Place the saddle on a stand.,
Remove all attachments.,
Wipe off dust and dirt.,
Wash the saddle.,
Rinse the leather.,
Dry the saddle.
In order to give your saddle a proper cleaning, you will want to set it on something that will allow you to freely move around it. Ideally, this would be a saddle stand. A stand will give you a sturdy base to work from and help you reach difficult to clean areas. It will also ensure that the saddle maintains its natural position and does not pool water or soap while you clean it.Avoid laying it on a table or on the ground. This will bunch up the saddle and make it difficult to clean properly. It will also get dirty on the ground, and defeat the purpose of the entire process.
Do not clean your saddle while it is on your horse. This may irritate your horse.
, Before you begin cleaning your saddle, you will want to remove any attachments. These include the stirrups, breast collar, and cinches. You will want to be sure to remove any rawhide attachments, which can soak up excess water and get ruined.If you are conditioning any attachments, do not let them soak in oil while you clean and condition the saddle. This will ruin them. Lightly rub them with oil when you oil the saddle. , Use a dry cloth or brush to wipe off any dust or clumps of dirt. This step is particularly important because you will use very little water when you wash the saddle and removing any dirt beforehand will require less scrubbing. Excess scrubbing and water exposure will damage your leather., Mix your preferred saddle soap with as little water as possible. The water should be lukewarm (around 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) and mixed with the soap to create a thick foamy lather. Use a double-sided kitchen sponge or loofah glove to gently scrub both sides of the saddle. Be sure to thoroughly scrub the sections that come into contact with the horse – the backside of the fenders, stirrup leathers, and cinch straps.Check your manufacturer’s recommendations on saddle soaps or pastes.
, Use a clean rag or sponge and a fresh bucket of warm water to rinse off the saddle. Gently wipe off the soapy residue, making sure to rinse your rag regularly. You will want to be sure to remove all of the soap from the saddle but not use too much soap when doing it.Avoid spraying down your saddle. This will soak it with water and possibly ruin the leather.
, Once you have removed all soap residues, let the saddle dry in the air. You may also want to use a towel to remove any excess water. Be sure to store the saddle in a dry place. However, do not leave it in the sun or under direct heat. You want it to be dry but still cool to the touch. Your saddle should be completely dry before oiling. Oiling moist leather may oversaturate the leather and cause it to stretch.