Keeping your saddle and other horseback riding supplies in good condition ensures not only a smooth ride, but also much longer-lasting equipment that saves you the hassle of replacing anything that wears out before its time. Read more to find out how you can care for and store your saddle and tack while keeping costs low.
What You Need
Before you start cleaning, it’s very important to know what kind of leather may require what kind of care and cleaning supplies. Here’s a good list to get started:
- Soft bristle brush
- Toothbrushes / Q-tips for seams and hard-to-reach spots
- Saddle soap / leather cleaner
- Beeswax, neatsfoot oil, or other leather conditioners
- Metal cleaner
While the exact soap or balms you use are up to you, there’s some products that rise well above the rest. Here are some recommendations:
- Effax Lederbalsam – Best value conditioner
- Fiebing’s Saddle Soap – Best value soap
- Passier Saddle Soap & Lederbalsam – Best premium soap and conditioner
- Leather Therapy Saddle Pad & Blanket Wash
For a Thorough Saddle Cleaning
It can be a good idea to give your saddle and tack a deeper cleaning at least once a week if you ride daily. It’s also a good idea before you put it away in storage, to ensure when you take it out it’s as reliable as the day you left it.
For the saddle itself, remove any buckles and fittings, then use a damp towel to wipe it all down. It’s likely safe for you to put any saddle pad or blankets through a gentle wash cycle as well. Be sure to clean the underside of the saddle, as sweat can dry and leave salt crystals that will damage the leather and cause discomfort to the horse over time.
Once it’s wiped down and dry, take a soft, damp sponge and apply a saddle soap, glycerin soap, or leather cleaner of your choice. This comes down to personal preference and experience, but it can be important for the health of the leather to keep your soap choice consistent and follow instructions. Be sure to keep your sponge clean to avoid simply smearing dirt around. Avoid using too much water or a soaked sponge.
Wipe away the excess soap residue, being sure to get into every crevice and along each seam. While the saddle’s still a little damp, apply a leather conditioner of your choice and follow the product’s instructions. Finally, clean your metal fittings with either a metal cleaner or simply dish soap and water before re-attaching them. Use a soft brush on suede for occasional cleaning.
Putting Away | Storage of Saddle and Tack
While opinions on the perfect saddle cleaning regimen can be highly diverse, nearly all are unified when it comes to storage of your saddle and tack. Never keep your saddle out in the sun or hanging over a fence, as that’s a surefire way to warp or dry the leather and create an uncomfortable riding experience for everyone.
Similarly, some barns or stables aren’t as secure or climate-controlled as they should be, leading to damage from moisture, excessive heat or cold, or even pests. Keeping your saddle in a climate-controlled, dark place is the best environment to ensure your leather stays healthy and beautiful.
Amy’s Attic Self Storage hosts many locations across central Texas, offering the best in climate-controlled personal storage. Whether you need somewhere to put your equipment during a renovation or move or you simply need somewhere safe to put extra gear in the off-season, we will keep it safe and in as great a quality as you left it.
Looking to Buy a New Saddle in Texas?
Check out these highly rated local Central TX businesses for assistance with an upcoming saddle purchase.
6020 N State Hwy 6, Woodway, TX 76712
Eddy’s Saddles & Tack
20555 N, I-35, West, TX 76691
Skeeter’s Saddle House
15777 Anderson Rd, Manor, TX 78653
Proudly Serving the Central Texas Community
Amy’s Attic Self Storage has been proud to serve the community of Central Texas since 2004, with many locations in towns across the region. If you want storage to create space in your home or for your next camping or hiking trip, then Amy’s Attic Self Storage is your best option with stellar service and top-of-the-line storage facilities. Our facilities feature climate-controlled units, are monitored at all hours, and are highly accessible. Find the Central TX storage facility location nearest you at amysatticss.com/locations.