Tack cleaning - how often??

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Was reading through an old horse management book (not much to do!) and it was saying to fully clean tack after every ride...my tack gets wiped down once a week and taken apart and oiled once a month, sometimes even less than that.

I’m now interested how much people actually clean their tack, as in fully take bridles apart and scrub saddles? Surely nobody does after every ride?! Or is it more of an old fashioned type thing to do?
 

eggs

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I used to strip and clean my tack after very ride but now I have to confess to only doing it every few months. I do wash the bit and girth after every ride though.
 

FFAQ

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I clean the girth every other ride in the summer and every ride in the winter and put a clean numnah on each time, but actual full cleans happen quite rarely!
 

MuddyMonster

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A full clean on a Sunday (taking everything apart) and a quick wipe over after every ride. I only clean it thoroughly more often if has gotten very wet, muddy or sweaty in the week. I rinse my stirrups, bit and girth off after every ride.

I change my saddle pad every two or three rides, unless it's gotten very sweaty, in which case it gets changed for every ride.
 

ihatework

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Bits every ride,
If wearing a flash/bottom strap and they are a bit slobbery then that gets wiped every ride,
If they have a sweaty session then a quick wipe off with water.

Saddles and bridles get cleaned once week, but not stripped down. Never oiled. Once in a blue moon (? Yearly) will it all get properly taken apart - oops.
 

chaps89

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I won't clean my tack if I haven't taken it apart, I just don't see how you can do a proper job otherwise.
It's strip cleaned once a month-ish depending how much use it's had, or straight after use if it's been rained on (rare - I have a synthetic saddle and fabric bridle for those days)
 

Cowpony

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I take my bridle apart for a thorough clean once a week generally. That's slipped a bit during CV restrictions as we're on a rota at the yard so can't hang about there the whole day doing all those jobs....but I still do it pretty regularly. Saddle gets a good clean every couple of weeks. Bit gets rinsed after every ride. I have sheepskin numnahs so don't want to wash them too often but I change them when they get dirty and often give them a good brush when I'm cleaning my saddle
 

Sussexbythesea

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Full clean about every 4-6 weeks maybe. Bits as needed, girth may be done more frequently if getting grubby enough to potentially rub. Saddle pads weekly unless done anything really sweaty. Neither of mine seem to make tack particularly dirty.
 
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I've not sat down with a bar of saddle soap and cleaned tack, pony club style, since about 1997. I kind of forgot it was A Thing if I'm being honest. But having recently been transported back to my childhood by a couple of bottles of naff off and mane and tail, I'm now realising that I definitely need some saddle soap in my life! (Full disclosure: I haven't had a horse for the best part of the last 15 years 😉)
 

Auslander

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Quick clean bridle every time I use it, with Leovet foam. I take all the straps out of the keepers, and undo the buckles briefly as I get to it. I give it a feed every couple of months, but the foam keeps it pretty soft and nourished looking, so I don't make too much of an effort with it.
Saddle is synthetic, it gets squirted with synthetic saddle cleaner, left to dry, then covered - also every time I use it. The girth straps are leather, so they get foamed/fed. Previous saddle was cleaned every time it was used.

I am a dragon about clean bits. If I spot any in the tackroom that haven't been cleaned after use - I take them off and dump them in the nearest auto drinker - then wait for the inevitable "I can't find my bit"!!
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Bit washed every time.
Saddlecloth changed every time when any sweat produced.
Wiped over if mud spattered or sodden

Full clean every Sunday, plus also the nights before any comp or training etc.

I honestly don't understand anyone who doesnt regularly strip clean at least their reins, girth straps and girth as to me that's a huge safety issue that needs keeping a good eye on for any degrading or cracking.
 

splashgirl45

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i used to clean my tack every time i rode . my pristine tack was stolen and i never felt the same about my new saddle and bridle so they only got properly cleaned about once a month but always did bit and girth after riding and clean numnah every time i rode.. both my gp and dressage saddles are in the cupboard at home and i really need to get them out, give them a wipe and advertise them but i keep putting it off...
 

little_critter

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Erm when I’m going somewhere (lesson or comp) so probably once or twice a month. But it gets a full clean and condition with all straps and buckles undone and dismantled.
 

milliepops

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girth every ride
bit sloshed off every ride
wipe off sweat if horse has worked hard enough to make the bridle gunky

otherwise, I clean it properly when we're going somewhere, which is most weeks, sometimes twice a week ;)
 

Tihama

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I do I love it - didn't own my own horse til I was in my 30s (now 57) always rode other people's - tack cleaning is all part of the dream to me still even though I've cleaned many mountains of tack in my time as it was drilled into us as kids 🙈
 
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irishdraft

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Mainly only if I'm going anywhere which before covid was usually once a week otherwise hardly ever apart from saddle pad & girth
 

poiuytrewq

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Quick clean bridle every time I use it, with Leovet foam. I take all the straps out of the keepers, and undo the buckles briefly as I get to it. I give it a feed every couple of months, but the foam keeps it pretty soft and nourished looking, so I don't make too much of an effort with it.
Saddle is synthetic, it gets squirted with synthetic saddle cleaner, left to dry, then covered - also every time I use it. The girth straps are leather, so they get foamed/fed. Previous saddle was cleaned every time it was used.

I am a dragon about clean bits. If I spot any in the tackroom that haven't been cleaned after use - I take them off and dump them in the nearest auto drinker - then wait for the inevitable "I can't find my bit"!!
Ohhh that would drive me nuts 😂 my horse likes a little snack left for next time!

* I do joke... kind of
 

HashRouge

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I won't clean my tack if I haven't taken it apart, I just don't see how you can do a proper job otherwise.
You can actually do a pretty decent job, it just helps to have the bridle hung from a ceiling hook. I was really surprised when I first started working as a groom (for a showjumper who had represented GB) that even competition bridles were cleaned without being taken apart! But actually you can do a pretty decent job. The second yard I worked on we used to take the bits off and that was better I think, but the rest of the buckles/ straps are fairly simple to clean when they are done up.

I haven't had my own riding horse in years but I do use my own bridle to ride my share horse in, and I'm afraid that gets cleaned once every blue moon. But that's more due to not having a tackroom or anywhere to clean in - it pretty much lives in my car.
 

redredruby

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Can someone please outline the difference between oiling, soaping etc?

How would you clean and condition tack which is very dirty / sweaty?

I generally wipe down with a wet cloth and then use a leather balm. Is there anything else I should be doing? (I missed out on the pony club tack cleaning days!)
 

cremedemonthe

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Can someone please outline the difference between oiling, soaping etc?

How would you clean and condition tack which is very dirty / sweaty?

I generally wipe down with a wet cloth and then use a leather balm. Is there anything else I should be doing? (I missed out on the pony club tack cleaning days!)
I have sent you the leather cleaning article, Oz
 

pansymouse

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For someone who repairs and makes tack I am an absolute horror for cleaning my own - I actually can't remember last time I did it :oops: However I do wash my girth weekly so I'm not a complete slob.
 

Errin Paddywack

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Have to admit I was always a bit (very) lazy about cleaning tack and often had to use the back of a knife to scrape the build up of dirt on the back of parts of the bridle before cleaning it properly. Only tack that was kept immaculate was my show tack. My mum was at the Royal Show once and saw a lady cleaning her tack. Started chatting to her and told her how I used a knife to scrape mine. When she repeated to me what she had said and the lady's reply I could have dug a hole and crawled into it, talk about ashamed.:oops: Didn't stop me doing it though.:)
 

dorsetladette

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I have friend who religiously cleans everything after every ride. She does have some really lovely tack. I'm more of an as and when type. If its rained it gets a good clean. If I'm off to a show it will be spotless (doesn't happen much anymore). I always clean bits, girths and numnahs.
 

peanut

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I wipe over with tack cleaner after every use and take apart to clean every few weeks.

Can anyone recommend a good saddle soap/tack cleaner or conditioner that doesn't make the leather look dull - or rather actually makes it shine please?
 
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