How do you take care of your horse tack?

It is important to take care of your riding equipment, both for safety and comfort, but also for it to last longer. I prefer to go over my horse tack after every training session. Here are some tips for you: 

 

Cleaning:

  • Saddles and bridles: After each ride, wipe down your bridle (maybe you saddle) with a damp cloth to remove sweat and dirt. I prefer to use a little glycerin-based saddle soap as well, but that's up to you. You should at least, once a week, wash you equipment with a glycerin-based soap. 
  • Bits: Rinse the bit with water after each use to remove any residue from the horse's mouth.
  • Stirrups and Irons: When it's needed clean stirrups and irons with a damp cloth to prevent rust and dirt buildup. 

 

        Conditioning:

        • Leather Conditioning: Use a leather conditioner once a month (or more often) to keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out and cracking. I like to apply my conditioner with my hands or a sponge, you can use a cloth. Let it dry before using the leather. 
        • Oiling: For older or very dry tack, use a leather oil to restore and moisture. Be careful not to over-oil, as this can weaken the leather. 

         

        Storage: 

        • Cool and Dry: Store tack in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew. Avoid sunlight, as it can cause the leather to fade and dry out.
        • Covered Storage: Use saddle covers every day. If you don't use your bridle for a while, you may want to use a bridle bag to protect it from dust and dirt. 
        • Proper Support: Hang bridles on bridle racks and saddles on saddle racks to maintain their shape and prevent damage.

         

        Inspection:

        • Fitting: It's important that all tacks fits your horse properly. Poorly fitting tack can cause discomfort and injury to the horse. If you're unsure about how the tack should fit, such as the saddle, bridle, or blanket, ask for assistance. 

         

        Special Care for Non-Leather Tack:

        • Synthetic Tack: Clean synthetic tack with mild soap and water. Synthetic materials don't require conditioning but still need regular cleaning to prevent buildup of sweat and grime.
        • Neoprene and Nylon: Use a soft brush to remove dirt and rinse with water. Allow to air dry completely before storing.

         

        Preventative Measures:

        • Waterproofing: Use a waterproofing spray on leather tack to protect it from rain and moisture.
        • Rotating Tack: If you have multiple sets of tack, rotate their use to allow each set to rest and reduce wear and tear.

        Everything you need to keep your tack clean and tidy!

        I would like to add that I wash most of my saddle pads, rugs, blankets, boots, and bandages in the washing machine at around 30 to 40 degrees. However, it's important to be cautious and check the care instructions on each product to ensure proper cleaning based on the materials used.