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Care of sheepskin pad

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  • Care of sheepskin pad

    Hello wise and wonderful denizens of COTH! Just got my first sheepskin saddle pad for my sensitive mare. It's my first one, and as you know, they're not cheap, so I'd like for it to last. Haven't even tried it on her yet, but assuming it works for us, I'd love to hear how you care for your sheepskin to keep it looking good and to keep it in great shape for (hopefully) years to come.

    I keep my mare pretty clean. Blanketed in winter, groomed *far* more often and completely than she'd prefer, regular baths in warm weather. I plan to use the pad with nothing under it.

    All I've been able to glean so far is to let it dry, then brush it off. I've read I can wash it occasionally. How do you wash yours?

    Thanks, all!

  • #2
    I wash mine in cold water, gentle cycle, using Eucalan Woolwash. In the rinse cycle, I add a bit more Eucalan and some Downy fabric softener. I run it through the dryer on air fluff or delicate for 10 or 15 minutes, then let it air dry the rest of the way. I probably wash mine more frequently than the manufacturer suggests but I can't stand dirty, crusty saddle pads. I brush mine with the same brush I use for manes & tails.

    Eucalan contains lanolin, the oil that wool naturally contains, so it helps maintain the health of the sheepskin. The use of Downy fabric softener was a suggestion from a local saddle fitter.

    I have several sheepskin pads that are many years old.


    • #3
      First, if you are using it as a half pad you can put a baby pad under it and the sheepskin will stay clean.

      If you want or need sheepskin right against the horse, I use Melp soap (from Mattes) in a lukewarm top loading machine on the woolen cycle (long soak and shorter spin). Then air dry on a dry day in shade. Then fluff up with a wire hair brush.

      Unfortunately the mild soap needed for the sheepskin means the cloth parts of the pad will never look clean and you can't bleach it obviously.

      Most sheepskins hold up just fine. Flawed ones disintegrate


      • #4
        I regularly vacuum the sheepskin with a vacuum cleaner (after any sweat has dried) which keeps it in pretty good shape. I usually only have to wash when the non-sheepskin parts get dirty.

        I handwash because I'm not brave enough to put sheepskin in the machine.


        • #5
          Always let it dry separated from the saddle. I brush a sheepskin pad with a (dog) brush like the one attached. With this brush I get rid of dirt and sweat, the pad gets fluffy again and I avoid washing it too often.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Same as ^^^^
            I let mine dry and brush off the sweat / dirt.
            This way, I don't have to wash them too often but when I do, I just throw them in my front loader on gentle cycle - cold water with Woolite (but once I forgot and used regular detergent and the pad came out just fine).
            I dry them on the clothes line.
            Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks to all for sharing!

              does anyone know if I can soak in Oxyclean? That tents to take ALL the grime off my regular pads, and might keep the fabric part looking nicer. I've learned my girl definitely wants to go XC, and foxhunting is next on our list of adventures, so I'm sure we'll get dirty.


              • #8
                No you do not want oxyclean on your sheepskin pad. Remember that you are babying the suede leather backing of the wool.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks! This is why I ask.


                  • #10
                    I use Melp for mine and it works wonders!


                    • #11
                      I use Lanacare for mine. My mother uses a lot of wool in her crocheting and recommended it. Very gentle and replenishes the lanolin. I got it from Amazon. I have three fleece half pads I use for hunting and use them next to my horse's back with a fitted pad on top, so they do get sweaty. I think this product helps the fleece stay attached to the skin.