Your saddle comes in contact with all kinds of different elements, from dust and hay, to sweat and cold weather. Keep you and your horse safe and make sure you’re taking proper care of your equipment with this step by step guide to cleaning your english and western tack.
1. Wipe down your saddle with some hot water & a sponge. The hot water helps clean the dust and dirt off the leather and opens up the pores in the leather. This will also help remove any larger pieces of debris.
2. Get some saddle soap and get to cleaning! Apply the saddle soap with a towel or wash rag in a circular motion. Depending on the type of cleaning leather soap you purchase, you may need to leave it on the saddle for a bit or remove it right away. Please be sure to read the instructions.
3. After cleaning leather saddles, apply a leather conditioner like TriNova’s to keep your saddle looking new and preventing damage or dry rot. (We absolutely LOVE this product and use it all the time!)
4. Cleaning suede: Now that you have the leather all cleaned up you’ll want to dampen another rag and wipe down the suede lightly. Be cautious that the rag isn't too wet & that your focusing on the stains in particular, not the entire seat.
5. Adding the sparkle: Cleaning off the silver and conchos on a western saddle or maintaining all of the metal billets and rings of an English saddle can be time consuming. Instead of spending a LOT of time once a year cleaning these metal pieces, try cleaning them more often to prevent dirt, tarnish or rust to begin with.
Cleaning a saddle or the rest of your tack isn’t just about appearances. Taking the time to check everything over and make sure everything on your saddle is in proper shape can save a lot of time and keep you safe while you ride.