How do I undo the mouse damage to my tack?
Mice and critters can create a bunch of annoying damage to lots of things - leather tack, feed room everything, and even saddle pads and blankets. This is a handy guide of what you can do to combat mouse urine stains on your horse stuff. These tips will also work for cat and dog urine, although you need to take more care with mouse urine. If you are unsure what type of critter peed on your stuff, just assume it was a mouse and take some precautions.
Bleach is most definitely your friend int his case...
First, it’s important to know how to clean up any rodent urine and feces. On the most basic level - no sweeping or vacuuming - this can spread and spray any viruses that may be contained in the urine and droppings. Use a 1 to 10 bleach to water solution to soak spots of urine and droppings and even nest parts, and let this soak for about 5 minutes. Then you can wipe up the poop/pee/nest/bleach solution with gloves and paper towels.
Any saddle pads or other soft, washable horse stuff can be washed in HOT water - and it’s not going to hurt to add some bleach to your wash. But what about the leather stuff? Well this is tricky - you will want to let any viruses die in the leather - and one of the best ways to do this is a bleach and water mix - but who knows how this will affect the leather? You can also let the stain sit for a week or longer, after this time, any viruses will likely be dead. Then you can clean the leather.
Get ready to do some major conditioning!
There’s also enzyme solutions that you can use to break up urine stains and residual odors. They are easy to find at your local pet shop. The question remains if they will stain or discolor your leather tack. This may or may not matter to you - and it may not even be an issue. You can always do a test patch on a hidden portion of your tack.
The urine will also definitely do some damage to your leather goods. Think of it as a wet saddle, that’s been allowed to dry and get crusty, times 10. So a good cleaning with saddle soap, then tons and tons of conditioners - added in layers. A nice lederbalsam works wonders. You can do a neatsfoot oil if you like, but many many thin layers are better than a thick one, and the oil may darken your leather.
You may want to also track down the manufacturer of your saddle or leather tack and see what they say about getting urine (mouse or otherwise) out of the leather. At any rate, your saddle will definitely have a story to tell…
Brush up on mouse and rodent control, perhaps find a locker for your leather stuff, and know that sometimes &*^% happens!