for this is the most filthy section. After the saddle is nice and soaped up, wipe it down with the towel then poke the holes through with the toothpick.
Whenever you buy a piece of leather which you intend to use for your horse, check to see if there is a wax coating on top. If the leather is shiny, it has been coated in wax. First use rubbing alcohol to remove the coating. Next use neatsfoot oil to saturate the leather. Soak the leather pieces in the oil until they drip. Then allow the leather pieces to air dry for at least two days. If your tack is properly oiled, and then cleaned every day, it withstand many of natures abusive conditions.