Riding a horse is a naturally dirty task down to the saddle. The saddle is not required to remain dirty forever. It is surprisingly durable and lasts even longer when it is maintained regularly. There are solutions available to clean and care for any saddle.
Compile Cleaning Supplies
Putting together the saddle cleaning supplies is the first step. These include saddle soap, a washcloth, a bucket of water, and a coarse-bristled brush. Some people use a leather cleaner and polish for the finishing touch.
Prepare the Saddle
The second step is to place the saddle in a steady, upright position on a table. The different parts need to be disassembled, like the stirrups and removed from the actual saddle to be cleaned separately. It’s essential to keep these parts in a safe place and remember to reassemble them correctly later.
Protect the Delicate Materials
The leather is strong enough to be cleaned, but the suede and other non-leather parts must be avoided. Water causes suede to stiffen and lose its quality texture. Some people cover the fragile parts with pieces of plastic or cloth taped over the surface.
Apply the Right Type of Cleaner
Cleaning dirty leather is a difficult task that involves removing layers of ingrained dirt and stains all the way down to the stitching. The use of saddle soap is recommended to clean any stain on leather. Soap or a foam cleaner, which should be mixed with plenty of water, is used to clean the leather and non-leather surfaces.
Use Proper Cleaning Techniques
The brush is used to scrub off stains, followed by the sponge to remove soapy water. A good technique is to apply short, circular, or left-and-right movements on the saddle. Every area of a leather saddle, from the top to the underside, should be cleaned while avoiding the delicate parts.
No leather saddle is indestructible on the back of a horse. But there is no way to avoid exposing the saddle to buckets full of dirt, mud, and sweat. The saddle is a part of the horse that needs more than a quick rinse of soapy water. Every rider needs to follow a thorough saddle cleaning regimen using the right cleaning tools and chemical solutions.