Saddles and bridles are a major investment so they need to be well looked after. We shine a spotlight on the vast array of leather care products that will keep your tack super supple.

Look after your tack and it will look after you is certainly a saying that rings true. Tack cleaning isn’t everyone’s favourite job, but it is nevertheless an important chore to tick off the list for your own and your horse’s safety and comfort. Fortunately, there are many products on the market that can help to make the job less laborious and time- consuming. In this buyer’s guide we look at the options available to ensure that your leatherwork is a pleasure to use and that it stands the test of time. From sprays and soaps to balms and balsams there is something to suit every piece of equipment and timescale.

Essential cleaning

Washing your horse’s bit each time it is worn is something most people do automatically, so it makes sense to also add in a quick wipe over of the rest of your bridle with a damp sponge to ensure the damaging salts found in sweat and grease are removed.

Then, once a week, make time to take your bridle apart and give it a thorough clean. This is also a good opportunity to check the leather over for any signs of wear and tear — and, importantly, check the stitching.

Tack cleaning is now quick and easy thanks to handy products that take next to no time to apply. Tack cleaners are formulated to remove dirt and grease with minimum effort without making the leather too wet, which can cause long-term damage.

Once the leather is clean and dry it is can be conditioned. A conditioner will protect and keep the tack item supple. Again, there are various types available that can be easily applied with a sponge. If you’re really short on time there are even products that clean and condition in one — making the job of caring for your tack as quick as popping on the kettle.

Tack storage

Storing your tack in the right way will help to keep the leather in good condition. The tack room should be dry and a consistent temperature with good ventilation as damp conditions can cause leather to go mouldy, while high temperatures may make it dry out and become brittle.

Hanging your bridle on a bridle hook and putting your saddle on a saddle rack are the best ways to store them. Using a breathable saddle cover will also provide additional protection. And you may opt to use a bridle bag, too.

Shop for leather care products

Ezi-Groom Glycerine Leather Spray

RRP £9.99 for 400ml

This easy to apply glycerine saddle soap spray helps to save time when cleaning leather. The rich liquid contains glycerine, which is known for its cleaning and nurturing properties.

Ezi-Groom Leather Soft Soap Tub

RRP £6.99 for 450g

A softer formula saddle soap that is kinder to your hands and tack, Leather Soft Soap can be used directly out of the tub for added convenience.

Hack & Hound Leather Conditioner

RRP £5.95

A chocolate orange scented, hand-made leather conditioner that uses a blend of natural oils, beeswax and cocoa butter, this conditioner repairs and restores leather by replacing the lost moisture. The oils smooth and soften and the beeswax adds waterproofing. Sweet orange essential oil combined with cocoa butter means that this conditioner seeps into your leather.

NAF Sheer Luxe Leather Balsam

RRP £11.99 for 400g

An intensive conditioner that is designed to penetrate and nourish tack, keeping it luxuriously soft and supple. Comes with a free sponge for easy application.

Horseman’s One Step

RRP £11.50 for 425g

An all-in-one cream formula that cleans and conditions tack by penetrating the leather to remove ground in dirt and sweat. The lanolin-rich Horseman’s One Step conditions and preserves to prevent cracking and drying out, keeping items soft and pliable.

Showmaster All-in-One Leather Care

RRP £10.90 for 500ml

The non-greasy Showmaster All-in-One Leather Care removes dirt and dried sweat from tack and helps to prevent damage from moisture and mildew. Nourishing substances penetrate into the leather to make it supple and prevent cracks.

Showmaster Leather Care Wipes

RRP £10.90 for 50 wipes

Intended to provide a quick clean for all types of smooth leather, these wipes are ideal for everyday use and when you are on the go at a competition. Equally, they are practical and simple to use.

Belvoir Step 1 Tack Cleaner

RRP £9.95 for 500ml

The Step 1 gently lifts ingrained grease, sweat and dirt to enable you to wipe it off easily. The pH neutral formula won’t rot stitching or over-dry the leather. Belvoir Tack Cleaner Step 1 hygienically cleans your leatherwork, leaving a perfect surface on which to immediately apply a conditioning soap or oil.

Belvoir Step 2 Tack Conditioner

RRP £11.95 for 500ml

Condition, protect and add shine to all your leather tack with Belvoir’s Step 2 Tack Conditioner, which is formulated with glycerine and coconut oil for regular use with minimum effort. The glycerine fills and seals pores in the leather to form a barrier against salt, dirt, grease and water.

Leather Therapy Wash

RRP £17.95 for 473ml

The formula of Leather Therapy Wash is pH-balanced with micro suds to lift off embedded dirt, sweat and grime. It is sprayed on to leather and is then wiped off, with no need to rinse. It also helps to prevent mould and protects against stitching deterioration.

Leather Therapy Restorer & Conditioner

RRP £24.40 for 473ml

A blend of rich, replenishing oils that transforms dry, hard leather and helps to bring it back to life, Leather Therapy Restorer & Conditioner improves suppleness and inhibits the growth of mould and mildew. This product is perfect for maintaining your best tack, especially if it won’t be used for a while.

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