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Tack Cleaning

This is a basic point by point tack cleaning guide that will assist new comers to the sport of kings and queens and will be available shortly in print outs with illustrations for instructors and parents use but for more detailed information regarding the product and equestrian leather care please click here

It is essential for you and your horses's safety and comfort that it is kept in good condition. Whilst cleaning always check the stitching is in good condition , especially all buckle straps, girth strap attachments and stirrup leathers.

A full strip down clean is necessary at least once a week if used regularly and at times of particular heavy usage where there is sweat , wet or dirt .For this the bridle needs to have all the components un buckled and the straps separated .

Bridle
Remove the bit and place in a bowl of hot water to soak.away dried saliva, grass and food particles.

Undo all buckles noting first on a piece of paper the buckle hole that it was on, for example cheek piece 3rd hole down  this will save time and comfort for your horse and pony when it is all put back together. Remove every piece of strap that is possible to remove - some head pieces or nosebands have different arrangements of how the straps lie making sure that you note how it should be, either by notes on paper or quick photos on your phone.

Work on a protected surface with either newspapers or old sheet and if possible get into the habit of always laying out the pieces in a certain order as you strip the bridle and proceed to work on them in that same order.

If very dirty rub down with disposable paper kitchen towel or cotton rags using Pickstones Leather Wash applied to the cloth then use flat sponge or cotton rag again applying the wash to the cloth or sponge rather than direct to the leather (this avoids over wetting the leather and enables you to see more clearly when the dirt has been removed) until all dirt is removed. Pay particular attention to where the leather has been bent over such as where the bit rings sit or close to the buckles or under the keepers if necessary use a cotton bus in these tight areas.

No need to wait but get straight on to applying the  Pickstones Leather Balm with cloth or preferably another flat sponge which enables you to easily double the sponge around the strap of leather so you are working both sides at once. Again Go back to the folded areas straightening them out and rubbing in extra .Also use cotton buds again to get into the tight areas under the keepers etc.

Apply further coats until a slight waxy feel is on the surface. Leave to dry only 5 or 10 mins. but during this time rub over the bit in the bowl of water if necessary scrubbing away any dirty areas until completely clean then towel dry.

Your bridle is now ready to put back together.

 

Saddle
Remove the girth and if leather leave to be cleaned with the saddle. If synthetic cotton or webbing place in bowl of hot soapy water to soak before scrubbing clean later. Make a note of the number hole that the buckle is normally on for your stirrups so you can return to this position when finished.Remove the stirrup leathers and stirrups and place the metal or plastic stirrups in the bowl of soapy water leaving the leathers  to be cleaned with the saddle .

Be careful that the saddle is always rested on a saddle horse or similar  To clean the underside on its pommel with cantle facing up  it can be tilted easily to access all the undersides of the flaps but do not rest it completely upside down any sort of pressure whilst cleaning could damage the tree.

If very dirty rub down with disposable paper kitchen towel or cotton rags using Pickstones Leather Wash applied to the cloth then use flat sponge or cotton rag again applying the wash to the cloth or sponge rather than direct to the leather (this avoids over wetting the leather and enables you to see more clearly when the dirt has been removed) until all dirt is removed. Pay particular attention to where the leather has been bent over such as where the stirrups sit or close to where any buckles have worn an area.

No need to wait but get straight on to applying the  Pickstones Leather Balm with cloth or preferably another flat sponge which enables you to easily double the sponge around the stirrup leathers so you are working both sides at once. Again Go back to the folded areas straightening them out and rubbing in extra .Also use cotton buds again to get into the tight areas by the D rings and stirrup bars.

Apply further coats until a slight waxy feel is on the surface. Leave to dry only 5 or 10 mins. but during this time rub over the stirrups in the bowl of water and if necessary scrubbing away any dirty areas until completely clean then towel dry. Scrub the girth if in the water bowl then when clean make sure thoroughly rinsed and put out to dry and air.A leather girth should be cleaned as per the saddle.

If I know my stirrup leather lengths or can clearly see by the mark on the straps where the buckle sits I take this opportunity to leave my stirrup leathers hanging down from a hook or loosely laid over the saddle until I next ride just giving more time for those folded creased areas to relax allowing more absorption of the balm where most needed.

Daily or work Clean

Simply wipe over all contact areas with a cloth & Pickstones Leather Wash at the end of ride and wash with clean water the bit. This can all be done on the bridle and saddle rack and takes no time at all .