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beautiful western horseOwning a saddle is a major responsibility for a horse owner.  This article will then help you with tips on how to clean a saddle. Horse tack is very expensive and should be respected as a major investment. So caring for your equipment is very important to horse owners.

A new horse owner usually is still trying to figure out, not only how to clean a saddle and the other various parts of the horse tack, but also how often this should be done. Many things come into play when deciding on when to clean a saddle.

Top Tips on Cleaning Your Saddle

  • Your saddles usage, will determine, how often it is cleaned.  A weekend trail ride, or you and the horse participating in a horse show.
  • The type of material your saddle is made of will be very important to know. Leather will be cared for more diligently, than maybe a synthetic made saddle.
  • The age of your saddle. Is the saddle new, or is it used and it has already been broken in

Whatever your situation you will need to work out the routine that works best for you. So if you attend many horse shows and horse events, then your equipment will very likely need to be cleaned much more often then if, you use it for leisure rides, or longer trail rides.

If your saddle is new you will be experiencing a breaking in period with it. During this time period you may not have to clean it that much, but as it is broken in, you will one day just happen to notice how much it now needs to be cleaned.

Do You Know These Tips On How to Clean a Saddle

Cleaning your saddle if it is synthetic is very different than if it is real leather. A synthetic saddle can be cleaned many times with a brush, mild soap and some elbow grease applied. It dries much quicker, and actually could be dried with a rag, or an old towel.

You will find that the better quality synthetic saddles clean up better and quicker than the cheaper ones. They also will wear longer and tend to put up with the cleaning better as well.

What About Using Saddle Soap When It’s Leather

You will find that many of the finer built, and most comfortable saddles are made of really top notch quality leather. Leather is one of the best materials you can make a good saddle from.

leather saddle

leather saddle

Probably one of the first things is that you will want to get a bucket for the water, the saddle soap, and the soft brush that you will be cleaning with.

Please remember that your leather saddle’s biggest enemies are named Mr. Dirt, Mr. Sweat, and Mr No Moisture (lack of moisture).

A regular routine of conditioning and cleaning the leather will help tremendously to extend the lifetime of your saddle. Saddles are not cleaned with regular detergents, their ingredients are too harsh on the leather. Of course please realize do not use bathing soaps and showering gels; as they too are not good for your leather saddle.
There are many different type of saddle soap and conditioners especially manufactured for cleaning saddles.
Sof Sole Neatsfoot Oil Natural Preservative for Smooth Leather Shoes and Boots , 8-OunceSof Sole Neatsfoot Oil Natural Preservative for Smooth Leather Shoes and Boots , 8-Ounce

  • Apply saddle soap to the sponge you will use for cleaning then follow with a moisturizing product, probably a leather conditioner.
  • The moisturizing products main purpose is to help the saddle maintain the natural oils it already has.
  • Rub the damp sponge thoroughly on you saddle to capture all the dirt. Clean underneath the saddle and its tack. You need to capture all the hidden dirt that is underneath your saddle’s inner structure. Search for it, it is there but sometimes not easily exposed.
  • Once you are done with the cleaning process, next you need to apply the leather conditioner. This will help to restore moisture content that was removed during the cleaning process.

Doing these processes on a regular basis, will certainly increase the lifespan of your horse’s saddle.

Set up a schedule and live by it, it will help make this chore a bit easier.

What If You Think (My Saddle Isn’t That Dirty)

If the saddle is not that dirty, then just simply dust your saddle and then expose it to fresh air. Remembering not to expose the saddle to the direct sunlight.

Next having a good dry, well vented storage area is vital. A properly stored saddle should last a very long time. The storage are shouldn’t be around an area with much heat generated by sunlight, as a rather cooler area will be better in the long run as well. Many years of enjoyable use, will be yours.

What Are Some of the Better Leather Conditioners

When doing research on leather conditioner reviews, we found that some of the best leather saddle conditioners are Stubben Hamanol, and Farnham’s Leather New Deep Conditioner.

Another great entry (leather conditioner) to use, in the how to clean a saddle story, is from Germany, Pharmaka Saddle soap, and the last one we found was Fiebings Saddle Soap.


Fiebing's Glycerin Saddle Soap Bar, 7 ozFiebing’s Glycerin Saddle Soap Bar, 7 ozFARNAM 32601 Leather New Saddle SoapFARNAM 32601 Leather New Saddle Soapstubben hamanolStubben HamanolFARNAM Leather New Saddle Soap, 16-oz.FARNAM Leather New Saddle Soap, 16-oz.

It appears in reading these many leather conditioner reviews and also in reading reviews of these products on, that these are some of horse owner’s top choice’s for using on their saddles. These four choices are very popular, and have been used for years.

Conclusion For the How To Clean A Saddle

Your horse’s saddle is a very important piece of equipment, that you should always treat a a top investment. Your horse will enjoy it and you will definitely be happier if your equipment is always in top notch condition.

You will be very confident in your horse, and in the ride and performance you will be getting from riding your horse. Great riding enjoyment to you!