Fall cleaning is just as important as spring cleaning. Don’t forget to give your western saddle some extra love. Follow these steps to have your saddle looking like new.

1) Gather Supplies:

A dry cloth, soft sponge, saddle soap, and leather conditioner will be needed. I like Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Soap and Fiebing’s 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil, but there are many options on the market.

2) Cleaning Your Saddle:

1) Place your western saddle on a saddle stand and remove any attachments like breast collars or cinches.

2) Use a cloth to wipe off any dirt or dust.

3) Start on one side and spray the saddle with the saddle soap. Make sure to get in cracks and under flaps! You may want to spray more in spots that are extra dirty or places that come in contact with the horse.

4) Move your sponge, using circular motions, to work in the soap. Keep the sponge damp and wipe off extra soap that isn’t worked in. Do not use too much water.

5) Clean both sides of the saddle and allow it to sit out to dry before applying conditioner.

6) Once the saddle is clean and dry, apply a light, even layer of Neatsfoot Oil with a soft cloth. You should only apply oil once or twice a year, and never to rawhide materials.

7) Let the saddle sit for about an hour. It is now safe to wipe off excess oil from the saddle with a dry cloth.

8) Keep your saddle covered in-between usage. After each ride, use a damp sponge to remove any visible grim, dirt, or sweat.

Tip: Use special rawhide cleaner, such as Vaquero Rawhide Cream, where necessary.

Cleaning your saddle should be part of your regular barn chores. These tips are simple and can be used by even a beginner. Take the time for your saddle and it’ll last you longer!