take your bridle apart to clean it

Take your horse’s bridle apart!


Generally speaking, if you clean the bit and bridle daily, you can go quite a while in between dismantling and reassembly.


  • I will go about 6 months or so in between take apart sessions. It helps that my horse doesn’t slobber a lot, which means there’s much less to clean around the bit and bridle intersection. I also don’t use a foamy leather cleaner, so there’s not a lot of leftover goo that can get trapped in the buckles. The intersection between bit and cheekpieces is my favorite buckle to open to “check the status” of what could be brewing.


So why do I suggest that you regularly open buckles when you are cleaning tack? LOOK AT THIS GROSSNESS:


crusty reins with lots of mud and dirt

This is the buckle where the reins meet the bit.


Other reasons to check and open buckles when you are cleaning your bridle:


  • You can see the condition of the leather. Look for unraveling thread, cracks, goop in the keepers.


  • By undoing most of the buckle while cleaning, you can help preserve the leather where it’s most likely to break – at a fold.


  • You can make sure the buckle itself hasn’t warped. Sometimes I will find a buckle that has a bent prong.


leather tack buckle that is dirty

So many nooks and crannies to get gooped up.


  • You can check for sweat/slobber/leather cleaner goop. And remove it when you find it.


  • You will learn patience as you put the bridle back together at least 3 times because you think you have it right and then you don’t. Repeat. If you are just learning to put a bridle together, take one piece away at a time, clean, reattach, then move on to the next piece.


bridle buckle with dirt and goo

Mostly this horse chore is to make sure your bridle is safe and to get the goop out. FUN TIMES!


go shopping button for horse products


If you want to pick up some lederbalsam or oils for conditioning your saddle, I like the following. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!


Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap for Horse 16 fl oz

Effax Leather Balsam 500 ml

Fiebing’s 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil, 32 oz. – Natural Leather Preservative

Hydrophane Leather Darken Oil, 500 ml ( 17 fl.Oz ) – This one WILL darken your tack.


Pack of 12 Tack Sponges – these are the smaller types

Honeycomb Form Tack Sponge – this is the larger variety