Perfect Time To Clean Tack
With it still being winter, you probably aren’t riding as much. Hopefully, you are still going to the barn and getting horse time in. With more free time in the winter, it is the perfect time to clean tack.
You Don’t Have To Do It Out In The Cold
Though you can’t bring your horse inside the house to mess with him. You certainly can bring your tack in a nice warm house and clean it.
What’s The Big Deal?
Keeping your tack in good condition is one of the many responsibilities we have as horse owners and riders. Our tack will last much longer if it is taken care of. Not only that, for safety purposes. Tack that is not kept cleaned and moisturized can easily crack and break.
You don’t want to find yourself riding with one rein unexpectedly. Or have your stirrup snap on a jump course. For control and safety, we always need our tack in good repair.
My Favorite Saddle Soap
My favorite leather cleaning product is horseman’s one step.
This stuff works very well. A little bit goes a long way. It will last you a while. Goes on easily and absorbs quickly with any kind of sponge.
Cleaning Your Saddle
When you clean your saddle. I would recommend taking the stirrups off the saddle. You want to check them for wear and tear. Make sure they don’t have any cracks starting that could end up breaking. Again, a broken stirrup leather while riding never ends in anything good.
Clean the whole entire saddle. Including lifting the flap and getting the billets and underneath the billets. Billets are another thing that you should check frequently, making sure they are not dry and cracking from wear and tear. Unfortunately replacing billets is not a cheap fix, but obviously we can’t have our billets breaking and our girth coming loose. Again that is another situation that will not end well.
Cleaning Your Bridle
Most people hate cleaning bridles. Mostly because they find it annoying to take it apart and then put it back together. That is the best way to get a thorough cleaning though.
As you clean each check it for wear and tear or cracking. Check all the buckles as well. From the way horses sweat and then sweat dries on the leather, bridle parts can dry out and crack easily.
Once you have cleaned your saddle and bridle, there is one more step that can help extend the life of your tack. I use Neats Foot Oil.
Again, this is another product that a little bit goes a long way. So don’t overdo it!
Cleaning Your Bit
If you wipe down your bit every time you ride cleaning it should be fairly easy. If not, there may be some dry cacked on stuff on your bit. Stuff a quick dunk in a water bucket won’t get off.
For the stubborn hard stuff on bits, while you have your bridle taken apart, clean it the best you can and let it soak in Listerine for a little while. Once you do this it should make it easier to wipe those hard spots right off.
That’s right I said Listerine, the regular old people stuff.
Try To Keep Up With Your Tack Cleaning
If you clean your tack regularly it will last longer, be safer and more comfortable on your horse’s body.
The other benefit of regular tack cleaning is that when and if you go to a show, your tack shouldn’t be too bad at all. A quick wipe down with horseman’s one step should have you good to go.
It doesn’t even have to be boring…Have a tack cleaning party with your barn buddies. See, that way you are doing something productive and having fun at the same time!!