07-07-2013, 01:19 AM
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I like to clean with saddle soap. I use a small sponge, dampen it and scrub the leather paying more attention to obviously soiled areas. Then I let it hang for a few minutes. After that I use a one and one half inch paint brush to put Neatsfoot oil on it. Then I leave it hanging.
A couple times a year, or if the leather has gotten rain soaked or really muddy, I take the whole thing apart. Piece by piece and clean and oil each piece very well.
I live in a pretty arid place, and our tack may need more oil and conditioners than leather in other places. Grooms who travel to/from other areas say that is so.
I can remember when new to cleaning tack, getting very complicated bridles and harness pieces mixed up for a bit. A young lady I know told my youngest when she got her first grooming job, that she took photos of each bridle of each horse she grooms, because they were all different and some were unfamiliar to her. That helped her re-assemble them until she got familiar with them.