All riders put their tack through loads of abuse… the mud and dirt and sweat, let alone horse slobber on any given day can take the life out of leather. While you may not have the time to give your tack a thorough cleaning after each ride, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your tack stays safe and beautiful.
If you can give your tack a simple wipe after each ride, it can save you time and elbow grease when you do a major cleaning. Take a clean, slightly damp cloth and wipe down all the areas that contact the horse. We recommend using a little dab of Leather Soap with Tea Tree Oil for this. The natural ingredients are proven to deter mold and mildew, while maintaining suppleness.
If you have given your horse a solid workout in warm weather, check the under side of your saddle for built up sweat and grime. Usually a saddle pad will protect your saddle but take the time to check. Long term it can seriously damage your expensive investment. Lift all flaps and get under there, too! You will notice that the seams are often the first place that hair and goop like to collect.
Lastly, horses tend to sweat along the girth even if they are cool as a cucumber everywhere else. So it’s a good idea to get in the habit of wiping your girth off after every ride.
The Big Clean
So now you have a show coming up and you already know it’s important to give your tack a thorough cleaning. While you want to make a polished appearance this is a great opportunity to check your tack for any loose stitching, torn billets, cracked leather or any other compromised areas in your tack. You would hate to lose the jump off because a rein broke.
Begin by taking all your tack apart. Unbuckle every buckle, and count the holes so you will know how to adjust your bridle when its time to put it back together. Use a damp sponge or cloth to work your leather soap into the leather. Avoid getting the sponge or cloth excessively wet. Water is not your tack’s friend.
Take a dull knife and scrape the inside of the rein where it loops around the bit. The metal of the bit combined with the horse’s saliva can cause the greatest build up of dirt that a sponge cannot erase. Make sure that you are scraping the inside part of the loop and not the smooth exterior part of the rein causing cosmetic damage!
Using Emerald Valley’s Leather Soap with Tea Tree Oil is the natural way to keep your tack in good health. After cleaning all your strap wear and saddles, work our Leather Balm in to condition the leather. Our Leather Balm’s natural oils help to restore and rejuvenate old leather or soften and protect new leather.
For anyone with tooled leather, you know how hard it is to clean without leaving residue. With Smart Leather you have a high quality leather dressing that protects, softens and reconditions leather. Its liquid formula makes it perfect for the crevices. With added Tea Tree Oil, it will remove mold and prevent mildew. So naturally gentle you can use it as a daily leather conditioner.
If you have any questions about the natural ingredients found in our leather care products, please feel free to contact us. As always, thanks for riding along with us.