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Properly caring for your bridle and reins supports maximum performance, longevity your horse’s comfort.

After every ride, you’ll want to wipe any grime, sweat, saliva and ring dust from your bridle and reins and use either traditional glycerin soap and water or a specially formulated leather cleanser.

Pay particular attention to cleaning areas of your bridle that are typically under pressure during riding and exposed to saliva, such as the ends of cheek pieces and reins where they come in contact with bit rings.

For a traditional and economical method—glycerin soap, a small bucket and a sponge or cloth works great. Barely moisten the sponge with cool water. Unfasten hook stud closures and buckles to remove debris caught by the hardware and to smooth creases in your leather.

After washing, and when the leather feels smooth and clean, rub a nearly dry sponge or rag against the glycerin soap bar. Apply a thin layer of glycerin soap (no suds during this step) to your leather to seal its pores and keep it soft, but not sticky.

Newer methods of cleaning your bridle involve convenient and easy-to-use tack cleaning and conditioning products. Almost every tack manufacturer has a recommendation or product preference for cleaning and conditioning its products, and some manufacturers produce their own. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines when considering commercial leather cleaners and conditioners.

One-step leather cleaners also condition your leather as you wipe away grime. Two-step cleaners usually advise following cleansing with a conditioner that will soften and protect the leather.