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Everything You Should Know About How to Clean a Saddle?

How to Clean a Saddle

If you are looking to buy a saddle online, know that with proper care and maintenance, your saddle may last for years without any withering. Riding your horse with a saddle on its back exposes it to regular wear and tear that may cause early damage.

Also, if you do not keep the dirt and sweat away; your saddle will probably not last for more than a year or so. Henceforth, you must pay attention to storing, keeping, and cleaning your saddle as often as you use it!

Read Also: Everything You Need for a Horse Riding in ONE Simple List

Cleaning Your Horse Saddle

Clean Your Horse Saddle

Now, when it comes to cleaning your horse saddle, many people get lazy and leave it as it is. More so, it will damage the leather, which will indeed cause discomfort to the horse and the rider as well. Likewise, the cleaning process of the horse saddle depends on how roughly you are using the saddle.

If you are not using the saddle more often or for everyday purposes, then you can simply clean it once a week with a dry cleaner. However, the regular use of the saddle will need a daily sponge and sweep it under the bits and flaps and everywhere. Also, after cleaning it with a damp sponge, you must dry your saddle to prevent it from falling down with dampness.

Supplies for Saddle Cleaning

Before cleaning the saddle, you can check with the saddle manufacturer for cleaning products of the saddle. Moreover, there are specific products for cleaning leather goods and conditioning them to make them stay the same for a long time. In general, following the advice of your saddle expert will maintain the quality of the saddle for an extended period.

Here is the list of items that you’ll need to clean your saddle –

  • Leather cleaner or saddle soap
  • Leather conditioner
  • Accessory or steel cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Bristle brush
  • Towels
  • Bucker of water

If you do not have a leather cleaner, make sure you buy a soap saddle that also works as a leather conditioner. However, if your saddle is not made of leather, then you use mild soaps and other feasible products.

How to Clean a Horse Saddle?

As already said above, cleaning a horse saddle is quite important if you use it regularly. On a minimum count, you can keep your saddle free of dust, dirt, and sweat whenever you are storing it after use.

See More: How to Choose the Right Saddle for Your Horse?

Here are the proper steps that help to clean the horse saddle –

  • Get your saddle out: The first and foremost thing you have to do is get your saddle out and prepare it for cleaning. You must unfasten all the buckles and remove the fitting so that it gets easy to clean the saddle in every corner. After that, you can use a light wet towel to dampen all the places and remove excess dirt at first.
  • Clean the saddle properly: Now, take some cleaner on a wet sponge and let it gets absorbed into the sponge evenly. Initially, you should start with round circular motions on the main areas and then go a little deeper into the places where it’s dirtier. Make sure you the entire area, even under the flaps and on both sides. To take out stubborn marks, you can use a small bristle brush and gently rub it on the affected areas. Moreover, if the saddle is very dirty, you can repeat the process for seconds to get it properly cleaned.
  • Wipe out Soap Residue: With the help of a light wet towel, you can remove all the residue that’s left over on the saddle leather. Before you pour water over the material, know that you don’t need too much, as it can lessen the life of the leather quality. Thus, clean the soap residue off and then use a dry cotton towel to wipe off everything.
  • Clean the Metal accessories: After cleaning the central leather part of your saddle, you must also clean the metal fittings. They don’t require much effort, so you clean them off with a wet cloth. Afterward, place them to get dry completely and then fit them again into the saddle.
  • Condition your Saddle: Now, you can condition the leather to bring back its shine and make it appear new again! Make sure you do not use too much conditioner. Or else, it will go deep into the saddle and cause damage to the material.

Cleaning a Synthetic Saddle

Compared with a leather saddle, it’s much easier to use and maintain a synthetic saddle in your hand. While the buyers look for something that comes under their budget, buying and cleaning a synthetic saddle is much easier.

  • Grab a soap and sponge to clean the saddle:

Now, you don’t have to be very particular about cleaning a synthetic saddle. Here, you can use mild soap and a sponge to clean the saddle. If you are using a brand cleaner, follow the steps given on its outer packaging.

  1. The first thing that you must do is find a soap that’s not harsh on the material. For that, you can look for glycerin soap from an online store or any local shop.
  2. Remember that it’s only suitable for synthetic saddles and not leather saddles. If you can afford a suitable cleaner, surely buy it.
  • Sponge the scrub on the saddle:

After having the main elements to wash your saddle, warning water in a side bucket is a must. Take the sponge, soak it in water and then rub it over the places where it needs proper cleaning. Make sure the scrubbing part is manageable on the surface as it compensates for the quality of the material. Likewise, you can use a soft toothbrush to clean up the edges and inner areas.

  • Clean with cold water:

While using a synthetic saddle, you do not have to worry about making it wet during the cleaning process. Moreover, you can use cold water to wash away the soap residue from the saddle, which will not be damaged. You do not have to be conscious while pouring down too much water as it will not leave any marks. Furthermore, make sure there’s no residue left on the saddle before you side away the water.

  • Place your saddle to dry:

After properly cleaning your saddle with water, it’s time for you to make it dry. To do that, you can use a dry towel and scrub your saddle off for excess water. If you are too concerned about not scrubbing off the material, you can simply use the pat-and-dry formula. More so, you can also keep it under the sun for a few hours and then store it away.

Are all Saddle soaps the same?

Well, as we know, saddle material has different qualities available in the market. Similarly, to clean a high-quality saddle, you will also require soap of a good brand as well. Thus, it will help properly clean the saddle without compromising its quality.

By choosing a suitable saddle soap, you are also applying it to maintain the PH level of the saddle material. It doesn’t matter if it’s a leather or synthetic saddle; all you have to do is choose the best products for cleaning purposes.


While keeping your horse saddle in good condition will always be a positive sign. Also, how much you care about your horse and the equipment used in horse riding. In addition, it also saves money from severe damage that can happen by neglecting its proper care. Thus, your saddle will look nice and new for longer than you would expert!

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Written by

The author of the article is Alicia Nelson. She is a professional writer who is keenly interested in learning more about horses and their riding essentials. Apart from being a writer, Alicia is interested in equine life and is also a learned person in English riding disciplines. It’s also her profession to gather more and more knowledge about equine life and let others know about it in a correct manner.

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