How often do I need to take my bridle apart to clean it?
So many nooks and crannies to get gooped up.
The answer you are waiting for - it depends. 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. 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. This intersection, incidentally, is my favorite buckle to open to “check the status” of what could be brewing.
So why do I suggest that you regularly open the rein to bit buckle? LOOK AT THIS GROSSNESS.
This is the buckle where the reins meet the bit.
Other reasons to check 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.
- 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.
Mostly this horse chore is to make sure your bridle is safe, and to get the goop out. FUN TIMES!