Keeping your saddlery in good condition is essential to its safety, longevity as well as smart appearance for the competition ring or at home. At Houghton Country you’ll find everything you need to take good care of your leatherwork.
Taking care of your leatherwork includes oiling new leather, cleaning your horse’s tack to remove grease and dirt, and regularly conditioning it with a quality leather conditioner. Synthetic tack should be wiped clean with clean, warm water.
How often should you clean your horse's tack?
It is advisable to clean and condition your horse's tack after every ride, to keep the leather healthy and prevent rubs to your horse's skin. Many riders do however lack the time to do this, and will wipe their tack down after every ride and clean and condition more thoroughly less frequently. Tack cleaning wipes can save time and are perfect for a quick wipe over after a ride, while leather cleaning and conditioning sprays can be used when you clean your tack more thoroughly. Regular cleaning not only keeps your tack in good condition, but gives you the opportunity to check it over for signs of damage or excessive wear that may result in leather snapping.
How do I clean my horse's tack?
You may find our Tack Cleaning Guide helpful.
What do I need to clean my horse's tack?
To clean your leatherwork including your bridle, saddle and girth you will need a cloth or sponge, a bucket of clean plain water (ideally warm), leather cleaning products if you wish, and a leather conditioning product such as a balsam or spray. To clean metalwork such as your bit or stirrups you will need a bucket of clean plain water and a different cloth or sponge. Remember to use a clean cloth to avoid covering the bit, which goes in your horse's mouth, in leather care products or dirt. Synthetic tack can be cleaned with plain water. Our Tack Cleaning Guide outlines everything you will need and how to clean your tack in more detail.
Can you clean tack with water?
Yes, plain water will clean leather as well as synthetic tack. Warm water is best for removing grease and dirt more quickly. A tack cleaner such as a spray or balm will lift grease more easily. Water dries leather out, so it is very important to condition your leather after cleaning it with water. Remember to wipe away excess water and clean your tack using circular motions with a sponge or cloth, as water marks on leather are unsightly.
Tack cleaning can feel like a chore but is an essential part of horse ownership, helping to preserve leather, give you the chance to check it over, and keep you and your horse looking well-presented. Saddle soap, tack cleaning wipes and tack cleaning sprays help to remove grease and dirt, while leather balsams, oils and conditioners keep leather soft and supple.