The Ultimate Cleaning Guide for Equestrians

By Ariana Curcio, Jordan Manfredi & Kelly Sheenhan

There is no place as dirty as the barn.  It takes seconds for dirt to penetrate you, your horse and all of your tack! As an equestrian, we will never not have some cleaning to do- the only downside and small price to pay to immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of equines. When you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty, Horse Tack Co. has all of the essentials you need to keep you, your horse and all of your tack shining bright. Be sure to use the promo code “LoveTheRide” to take 15% off your order, all the time and any time.

Cleaning Moldy Horse Tack

Take some time to do these few easy steps to get rid of yucky mold and condition leather tack at the same time.


1. Take apart your tack. You will want to unscrew your bridle.

2. Apply gloves and begin wiping down the leather with a rag (make sure you check the instructions on the back of your leather cleaner and conditioner, just in case it varies from this method.)

3. Take your sponge and apply leather cleaner to the tack. Use a little at a time, because you do not want to over-saturate the leather. Continue to rub on the solution until the leather is thoroughly clean. Make sure you tackle all of the nooks and crannies between clasps and underneath flaps!

4.Take a fresh, clean rag and wipe down the tack to take off any excess cleaner.

5.Take another fresh, clean rag and apply conditioner. Again, you do not want to over-saturate the leather.

6.Finally, grab another clean rag and buff the tack until the conditioner soaks in. The tack should be shiny, and feel dry and smooth.

7.If you want to re-use your sponge and rags, we recommend hand-washing them with regular dish soap in a sinks opposed to placing rags covered in leather cleaner and conditioner in your washing machine.

Cleaning Horse Bits

There are a few ways to make sure your bits are clean and shining.  You should always have bit wipes in your tack box for quick in between cleanings. But, if you really want to deep clean your horse bits, you can do it naturally, one of two ways:

  1. Using an old toothbrush and apply toothpaste to the bit. Brush in small circles and rinse with water.
  2. Use a clean bucket with fresh water, add a few teaspoons of white vinegar or a few teaspoons of baking soda. swish the bit around for a few minutes, then wipe and dry well with a clean cloth.

Use a metal cleaner to polish bits monthly to eliminate rust and buildup.

Cleaning Horse Blankets

Cleaning your horses blankets should be a part of your weekly routine.  If put away dirty, they can easily begin to mildew & smell, making them unusable.

  1. Grab your dirty horse blanket and hang it on a fence, preferably near a hose. Beat (with a broom or tennis racket) or shake the blanket out to get off any dirt, horse shavings, bugs, etc.
  2. Rinse your blanket with water from a hose until all of the horse sweat and dirt is removed. This step is super important to make sure no shavings, horse hair, etc. gets stuck in your washing machine.
  3. Let the blanket drip-dry for about an hour. Blankets are heavy when wet!
  4. Place the horse blanket in the washing machine by itself. Use your best judgement for how much soap you want to use.
  5. Turn on the machine to a heavy-duty wash setting. (An extra rinse cycle, with cold or warm water.)
  6. Once the blanket runs through the cycle, place the blanket back on a fence or rack outside.
  7. Depending on how thick your blanket is, your washing machine may not be able to rinse all of the soap out. You may need to rinse the blanket with a hose again.
  8. Hang the blanket up outside for a few hours, or overnight, to ensure the material dry enough for storing (never use the dryer for the horse blanket.)

Again, pre-rinsing your horse blanket is super important!

Clean water buckets ensure healthy + hydrated horses

Cleaning Water Buckets

Water bucket maintenance should be a part of your daily routine.  If there are no obvious health concerns such as infection or disease and your horse is drinking consistenly, just spend a few minutes a day scooping out any debris. Plan on a thorough bucket scrubbing once a week.

  1. Choose your cleanser and your brush. In most cases, a stiff, long-handled brush is the preferred tool. Natural cleaners to consider for the job:

If you have a specific concern or target for disinfecting, talk to your veterinarian to discuss what type of cleaner will best address your issue. (This may be a situation where something stronger than naturally based is needed.)

  1. After you have washed and rinsed the buckets allowing them to dry in the sunshine is the best, natural UV light is Mother Nature’s disinfectant, although sunlight alone should not be relied upon to protect against disease.
  2. Continue to monitor buckets and water intake. Cleaning may change the taste of water so watch for decreased water consumption for the few days after cleaning.  Using a product such as Horse Quencher can increase the predictability of water taste both at home and while traveling and promote consistent water consumption.

As if we needed a further excuse to hang out at the barn,  cleaning with ensure that your barn time is productive and help extend the life of all your precious tack. Be sure to check out Horse Tack Co. for all of your cleaning supplies and do not forget to use the promo code “LoveTheRide” to take 15% off your order, all the time and any time.

Happy cleaning!

 

 

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