How to Clean a Wool Saddle Pad? Tips & Tricks
Wool is one of the best natural materials for a horse pad because it does not irritate a horse’s skin. Unfortunately, wool is also difficult to clean. Thankfully, there are some tips and tricks that allow horse owners to better understand how to clean a wool saddle pad after it has become dirty. Keeping the saddle pad clean will help to ensure your horse remains comfortable at all times.
Why Do You Need to Clean a Wool Saddle Pad?
A saddle pad is put in place to offer protection and comfort for a horse. Saddle pads help to prevent the saddle from rubbing against the horse’s skin and causing irritation. They also help offer a better fit for ill-fitting saddles, by filling in the gaps.
Unfortunately, horse saddle pads can become very dirty after a few rides. They become caked with hair, sweat, and dirt, and need a thorough cleaning.
Although wool is all-natural, it is not the easiest material to clean. Knowing the proper steps of cleaning a wool saddle pad will help to ensure your horse remains clean and comfortable on rides.
Steps for Cleaning a Wool Saddle Pad
There are some steps riders can take to make sure their wool saddle pad is clean and soft for their horse. For cleaning your saddle pad, make sure to conduct the following steps.
- Using a stiff brush, work to loosen the hair, dirt, and grime that have become trapped within the wool fibers. You will be surprised at how much gunk can be removed with brushing alone.
- Use a hose with a power attachment and cool water to spray down the pad and remove any sweat, dirt, and hair left behind.
- If the saddle pad is particularly dirty, you may soak it in a tub of cold water to loosen the dirt and hair, so they can be removed.
- You will need to air dry your saddle. Do not hang it unnaturally because it could dry out of shape. Lay it to dry flat whenever possible, so it does not lose its shape.
You should wash your wool saddle pad approximately every 100 hours. If you feel the pad is becoming bogged down with dirt and hair, it may need cleaning before 100 hours of use. Use your best judgment for the best results.
Important Information on Cleaning a Wool Saddle Pad
Cleaning a wool saddle pad is integral for the health and comfort of your horse, but there are some important pieces of information you must remember. Do not forget the following.
- Never use soap when cleaning a wool saddle pad. Soap is very difficult to remove from wool, and it can become trapped deep within the fibers. Once against your horse’s skin, it can cause undue irritation.
- Never attempt to wash your wool saddle pad in a washing machine. The abrasive action of a commercial machine will only cause damage and warp the shape of the saddle pad.
- Never dry a wool saddle pad in a dryer. Doing so could result in damage and great shrinkage, making the saddle pad no longer fit correctly.
- Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. When in doubt, these instructions will offer guidance.
- Always brush your saddle pad and leave it flat to air dry after every single use. Putting it away without brushing or air drying could lead to embedded dirt and unpleasant odors.
- To prevent the need to constantly wash your wool saddle pad, you should consider using a baby pad underneath. These small pads are easy to wash and absorb much of the sweat, dirt, hair, and odors that would normally invade your wool saddle pad.
Proper Storage Is a Must
If you want to keep your wool saddle pads in sound shape, following the above cleaning tips is critical. It is also important to know how to store your saddle pads between uses.
Although it is fine to fold your saddle pad, you cannot put anything on top. Doing so could cause a distorted shape which can rub your horse the wrong way and cause discomfort.
If you must hang your saddle pads, make sure to purchase blanket hangers or wall-mounted hangers. These will help to ensure the saddle pad remains in its original shape and is nice, clean, and soft for the next ride.
Once you have purchased the perfect saddle pad, it is important to know how to clean it properly. Wool is the material of choice for saddle pads, but special care must be taken to ensure it is cleaned correctly.
Now, you know how to clean a wool saddle pad and even how to store it properly. With these tips, you can keep your saddle pads clean and inviting for your horses.