How often are you meant to clean your tack?

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How often are you meant to clean your tack?

This is a discussion on How often are you meant to clean your tack? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    06-26-2012, 10:59 AM
How often are you meant to clean your tack?

I've seen some people who only clean their tack about twice a month, yet I've always been told it needs to be after every ride...?
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    06-26-2012, 11:01 AM
Clean it after every ride. If you want it to last, you have to take proper care of it.

Making a horse wear a crusty, sweat-dried saddle pad, dirty girth, uncleaned bit and bridle, and a dirty saddle is just as nasty and uncomfortable for them as wearing dirty, wrinkled clothes would be for you.

There is no excuse NOT to clean your tack after every ride. It's just sheer laziness.
themacpack likes this.
    06-26-2012, 11:03 AM
Okay cool thanks!! :)
    06-26-2012, 11:32 AM
Sheer laziness, yes. But in practical terms such devotion is not always possible.
Clean it as often as you can, bearing in mind the 'everyday' ideal.

Just make sure you rinse the bit after every ride and wipe over the girth, if it's leather or plastic (synthetic). And check saddle and bridle when you tack up - one big plus about cleaning after each ride is it's much easier to spot potential problems; cracked leather, frayed stitching etc :)
Corporal likes this.
    06-26-2012, 11:35 AM
So should you do a thorough clean after each ride or just a quick wiping it over?
    06-26-2012, 11:40 AM
I agree. Keep your bits cleaned off. Air dry your thick, western pads, preferably sun-dry them. Wash your english pads and string girths. If you put away your leather tack with all leather on top to dry it, it is unlikely that you will irritate your horse's skin with it, whether you wipe it or soap and dry/oil it every time or not. When I taught I always washed the pads and girths and kept my bits clean, and they were used 5 days/week, 1-2 hours/evening, and changed out, depending on the horse and the lesson. My lesson horses didn't suffer any galls. I had 5 Western Saddles, and 7 English saddles, about 10 bridles, and I used ~ 5 horses for the lessons. NONE of my horses suffered any galls or skin irritations from this, even though I only deep cleaned my tack every few months. Believe me, people who pay you notice if you abuse your animals, which I DIDN'T, and there were no complaints.
It if it's just your one horse and one saddle and bridle, and you don't show, then make your own decision.
I did and still do, check my tack for any wear/breakage, which can happen unexpectedly, which is why you keep extra EVERYTHING around, so it doesn't mean a canceled ride. =b
    06-26-2012, 11:48 AM
Originally Posted by horsezrule    
So should you do a thorough clean after each ride or just a quick wiping it over?
You SHOULD do a thorough clean like Speedracer says. If you've got the time, it'll give your tack it's best chance of a long and trouble-free life and be more comfortable for the horse.

But when you're juggling family, job and life as well as horse that's often not possible. You just try to get as close to ideal as you can
    06-26-2012, 11:50 AM
Okay thanks.
    06-26-2012, 11:55 AM
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
But when you're juggling family, job and life as well as horse that's often not possible. You just try to get as close to ideal as you can
I have a full time job, 3 horses, and have a farm to care for. I manage to clean my tack after every ride, but then, I've always been VERY anal about it. Comes from being a show rider for many years. It took me quite awhile before I stopped bathing horses BEFORE a ride.
themacpack and unclearthur like this.
    06-26-2012, 12:00 PM
I take my bridles/breastplates apart and clean/condition them with Horseman's One Step after every ride. Same goes for saddles. Girths are cleaned if leather, brushed lightly if fleece, and rinsed if synthetic after every use as they tend to get sweaty easily. Non-leather girths get thrown in the wash every few weeks and come out looking new. Saddle pads are brushed to remove hair daily and washed about weekly.

I don't oil tack often unless it really needs it (just bought a used saddle that's pretty stiff and is being oiled lightly weekly). Most of my bridles and such are oiled 1-2 times a year.

cleaning, tack

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