First of all, before every polishing we should scrub it out. At the very beginning we wipe it with a damp cloth, and then clean it with a specialist soap or polish that are designed for that purpose. We cannot leave any stains. Otherwise, we will rub the dirt inter alia in the stitches, which later on will chafe. After washing it with soap, we try to get into all recesses with delicate movements. Next, we grab a damp, clean cloth and remove all the last of soap. Remember not to soak the saddle. After finishing all the above actions, we put the saddle aside for around 20 minutes so it can dry out (away from a radiator and other sources of heat). We remind you that glycerine soap is unsuitable for the saddle care (!). It has properties that cause the leather to fade. After making sure that we thoroughly cleaned the saddle (also under the panels and underneath) we can start the polishing. This activity must be carried gently and with tact. Evenly spread the polish on the general saddle surface, at the same time remembering that those are not honeycombs. Put small amounts so that the leather may absorb it without a problem. Otherwise, our bright breeches will be emblazoned with dark stains. After polishing the general surface, it's time for the girth tabs. They are made from the specially selected leather, which is resistant to any kind of stretching. A very thick polishing will lead to destruction of that property (the effect will be stretched holes and the entire string of the girth tabs).
Leather girths should be treated like saddles. However, it is worth taking care of it more often. Stiff from dirt and salt might cause a lot of harm to the horse. Remember to wipe it with a damp cloth at least once a week and polish with a small amount of paste. It will prevent the girth from drying which is especially likely during immediate contact with the horse's skin. Each girth which lacks maintenance dries out and creates "patterns" that scrapes the horse. Webbing girth also require cleaning and washing. This kind of girth especially easily absorb sweat and other contaminations.
We take care of them the same way as we do with girth tabs. Here, we have freedom when it comes to the thickness of polishing. There is almost no difference whether we do it thick or thin. However, let's not forget about their maintenance. During casual training they are exposed to high weight, which is why maintaining the elasticity and softness is so important. Otherwise, the "humps" which proceed from the contact of skin with a razor might cause unpleasant abrasions on the inner side of legs.
Here we also cannot allow for a drying. Headpieces made from calfskin must be polished more often than those made from cowhide. Pay close attention to the place in which the cheek strap goes to the bit. It has to be particularly soft and nice for the horse.
Remember to regularly take care of the razors. After a thorough cleaning, wipe it with oil. That will prevent any rust and patina, which make it hard to use the equipment. When it comes to the rubber elements, it is enough to wash them in warm water.
The most common boots are made from leather and plastic (more about boots). All in all, we take care of most of them in the same way. After each training we brush the mud etc., we wipe the shell with a damp cloth and leave it to dry. It is worth to pay attention to the Velcro cleanness, because they are most likely to get damaged. Take out the attached straw and little twigs.
Wash normally in a washing machine, preferably in the special cases that prevent the washing machine contaminations. Dry them in a supine position, freely spreaded for example on a dryer.
Improper polishing and cleaning might lead to mould growth. Excessive lubrication of leather, and rare conservation are the main causes. If you want to get rid of the fungus, thoroughly clean and polish your equipment. We can also buy professional soaps and pastes in shops, which will easily help you with solving the problem. Text written on the basis of the "Świat Koni" 4/2008 article.