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Cleaning your leather tack...

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  • Cleaning your leather tack...

    Hello COTHers. Show season is right around the corner, and I am beginning to get my equipment in good, clean order. I need some instructions: For daily/weekly saddle or leather tack cleaning, what do you use, and what do you find that works to clean and preserve leather? Also, does your daily/weekly leather cleaning differ from you "before a show/event" cleaning? I have never been very diligent about tack cleaning but I want to change that. Thank you!


  • #2
    I like the KISS method. No fancy cleaners, conditioners, etc. I wipe down after every ride with a barely damp cloth swiped across a bar of castile soap, every few weeks or after a dry, dusty summer ride, I undo buckles to wipe down. When I feel the tack needs it, I give it a coat of Lederbalsm.


    • #3
      I use Lexol for true cleaning (which I don't do that often -- monthly or weekly), and usually just need to wipe the dust and sweat off with a damp rag, then follow with a light coat of Lederbalsam -- like the previous poster. I do clean buckles and bits after each ride, though, and also check stitching. As far as the saddles go, I follow my saddler's instructions: daily damp rag, weekly Lederbalsam (except billets), monthly Lexol.
      Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.


      • #4
        LeatherNew cause it's easy to spray onto a sponge and use, or if it's already set up in the tack cleaning area with glycerin soap.
        For shows I clean it with those, then use Lederbalsam to make it look and feel super awesome.


        • Original Poster

          Ok, these are good suggestions. Thanks!


          • #6
            If your tack is dirty, clean it with water and castile soap, or use a weak ammonia-water solution. I wipe my bridle with the ammonia-water solution after every ride--it keeps those disgusting "jockeys" from forming. Then I finish with a quick application of Leather New.

            Before shows, I take everything apart, give a thorough cleaning, and oil lightly if anything seems dry. Then I finish with Mad Cow. I love the smell and it leaves a nice finish on the tack. Sometimes I finish with a barely-damp sponge and a bar of glycerine saddle soap. Just make sure you don't see any foam--if you do, your sponge is too wet.

            I also use Simichrome polish on the metal buckles and studs. Really makes a difference in your turn-out when it matters.
            I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


            • #7
              I use the Lexol cleaning wipes on my tack after every ride, plus peppermint-flavoured bit wipes. Sometimes, If I think it's getting grungy, I'll pull out the Lexol cleaner and conditioner and do a better job cleaning it.

              Before shows (typically 14-16 from February-September) I take it all apart, clean and condition it with the Lexol cleaner and conditioner, get my fingernails and a toothbrush right into the stiching, polish all of the buckles and metal bits, and put my bit through the dishwasher to get it sparkling clean


              • #8
                Castille soap regularly, olive oil or hydrophane when needed. If tack is well cared for it doesn't need a lot of oil once it's broken in correctly. A good tack cleaning is a good tack cleaning, before a show or just after a ride.
                A proud friend of bar.ka.


                • #9
                  ^^ Yep. I don't do anything different between regular cleanings and before shows.
                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl