How To Clean Rawhide On Saddle? (Secret To Cleaning Rawhide)

I’m sure that every time you ride your horse, with the saddle, you’d feel that the thing that you’re sitting on isn’t really that clean. The rawhide on the saddle looks much worse than how it used to look when it was new and you just cannot take another day of sitting on the saddle if the dirty rawhide feeling doesn’t go away.

saddle cleaning

How to clean rawhide on a saddle? Cleaning a rawhide isn’t really a difficult task. You don’t really have to hire a professional for it. To get your rawhide on saddle cleaned thoroughly and nicely follow the below steps carefully and as stated:


Firstly, what you need to do is prepare your instruments for the cleaning of the rawhide. Equipment for efficient rawhide cleaning may include, saddle soap or spray, sheepskin or cleaning rag and rawhide conditioner, additional tools include, a cleaning brush and toothbrush. These are the only things that you need for cleaning the rawhide on your saddle. While people like to use saddle spray more, soap is also helpful in thoroughly rubbing the solution in the rawhide, but always be sure to get a solution that is meant for saddles. Using any other product for cleaning can cause serious harm to the rawhide. For cleaning the rawhide, you can use a rug or a sponge but the best thing to clean it with is a sheepskin, as it has the best cleaning effect. As for the rawhide conditioner, there are many products out there like the Vaquero Rawhide Cream, Rawhide Rejuvenator are the most prominently used conditioners and also recommended.

Ready? Start!

The next step is to start with the cleaning! So, first what you need to do is, with the cleaning brush dust off extra dirt and mud.

Get your rug

Then you need to get your rug for cleaning. Soak it in warm water and wring it nicely until the rag is not dripping any water. Look for accumulated dirt in the hard-to-reach parts of the saddle and clean by rubbing them with a toothbrush.

Apply the soap

Rub the saddle soap on the rug to have lather form on it or spray the rug with saddle cleaning spray and start rubbing the rawhide with it. The rubbing will need some manpower and some elbow grease. Your hands and arms can become soar in the process but it’ll be worth it when you see you rawhide good as new after you’ve cleaned it. Be sure that you have gotten rid of all the grim and stains.


After the entire rawhide is thoroughly rubbed and cleaned, you need to wipe the excess lather from the rawhide with a dry rug. Tip: Never leave you rawhide to dry on its own after applying soap or spray as it will become distorted and cracked.


This is the step where you apply conditioner to your rawhide. As for applying the conditioner, be very sure to do it when the rawhide is not all the way dry. Don’t apply it when the rawhide is wet otherwise there is a chance of it becoming really hard and dry. Just take a small amount of the conditioner and slowly apply it on the rawhide. You can use a rug or your hand to apply the conditioner on it. There is no limit to the amount of conditioner that you want to apply on the rawhide but don’t apply too little that won’t moisturize it enough or not too much that can over dry it once left to dry.

And this is, how to clean rawhide on saddle. Not very difficult is it? But is it right to clean your rawhide only when it gets too dirty? No, it isn’t. To know why you should get your rawhide cleaned every day after a ride, don’t stop reading…

Related Questions

Why you should get your Rawhide on Saddle cleaned

Dirt keeps building up on the rawhide on the saddle when not cleaned for a long time. Sweat and dirt can leave your rawhide to worsen each day. When not taken good care of, rawhide can start to wear down and will start to degrade day by day until it becomes ragged. An ignored rawhide can become dry really fast and when that happens it will start to crack and shed in pieces. There will be a time when the rawhide becomes unable to use anymore and you’d have to buy a new one. So, to save yourself from spending money on buying a new saddle, it is much better to keep good care of it every day and clean it, which obviously doesn’t take much time (mentioned above).

Horse saddles are almost used every day in a horse rider’s life and they’re a very important part of the saddle, so it is every rider’s duty to keep good care of it. Cleaning the rawhide every day after each ride is ideal for the rawhide to stay in shape. Rawhides are materials that need extra cleaning and care as well, so after wiping your rawhide every day it will be wise to apply some conditioner to it as well, but only in a small quantity, that will condition it properly enough to not get dry and not too wet either.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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