Use these tips to get your tack in tip-top shape.
Rainy days present the perfect opportunity to clean your saddle. You’ll need saddle soap, neatsfoot oil, several rags and sponges, and lots of elbow grease. Because it’s a messy chore, it’s best to put down a sheet of plastic and get to work in the garage or barn aisle.
Here Are a Few Tips:
• Remove all saddle parts: latigo, cinch, back cinch, stirrups, conchos and other silver pieces.
• Scrub the entire saddle – all but the sheepskin on the flipside – under the fenders and in all the nooks and crannies with saddle soap.
• Remove stains from leather with cleaning fluids (or cleaning fluid mixed with cornstarch for stubborn stains).
Get into the routine of saddling your horse correctly by downloading AQHA’s FREE Saddling a Horse report. Or, keep scrolling down to see a video from a great AQHA alliance partner, the Certified Horsemanship Association.
• Use neatsfoot oil to condition the leather. Do not over-oil the saddle because this will soften it too much.
• When the oil is dry, buff the leather with a soft cloth.
• Use sandpaper to raise the nap of roughouts.
• Straighten out the kinks in saddle strings by pulling them through a leather conditioner-treated cloth held between your thumb and forefinger.
• Use a circular motion to brush suede or roughout seats with a wire, bristle or rubber brush.
• Use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean grime off bits.
• Hang your bridles from old saddle soap tins nailed to the tack room wall to help them keep their rounded shape.
• Use the dish-washing tool with the sponge at the end of a hollow tube to clean tack. Fill it with liquid saddle soap instead of dish soap.
• Use a chamois to rub down your horse after a bath.
All of your saddling questions are answered in AQHA’s Saddling a Horse report.
The Certified Horsemanship Association has provided you with a chance to learn how to saddle your horse correctly. The purpose of CHA is to promote safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry.