At the moment, due to the current situation, we may find ourselves at home a lot more than usual. We may also find ourselves doing more cleaning, so there is no better time to get out your tack and equipment and give them a really good clean!
We expect our tack to put up with many different weather conditions, from rain to sun to even riding in the sea! However, leather can quickly begin to show cracks and general wear and tear if not cared for correctly. By maintaining regular tack cleaning, it will keep the leather supple and in great condition, so that it will last for many years!
To begin, start by taking apart your tack into pieces, undoing all the buckles and removing the stirrup leathers from the saddle. Using warm water and a sponge, gently wipe off any dirt and grease, ensuring not to miss the fiddly bits, such as around the D rings! With leather being a natural product, you want to ensure that it dries naturally away from direct heat, as this can cause the leather to crack.
Next, use a tack cleaner, such as Collegiate Saddle Soap (https://www.collegiatesaddlery.co.uk/collegiate-saddle-soap) and a sponge to go over all of your tack to clean, soften and rejuvenate the leather. Once this has soaked in and is dry to the touch, use a clean cloth to apply a leather cream (https://www.collegiatesaddlery.co.uk/collegiate-leather-cream) which will add condition and shine. This will maintain a healthy and nourished saddle and bridle, strengthening the collagen and fibres within the leather to ensure long-lasting, uncracked tack.
As well as regular tack cleaning at least once a month, we also recommend wiping off any dirt or grease after each ride. When storing your tack, you should always keep it in a dry area away from any damp or moisture. Luckily, all of our saddles comes with a saddle cover so that when you are not riding, your saddle can stay clean and protected!