Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Poll: How Frequently do you clean your Tack?

Hey folks, as I was untacking Arabee yesterday, I wondered if maybe I should go ahead and wash all her tack and saddle pad.

How often do you all do this? Do you base it on how long it's been, or how filthy said items are, or just wash right before a ride, or what..?

I know it's really easy with biothane/synthetic, which is what I have....but with the saddle pad specifically I'm guessing that the less you wash it the longer it will last. And besides, I often end up with a tangled mess of straps and many of the adjustments require I'm wanting to get by with as little as possible, but yet, clean tack is pretty important.

Soooo.....How often do YOU wash your stuff??


Danielle said...

I'm a fanatic for clean tack and taking care of it properly. Forgive me. ;)

I try to wipe down my saddle after every ride, if nothing else than with a soft cloth. Depending on how much I'm riding I try to give it a thorough cleaning at least once a month. If I have a particularly dirty ride (raining, really muddy, etc.) I clean it the same day and give it a good conditioning!

I love my saddle and got a fabulous deal on it (the saddle fitter said it was worth at least $2500 and I paid under a third of that) so I want to make sure it lasts a very long time. It's already 10 years old but very well cared for. I think I'll have to replace the girth billets in the next year or two.

I use my leather bridle for short periods of work and my biothane bridle for training rides. I clean them as I feel they need it.

For short rides I use a thin dressage pad and try to wash it after every 1-2 rides depending on how dirty/sweaty it is. For my longer training rides, I use a sheepskin/fleece pad - a Fleeceworks pad that I cherish. I let it dry after a ride and then brush the fleece back to fluffy which removes a lot of dried sweat and dirt! I wash it (with special soap)when I feel it is sufficiently dirty. I'm afraid to wash it too frequently, but don't want to ruin the fleece by having it get matted down.

Endurance Granny said...

I get my saddle and gear so muddy that I'm not really thrilled with cleaning the leather every time. But the items that go against her skin I'm more picky about. Especially her girth as it can create galls from the dirt and grime. When I use the Skito pad I launder it whenever it starts to appear soiled. Her crestridge pad is made from the stuff football jerseys are made out of with built in neoprene, so it can just be hosed off when gunky. My bridles I just clean when I start to notice they don't look "new". Bridle cleaning is therapy. Saddle cleaning is WORK.

Lida holds the award for tack care. After she unsaddles Doc she's out there right then and there cleaning up her stuff real pretty...while I'm slinging my muddy mess in the back of the trailer for another day.

Anonymous said...

I hate cleaning. But religously clean my bridle, bit, crupper and girth after every ride. I don't use soap though. I just hose them off. Every now and then I put my girth in the washing machine but don't use any soap. My saddle pad is 100%wool (wouldn't use anything else for endurance!!) and they say it gets better the more you wash it. AS long as you don't use a harsh detergent. Either woolite or none. I usually use none, wash it in my washing machine and hang it to dry. No dryer!


Nicole said...

Hmm...sounds like I need to start cleaning tack more often!

A side note: How clean are your guys' horses, then??? If I washed my tack each time it got dirty...I'd have to do it after each ride, even just short ones, without sweat, even! I'll ramp up the tack cleaning, but I doubt it actually happens after every ride right now, at least not until she starts sweating. Once warm weather hits and I end up having to sponge Arabee down it won't be a big deal to wipe the tack down too.

Crystal said...

I dont ride endurance, more ranch riding, but I clean my saddle pads a couple times a year or when I notice they get sweaty smelling, I clean my western saddle about once a year, and the bridle, prolly about once a month. I just got an english saddle and I guess I will have to clean it alot more often though.

In the summer we hose our horses after every ride, but in the winter, they dont get bathed ever, (its too cold and no heated barns here.)

Anonymous said...

I clean more or less depending on the weather.During the summer months I rinse off my biothane every ride-winter(now) not so much!
Biothane wipes are great for shining up my bridle and breastplate.Also scrub my bit with a steel toothbrush since we chomp grass in it.
I've been laundering my mohair girth for about three years now.I'm surprised at how long it has lasted.When i rode in a dressage saddle I used "baby pads" under my fancy saddle pads.SIGH..I MISS my fancy english tack.Needless to say,cleaning and examining your tack is important so you can notice things before they break on a ride.
I was enjoying a trail ride day before a thirty-my billet mental thingy had corroded and my stirrup flew off and ten feet into the woods.Thank you god!!I was able to fix it and enjoy the ride the next day instead of having to ride with one stirrup.

Merri said...

uh... no comment. at the racetrack we had to clean it EVERY DAY and i HATED it. actually I am good about hosing things off - saddlepads, bridles... but if it comes to scrubbing and oiling regularly, well... no comment. (and don't ask me about grooming horses either)
- The Equestrian Vagabond