Monday, January 23, 2012

Points Off in Pony Club

I'm thinking Pony Club would not endorse my method of tack cleaning.....

Gather cleaning supplies:

glycerine or castile soap
oil or leather conditioner
sponges and rags
toothbrush may be helpful

While the saddle is on a saw horse,
wash all areas with a soapy sponge. 
Pay close attention to  the leather
that comes in contact with sweat and dirt,
and areas where metal comes in contact with the leather.

Undo buckles and clean the buckle and the leather.
Inspect the leather for cracks and
check that stitching is intact.
Remove and clean stirrups.
Soak stirrup pads if you have them and they need it.
Remove the girth for inspection and cleaning.

This is actually the first time I've cleaned the saddles while they were on the horses. But, the weather was nice. The saddles needed to be cleaned. I had the time. I had the inclination. And, my horses are the perfect height for saddle cleaning. So, why not?!

When I was young I participated in Pony Club. "They" would judge us on many aspects of barn management. I did check out my USPC Manual and found no mention of where to have the saddle while cleaning it. So, if "they" decided to take points off for my unconventional method, I suppose I could contest it! But, I wouldn't. Pony Club is all about teaching safety around horses and I know that cleaning a saddle on the horse's back is not truly safe. Pippin wiggles a bit more than Doc and I was sure to keep my hand on the saddle when I had the girth off so I was ready to take it off if he startled for some reason. So, this is really a case of "Do as I say, not as I do!" In other words; Don't do this at home!

The USPC Manual of Horsemanship is not available online, but here are three documents from Pony Clubs about tack cleaning that are based on the manual, should you be curious about their material or want to share this with someone.

Resources for USPC Manual - Tack Cleaning


  1. Pony Club sure taught our daughter a lot! Me too.
    Your tack looks clean to me!

  2. And now you have a proud horse with clean tack. I'm sure he was happy to be part of the process.

  3. Doc is sooo fuzzy! What a great way to clean tack. Haflingers are the perfect height!

  4. Well, you get full points from me for actually taking the time to clean your tack. And it's not even Spring yet. Way to go Dreaming! And I'm sure the boys were happy to be saw horse stand-ins.

  5. Ditto - I haven't cleaned tack in years ... unless you count where my jeans rub a shine in the leather... lol

  6. I think it is a great idea. Might as well put the horse to work too - it's for his benefit to have nice clean tack.

  7. Hey...I'm all about getting jobs done without a backache afterwards! If cleaning the saddle on the horse prevents ya from having to stand over a saddle rack...why not! I just may try it myself! =)

  8. Errr.... I'm always deliquent in cleaning my tack!

  9. Your boys didn't seem to mind..and if the end result was clean tack..why not! Looks like sunny skies there! :)

  10. I clean mine on the living room floor while watching (listening) TV!!! your way would be much more fun!

  11. I bet the horses enjoyed it more than the tack did!

  12. Doesn't matter how you clean your tack, just that you do. :)

    That saddle looks nice and comfy!



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