Horse saddles made of leather require care and upkeep in order to maintain a long life. Saddles should be cleaned well at least once every week. Here is how to use saddle soap to keep your saddle clean and functional.
Wipe the saddle down with a soft, dry cloth to remove all dirt, dust and debris. The saddle should be free of foreign particles before the soap is applied.
Dip a dampened sponge into the saddle soap and work into a good lather.
Rub the saddle soap into the leather. Apply using a tight circular motion until the entire saddle is covered.
Allow the saddle soap to remain on the saddle for just a few minutes.
Wipe off the soap using a damp washcloth. Be sure to wipe the saddle down thoroughly and that no soap is left behind, as it can cause the leather to dry out and become cracked.
Follow the saddle soap wash immediately with a conditioner or leather oil.
When cleaning the saddle, be sure to pay special attention to any and all parts that come into constant contact with the horse such as stirrup leathers, fenders, the back of rigging plates and the rear cinch.
Do not use saddle soap to clean leather furniture! It is too harsh and is only intended for use with saddles where the leather is processed differently to be tougher.