I don’t clean my tack on a daily basis, but when I do sit down to clean it I like to do a thorough job. At one yard I go to, I swear there are tack cleaning fairies, because the tack is always immaculate.
I always notice that Matt’s tack always feels very clean, even if it hasn’t been cleaned for a week. It also never feels clogged up with products. No matter what I do, my tack never feels quite so soft and supple.
So when I was getting organised for the champs I casually hinted to Mum that I’d be cleaning tack on Friday evening when she arrived … and if she wanted to help she was more than welcome.
She came prepared. And boy does she go the whole hog.
First of all we took the tack apart and wiped it over with a damp, sponge. Then we sprayed each piece of leather with Belvoir Step 1 tack cleaning spray. Mum thinks this is good at degreasing the tack and I was surprised at the benefits of it.
I used to use the spray tack cleaners, but I then converted to good old saddle soap and elbow grease, which I felt cleaned the leather more deeply than the spray. But perhaps that’s because the spray encourages you to cut corners…
Anyway, next we applied the saddle soap and elbow grease.
Finally, came Mum’s secret weapon. She brought out this tin of Belvoir leather balsalm.
Voila! The tack felt soft, supple and very clean. Even better, Mum forgot to take the balsalm home!
Tonight I finally got around to strip cleaning Otis’s tack; yes I know it’s been a few weeks but work, Easter holidays and life got in the way. I skipped the tack spray step as I didn’t have any, but I have to say that the tack feels much better than the last time I stripped and oiled it. I’ll have to do his jumping tack next which, despite being thoroughly cleaned in September and sitting in the office all winter, doesn’t feel that great.
So when you run out of saddle soap and pop to the tack shop, try the balsalm and see how you get on with it. I’ll definitely keep using it.