My saddle was in a sad state this weekend.
It’s an old Butet that has endured decades of use and abuse, and it showed. (See nastiness below.)
So I broke down, bought some neatsfoot oil, and began the long and glorious process of oiling the heck out of it. While I wait for it to dry in the sun, I figured y'all might appreciate some sneaky tack-cleaning tips for the upcoming show season. You never know when George Morris might be a guest judge...
Getting to work
5 Clever Tack Cleaning Hacks For the Show Ring
To de-grime your girth elastic, scrub those puppies with whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush. Then tell your mom that you brushed twice today.
- Sparkly bits
Always, always dunk your bits in water after you ride. Need the extra sheen for the show ring? Or are they just that gross? Take your bit home and put it in the dishwasher. Shiny!
- Forget me not
Stirrup pads? Yep, they need your attention too. Scrub them with a toothbrush and dish soap. It gets so much gunk off, you can pretend it was the dirt that made your heel come up.
- Saddle soap secrets
If it suds, you've got too much water. If you neglect the underside of your stirrup leathers, you'll end up with permanent oil marks on your saddle. And if you've lost your sponge again, use an old sock. No excuses, soap like a champion!
- Ditch the oil soak
It can be quite a battle to get your new tack to feel like your favorite old saddle. RESIST THE OIL SOAK. It's a waste of yummy neatsfoot oil, and it will just leave your tack greasy. Instead, use a sponge or a paint brush to apply several coats of oil over the course of a day, massaging it in and rolling the tack around with your hands with each application. Your saddle will quit squeaking ASAP. Bonus: you're hands will feel super soft.
So how did my intensive saddle cleaning go?