Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 2

 

Take this 7-day equestrian spring cleaning challenge: Day 2

Spring has sprung so it is time for you to get your rear in gear for the 2018 season. Some riders have already begun their competition seasons, others are just preparing to start and some are relocating from their Southern winter bases to their Northern homes. Regardless of whether or not you even compete your horse, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. Spring cleaning can be a little daunting for equestrians because we tend to have heaps of stuff spread out over various locations. From your tack room to horse trailer to garage – there are horsey items in desperate need of cleaning and organizing. Fortunately for you, I have broken down your spring cleaning tasks into a straightforward seven-day challenge. We will be publishing spring cleaning tips every second day because let’s face it, no equestrian has seven days straight to clean! Simply dedicate seven days that suit your schedule to complete these tasks and you will thank yourself for it…

Don’t forget to start the challenge from the beginning: 

Stay tuned for the next 10 days (we are publishing spring cleaning tips every second day) to tackle your spring cleaning done like a pro.

 
Day 2: Clean tack and freshen up your other horsey items

During the winter months, it is easy to skip cleaning tack and your other horsey belongings. Sub-zero temperatures and a lack of upcoming horse shows can really kill your cleaning motivation. Now that the horse show season is commencing and the snow has melted (or is hopefully in the melting process), its time to get serious about restoring your tack and other frequently used items to impeccable condition.

1) Clean ALL tack. Get rid of the winter grime on your tack and restore it back to nearly new condition. Start with the tack you use on a day-to-day basis. And don’t cheat – take your bridles apart fully, remove leathers and stirrups from the saddles and undo whatever other buckles on breastplates that you can. After it is cleaned thoroughly, use a quality conditioner on everything because winter can really dry tack out. Once you have your regular tack cleaned up it is time to tackle the other bits of tack that you don’t use all the time. Odds are, you forgot to clean a some of your show tack. Last but not least, tackle all of your horses’ leather halters. Halters often get neglected and then riders wonder why they don’t last very long. After all your tack is spic and span you should feel more motivated to keep on top of cleaning it on a regular basis. Check out the article below for tips on how to clean your tack.

 

2) Wash up your saddle pads. Most equestrians own a seemingly endless supply of saddle pads and you probably are no exception. This makes it tempting to just keep digging out clean saddle pads while neglecting to keep on top of laundry. Now is the time to round up all of your saddle pads and give them a proper cleaning. Start off by brushing as much hair and dirt off of them as you can with a horse brush. Then take a vacuum to them to remove even more hair (it is shedding season after all). Finally, throw them in a washing machine and set it to as heavy of wash cycle as possible. Sometimes it is a good idea to wash saddle pads twice. Now you can organize all of your saddle pads and put them away somewhere neatly. A large plastic tub, duffle bag or shelves are good places to stow saddle pads. For more horse laundry tips be sure to check out the article below.

 


 

3) Scrub your horse’s boots. Most horses wear some form of leg protection boots during their training or even turnout. These boots can get pretty icky thanks to a combination of horse sweat, arena dirt and of course, horse poop. Hunt down all of your horse’s boots including ones you don’t use frequently. Then, start cleaning them by first brushing them off with a horse brush and then hose them down and scrub them with a brush. I find a dish brush like this one works great for scrubbing brush boots because it is comfy to hold and can get nicely in the boots crevices. I also use shampoo (horse or human) to clean the boots because it is gentle on them but still removes the grime. If your horse has leather boots you will need to wash the insides of them and then clean the outsides with a leather cleaner and conditioner. After your boots are looking spotless, hang them up to dry before putting them back away in your tack trunk.

4) Thoroughly clean your horse brushes. Brushing off your dirty horse on a daily basis can turn your brush kit into a filthy mess. Empty out your brush bag or box and clean it out with soap and water then let it dry. Then tack your brushes by throwing them in a hot tub of soapy water. I use either dish soap or shampoo for this job. Let them soak for a while then brush them with one another in the water to get the dirt out of them. Finally, rinse them off and put them somewhere to dry where they won’t get dirty in the process. Voila, your brushes will now get your horse clean instead of just adding more dirt to the equation!

5) Freshen up your helmet and riding gloves. You should wear your helmet everytime you ride a horse and most riders tend to wear their gloves just as frequently. This means your helmet and gloves can get really rank. Riders often forget to clean their helmets and gloves because we are a busy bunch of humans that are not easily phased by stench and dirt. But you really should spend some time freshening up your equipment. Most gloves can be washed in a washing machine but you should check the washing directions on your gloves first. If your gloves are in rough shape you should just buy a new pair because gloves aren’t that costly. I personally love SSG gloves because they give me great grip and are affordable. Helmets are a bit trickier to clean because they are usually made of a variety of materials that cannot be placed in either a dishwasher or wash machine. The best way to clean the outside of your helmet is with a damp cloth. Gently rubbing with a damp cloth does wonders to get the dust and dirt off of it. The inside requires a bit more attention thanks to your sweaty head. Your best bet is to use this helmet cleaner and then stay on top of things by using this helmet deoderizer on a regular basis. You will feel a thousand times better getting ready to ride when you have a clean helmet and gloves to put on.

Stay tuned to Eventing Connect for the next 10 days to complete your spring cleaning with ease.

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