There’s no better time to clean tack then on a crappy day when you can’t ride. Your tack will thank you! Start with pulling everything apart (taking leathers off saddles, dismantling your bridle, etc.) so you can get in all the cracks and crevices and grab a clean sponge and some cleaner.
Not sure where to start? We offer a wide variety of soaps, conditioners, oils and combo cleaners. Below are some of our favorites and what they are recommended for. We recommend either using a combo cleaner and conditioner or cleaning with soap and conditioning after the tack is clean.
Our Bee Natural line is a staff favorite and offers a little of everything. The Saddle Soap helps to pull off dirt and grime for a base layer clean. The Rudy’s Tack & Saddle Conditioner & Finish can be used on its own or in conjunction with other items. It cleans, conditions and finishes while also treating for mold and mildew. The last step of the Bee Natural line is the #1 Saddle Oil. This product offers deep penetration, while maintaining color, to keep your tack moisturized and add years to its life.
Another awesome leather care line that our customer’s love is Effax products. Most of their products are a combination cleaner and conditioner or meant to be used after a cleaner to keep your tack moisturized and in good condition. The Leather Combi cleans and nourishes to get off gime while also keeping your leather soft and supple. The Cream Soap also cleans and conditions while giving leather an extra grip. The Leather Soft is a conditioner that leaves leather soft and supple and also protects from moisture. The Leather Balsam can be used as a conditioner to give your tack extra moisture and shine to extend the lifespan of your tack. Effax also offers a Speedy Leather Shine to buff your leather and leave it shining.
We also offer many other cleaning options including Lexol Wipes for a quick clean, Glycerine Saddle Soap for a deep clean and Oakwood Instant Shine Polish Pads for a finishing touch. Choose the option that's best for you based on scent, use or recommendations. If this all seems overwhelming the Happy Horse is happy to help you find just what you need! Just ask one of our sales associates and they are happy to use their expert knowledge to find the cleaners that are right for you and your project.
Once you find the item or combination you need, grab a sponge or two and get to work. We recommend the Honeycomb Form Tack Sponge for big projects and a Small Tack Sponge to tackle finer items and get into all the tough spots. Make sure to read the instructions before you start cleaning. Some cleaners may require water while others deter you from using any water. If you are using water make sure to rinse and wring out the sponge regularly to get rid of the dirt and prevent spreading it back on the tack. If you are using a dry sponge or cloth you may need to use a few to prevent spreading grime back onto the tack. I personally always put a towel or newspaper down on the floor if cleaning inside to prevent any grime from getting on the floor, and find a good spot where I can set and hang items to make for easier cleaning. You may need to find Q-tips or a small instrument to get deep into creases or tooling. Some cleaners and conditioners recommend buffing your tack with a dry cloth after it's dry to get off any residue.
If you have extra time after cleaning your tack go through your tack box or room and clean dirty grooming items with soap and water or some Brush Therapy, make a pile of items that may need to go through the laundry (polos, saddle pads, etc.), and pull any items that you no longer use to sell on consignment or donate. The Happy Horse takes new or gently used items on consignments and is happy to donate any items we can’t take to the Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center.
Make sure to watch for our next Boredom Busters video and blog on stretching, ground work, and tricks!