Do you know how to clean tack correctly?
Horse tack can be expensive, so in order to prolong the life of the leather and keep you safe, cleaning tack correctly should be part of a routine.
If riding on a daily basis, tack should always be wiped down and you should pay attention, looking for any signs of wear and tear.
Once a week the tack needs to be taken apart and cleaned properly.
Before you take the bridle apart, make a note of what holes you are using, so you will be able to put the bridle back to the correct size.
The bit can be soaked in a bowl of warm water and stubborn stains can be rubbed over with a toothbrush.
How to clean tack
If the bridle is muddy, it needs to be wiped over with warm water and a flannel that has been well wrung to get rid of excess water.
When you have finished washing the mud and old saddle soap that might be present, dry the bridle with a clean cloth.
Using the saddle soap, fold the sponge over, so you are able to clean both sides of the leather at the same time.
Use long up and down movements to clean the leather.
Oiling the bridle
From time to time, it is always a good to lightly oil the bridle to maintain suppleness.
A new bridle will need oiling and if you’re bridle has got really wet from riding.
Oiling prevents the bridle from becoming brittle and cracking.
Whatever the situation the bridle needs to be dry before applying oil.
After oiling, the bridle can be cleaned with saddle soap.
There are many types of saddle soap available, which one you choose is a matter of choice, but soap that contains glycerine is always recommended as it will condition the leather and keep it supple.
Any brass on the bridle will need to be cleaned with brasso cleaner, then polished up with a dry rag or cloth.
If the leather is supple, it does not need to be constantly oiled.
How to put the bridle back together.
Yes, I remember the first time I did this.
I got in such a mess. I had no idea what I was doing and ended up with a bridle I couldn’t use until I asked for help.
Take hold of the short side of the headband, and thread it through the brow band.
The throat lash should be to the rear.
Hang the headband with connecting brow band on a hook, and then thread the noseband through the sides of the brow band and underneath the headband.
Make sure the buckle end of the noseband is facing the opposite way to the headband.
Attach the cheek pieces to the correct hole, which you were aware of before you took the bridle apart.
Attach the bit to the cheek pieces then fix the reins to the bridle and fasten the two ends of the reins together.
Make sure you put all the straps into their keepers and all buckle ends should face outside, so no rough surfaces facing in.
What saddle do I need? – GP Jumping showing dressage etc
Saddle problems - Parts of saddle
How to fit a saddle – Does my saddle fit?
Saddle care – Preventing damage
Saddle slips forwards or backwards
Bridle parts – How to put a bridle on – How to take the bridle off
Horse training aids
How to choose the correct girth size – What type of girth should I buy?
The blinker bridle – Horse driving bits – Harness information
Parts of the driving harness – How to harness a horse – Different types of horse harness
Cleaning the saddle
Saddling up a horse – Numnahs and saddle cloths