How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Tack? 5 Easy Tack Cleaning Tips

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 Tack cleaning

Your horse's tack may well be the most expensive equestrian purchase you make - this is why it is important to look after your tack and clean it on a regular basis to preserve the longevity of its life! Whether you own leather tack, or synthetic, cleaning your tack can be an incredibly monotonous task that is generally associated to be a chore... On the other hand, you may find it incredibly relaxing... 

Here at R&R Country, we understand the importance of good tack cleaning, so much so, we have compiled 5 easy tips to get your tack looking show ring ready!

How often should you clean your tack?

This is actually one of the most searched for questions on the internet... In short, it is good practice to wipe down your tack after every use, removing any sweat or dirt that could irritate your horse or damage your tack! However, we know that time is precious and not everyone can clean their tack after every use. Experts say that if you ride your horse daily, you should aim to wash your tack at least once a week. 

It is important to note that tack cleaning is not to make it look 'pretty'. Tack cleaning is a step we must take to ensure our horses are comfortable when being ridden.

Use specialist products only...

Whether you have synthetic tack, or leather, you still need to take care when cleaning. Synthetic tack generally takes less looking after - it can be wiped down with water and synthetic saddle cleaner without the worry of water saturation drying out the material. Leather tack will need extra TLC to keep it in tip top condition. There are many products on the market for leather tack, but generally speaking you should use a leather cleaner/soap, followed by a leather conditioner. The saddle should be wiped of any water residue between these steps to ensure it is not damaged over time. Some people also choose to oil their tack to moisturise the leather. To finish, whether synthetic or leather, the buckles and couplings will need wiping with a cloth to clean them of any 'gunk' and grime. 

Tack Cleaning

It's time to dismantle...

It is a good idea to dismantle your tack at least once a month and give it a through clean. Unbuckling your tack will allow you get get into all the nooks and crannies and identify any areas that require a deeper clean.

If your tack is not often dismantled, you may find that grime can build up and damage the equipment... 

Check for damage when cleaning...

Cleaning your tack also allows you to conduct safety checks on important areas - ensure you check that all stitching is intact, and that the leather is in good condition (supple and slightly wrinkly). If you do come across any damage, make sure it is rectified as soon as possible as it could cause injury to you or your horse!

Areas that require regular checks are stirrup leathers and girth buckles, as these are culprits for showing signs of wear and tear! Sometimes items are beyond repair and simply need replacing, take a look at our stirrup leathers and girths today! 

Ensure you're storing your tack safely... 

The storage of tack is often overlooked but it is an important factor in preserving its lifespan. If your storage room is damp, it will affect the condition of your tack also. Ensure your saddle is covered with a protective cloth, and that it is placed on a saddle rack/stand, off the floor. Do not store your saddle on the floor without a stand as this could cause the shape to change, and consequently the fit of your saddle will not be correct.  Bridles should also be hung up to keep them protected and out of harm's way.

There is no denying it, tack cleaning is never going to be our favourite horsey activity, but it sure is an important one! Make sure you're conducting regular cleaning sessions to increase the lifespan of your tack, and to avoid any damage occurring. If you follow our 5 easy tips above, you are sure to have spotless tack that is also safe to use.