Saddles and bridles, as well as other items of leather tack, such as the best anatomical girths or breastplates, are a real investment, so using the best saddle soaps and leather conditioners to keep them looking and feeling new is totally worth it.
Saddle soaps, tack cleaners and conditioners come in a variety of forms, including solid soap bars, creams and sprays, but they all have a similar range of benefits, which ultimately extend the life of your tack. Saddle soaps and tack cleaners break down dirt and grease, while leather conditions and balsams nourish the leather and keep it feeling supple. Some products have a double action and condition as well as clean.
It’s important to clean your tack regularly as leather in good condition is not only more comfortable for your horse, but is much safer and less likely to break. Tack cleaning is also a good opportunity to check all the stitching and metalwork is still in good order.
How often should tack be cleaned?
It’s good practice to wipe over your tack after each use to help prevent build up of grease and dirt. In reality, it’s unlikely you’ll have time to give it a good clean that often, so you should aim to do a full clean of your tack once a week, especially if you’re riding regularly. It will be more comfortable for your horse, plus it will extend the life of your tack and give you a chance to check for any disrepair.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the best saddle soaps and tack cleaners below, or you can jump down for the best leather conditioners.
Best saddle soaps and tack cleaners
Carr & Day & Martin Belvoir Step 1 Tack Cleaner Spray
This spray effectively cleans leather, removing dirt, grease and sweat with ease. It gently lifts ingrained grease, sweat and dirt, while having a pH-neutral formula will not rot stitching or over dry the leather. It leaves the perfect surface for the immediate application of a conditioning soap or oil.
NAF Sheer Luxe Leather Cleanse & Condition
H&H Review: 9/10
This deep cleansing formula is easy to use and leaves a non-sticky natural finish.
Read H&H’s independent NAF Sheer Luxe Cleanse & Condition review.
Absorbine Horseman’s One Step
This all-in-one cream formula cleans and conditions your tack in one go. It penetrates leather to remove ground in dirt and sweat, and its lanolin-rich formula conditions and preserves to prevent cracking and drying out, keeping items soft and pliable with no sticky residue. It is suitable for use on natural or synthetic leather.
Cavalor Leather Soap
Sizes: 250ml, 500ml, 2l
RRP: £7.99 for 250ml
This glycerin-based soap is a deep cleaner and should be applied after cleaning the dirt and grease from the leather to feed it and keep it soft and supple without losing strength.
Collegiate Saddle Soap
This soap effectively cleans, softens and rejuvenates all colours of smooth leather saddles and other leather tack.
Leovet Leather Quick & Easy Spray
This natural leather cleaning spray refreshes, protects and preserves by cleansing and removes dirt, helping to create a natural shine. It is petroleum free.
Little Rider Total Care Leather Tack Spray
Great for young riders, this gentle leather spray helps to prevent mould and mildew growth, while the added glycerine keeps the leather soft and supple.
In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk
Supreme Products Soft Leather Soap
This soft leather soap can be used on all leather items to clean, soften, refresh and add shine – it is perfect for keeping show tack in pristine condition.
In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk
Leather conditioners: what’s on the market?
Carr & Day & Martin Belvoir Step 2 Tack Conditioner Spray
Sizes: 500ml, 5l
RRP: £12.50 for 500ml
This conditioner spray is based on the original solid bar recipe and softens, preserves and shines leather. The clear conditioner is formulated with glycerine and coconut oil, for regular use with minimum effort. The glycerine fills and seals pores in the leather to form a barrier against salt, dirt, grease and water. Use after ‘Step 1’ Belvoir tack cleaner.
Cavalor Leather Shine
This formula contains several oils, greases and waxes for intense leather care. It nurtures deeply, keeps the leather supple and adds a shine without making it slippery.
Collegiate Leather Cream
This cream adds condition and shine to saddles and other leather tack.
Leovet Leather Care Intensive
This natural leather care product cleans and creates a smooth, matt look, while also helping to waterproof the leather and protect against mould and mildew. It is ideal for use on riding boots.
NAF Sheer Luxe Leather Balsam
This intensive conditioner is designed to penetrate and nourish tack, keeping it soft and supple. It comes with a free sponge inside for easy application.
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