How to Clean Your Tack
Whether you like it or not, cleaning tack is very important. A good cleaning does not only make your tack shiny, but it also helps it last longer and stops it from making noise when riding.
It’s effective to give basic cleaning to your tack to get rid of dust and dirt after each riding, and a detailed cleaning every once in a while depending on how often you use it. But, how to clean all the different parts of tack? Here is the answer:
- Cleaning The Bridle:
It is not surprising that a shiny bridle makes a horse look quite handsome/beautiful and highlights his/her cute face.
With regular cleaning and oiling, leather bridles remain soft, supple, and last longer years. If you use the bridle every day, you should clean and oil it at least once a week.
When it comes to cleaning a bridle, simply add some glycerine soap in water, dampen a soft sponge and gently wipe it and let it dry in a dark place.
About oiling, take the bridle apart and condition each part using a good leather soap and a sponge. Then, reassemble it and let it dry for a couple of days.
- Cleaning The Saddle:
The saddle is probably the most expensive part in a horse’s tack and it should always be clean and shiny for a better ride or maybe for a show. Just like bridles, saddles can last longer with regular cleaning and conditioning.
Before starting, unfasten any buckles and remove fittings from your saddle. Moisten a sponge with water and remove any dirt.
After that, take a damp sponge -not too damp- and apply a mild leather cleaner or saddle soap. Carefully, cover all the leather areas of your saddle. Make sure you get the undersides of the leather and between flaps.
But, do not over-wet the underside, as this can soak the wool flocking under the leather, Next, apply a non-detergent leather conditioner sparingly and according to its label. Let it rinse for a while before it’s ready to use again.
- Cleaning The Saddle Pads:
Saddle pads are the part of tack where you express your style by choosing from a variety of colors and patterns.
As saddle pads can be wool or cotton, first learn which material it is. If it is wool, never ever try a washer or dryer. You can simply loosen dirt, sweat, and hair. by scrubbing with a rubber curry comb in a circular motion.
Then, wash the pad. Using a sprayer attachment, spraying the water and hang it to dry. If the pad is cotton, you can wash it at hand or use a washer, but first, you need to brush off all the hair with a proper brush.
You can also mix up some water and oxy-type stain remover and let things soak overnight in a bucket if the pad is really dirty. When using the washer use cool water and don't use a heat cycle in your dryer to avoid the corners of the pad shrinking and curling up.
Also, pay attention to the detergent to make sure it won’t cause allergy on your horse. When washed, better to hang to dry than using dryer.
- Cleaning The Protection Boots:
Cleaning the boots of your horse can be confusing since there are so many types of them and many different materials used making them. It is wise to choose the cleaning type according to the material of the boots.
Leather boots need a soft brushing or wiping, and maybe even some conditioning to soften the leather and make it last longer.
If the boots are some sort of neoprene, they can be wiped with a dampened cloth or hosed for fewl minutes to clean. If the boots are extremely dirty and won’t be cleaned, you can use a super mild detergent or shampoo.
Still, it is better to consult where you purchased the boots and get their help about the material and cleaning.
Polo wraps and other 100% cotton wraps can be washed just like any cotton saddle pad we mentioned above.
- Cleaning The Metals:
Cleaning the metal parts of the tack is different from cleaning other parts. Especially the bits are more important to keep clean and use a natural cleaning method as they get into your horse’s mouth.
To get any clean and shiny, you can wash it with some hot water and apply vinegar with an old toothbrush to polish it and wipe with a piece of cloth. A mix of salt and vinegar can get you better results.
Also, as another metal part, stirrups get dirty quicker than other tack pieces. Don’t forget to clean your stirrups as often as you can, so dirt doesn’t build up on the surface.
To clean any stirrups, grab some warm water, sponge and mild soap. Wash them off gently. You can also use some vinegar on the metal if you don’t have mild soap.
If your stirrups have hard-to-remove stains, leave them soaking in mild soap water overnight and clean them the next day as usual.