TSSFE Blog Hop – Tack Cleaning Routine

I got to think the other night when I was cleaning tack in my mom’s kitchen… what that’s not the appropriate place to clean months’ worth of dirt and grim off of expensive leather. Well I didn’t hear anyone complaining sooooo. Ok yes I was the only one there but what they don’t know won’t hurt them or me.

Tucker 2

Anyways, as I was saying. I got to think about cleaning tack. Which is one of my least favourite things to do. Hence the large amount of time since the last time I cleaned my tack.

I hate it! But maybe I hate it so so much because I often think I’m not doing it right. This got me thinking about my tack cleaning routine and what others do differently or the same.

So dear readers what is your tack cleaning routine?

Step 1: Wait a ridiculously long time between cleanings so that your tack looks like crap (see evidence in above picture). Pay no mind to the expensiveness of saddles and that in order to replace it you’d likely have to take up hooking.

Step 2: Bring tack home. It’s way too cold to clean at the barn in January! Wait until everyone is out of the house so that you can clean in whatever room you want. I like the kitchen.IMG_1409

Step 3: Assemble all the things and get your moms largest mixing bowl because you forgot to bring home a bucket. It’s fine. That’s what dishwashers are for.

Step 4: Disassemble all the pieces.

Step 5: Make sure you have your kitty helper nearby.

Step 6: Clean all the things!

Step 7: Freak out when you see strange discoloration and worry that you’ve damaged your saddle. Keep cleaning. Make discoloration worse. Keep cleaning anyway.


Step 8: BIG sigh of relief because saddle seems fine after it’s dried a bit.

Step 9: Oil everything!


Step 10: re-oil everything because your saddle was so thirst it sucked up all the oil within minutes.

Step 11: Store tack overnight in climate controlled bathroom. Reassemble all the things.

Step 12: Ride your very enthusiastic horse in newly cleaned (and slightly sticky) saddle and cry that you’re going to have do the whole process again… in a few months.

What do you do differently or the same? Got any tips or tricks?

P.S. If you haven’t got Alyssa to do a cartoon of your creature yet go do it. She’s wonderful to work with and does such a great job.

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14 Responses to TSSFE Blog Hop – Tack Cleaning Routine

  1. I’m much better about cleaning tack when it’s not winter. But I usually try to clean with soap (my fave is Higher Standards Leather Care) a few times a week, and condition (Prestige Leather Balm) once a month. I only oil once or twice a year.

    My saddle is another story. It’s full calfskin, so I NEVER, EVER oil it. I clean it with soap probably bimonthly (more in the summer for shows) and then condition it (especially the flaps and seat) once or twice a month.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Stephanie says:

    Oh, I love this blog hop! I really enjoy reading about what other people do and products they use!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. L. Williams says:

    How long is this open for?


  4. Karley says:

    Oh I’ll have to join!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hillary H. says:

    Sweet that it will be open for awhile. I’ll join in after the show. I use Higher Standards and I LOVE it. Makes my cleaning routine much more pleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. emma says:

    ha my system is even worse than yours, and typically involves last minute touch-ups on the actual show grounds…. lol


  7. Rebecca says:

    I love HS too. What kind of oil do you use?


    • Erin says:

      I’ve been using the Fiebings mink oil paste. I’ve liked it up until this last cleaning. This time it seems to have gunked up my saddle a bit. It’s possible I got a little to enthusiastic with the oiling though.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Clean often – that’s my boring but very sound advice. And, I do NOT use mink oil on any horse tack. For water proofing leather boots etc, but not on the expensive saddles and bridles. It gunks it up completely.
    Keep the tack clean by wiping it down often – I try to be as good as I can with this 🙂


  9. Pingback: The Story So Far ~ One Year of Blogging! | The Story So Far

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