Double Duty: How to Clean Your Saddle and Check for Wear

Keeping leather tack in good condition is critical for safety and helps to keep the communication between you and your horse at top level. At Dennis Moreland Tack, we understand the amount of care that goes into making sure tack works like it should, which is why we recommend frequently checking your tack and cleaning it often. Just like your horse, if you don’t ride it, your tack won’t perform as well as when it’s used continuously. Follow along in the video to watch how to clean your saddle and check it over for any signs of wear and tear to make sure it is working safely and securely for you.

It’s a great idea to look your saddle over for wear or damage before every ride. It is good practice to wipe it down with saddle soap after every ride and store it in a place where it can hang naturally and is protected from collecting excessive dust or being exposed to the weather. You also want to give your saddle a good deep cleaning every few months to help preserve it and keep it at its highest level of performance.

Some things you will need to clean your saddle are a piece of sheepskin or a soft rag, some saddle soap, and some pure Neatsfoot oil if your tack is very dry. I recommend using Bentley’s Saddle Soap. Bentley’s has been my favorite since I began building tack in 1976 because it is easy to use, and it softens and restores leather without leaving a residue.

First, place your saddle onto a sturdy saddle stand. Spray the saddle soap onto the sheepskin or rag you are using and begin wiping down the surface of the saddle. Be sure to lift up any folds or flaps to clean underneath them where dirt gets trapped. If you ride with a flank cinch, make sure and clean both sides of it since it comes in contact with the horse’s skin. As always, it is important to check your latigo for elongated holes or any wear on the fold over the D-ring, and wipe both sides down with saddle soap. On your stirrups, unbuckle the hobble strap and check it for wear or mold and wipe it down. Remove your stirrup and clean your saddle fenders, paying close attention to the folds where the stirrup is secured. Although you won’t saddle soap it, remove your cinch and check for any damage or wear. Scrub your double off billet with the saddle soap and make sure the holes aren’t elongated and the folds are in good shape. After your saddle has had some time to dry, especially if you use any oil, reassemble your tack and you’re ready to ride!

Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line handmade tack manufacturer and we’re here to help you! We carry Bentley’s Saddle Soap and several replacement parts for your tack, so be sure to get the products you’ll need to keep your tack in great shape. Give us a call at 817-312-5305 or email at dmtack@vrfmail.com to talk about any tack questions you might have.