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Cleaning An English Saddle Pad

Updated on March 15, 2015

You Need A Clean Saddle Pad When You Show Your Horse

A clean white saddle pad is a must if you are thinking about showing your horse. They come in all sorts of pretty colors but for a show, you should stick to conservative and go with white only. The white needs to be bright, preferably keeping one special pad just for showing. Make sure that your horse is clean before a show and that will help keep the pad cleaner also.

Step 1

Laundry Detergent

I usually start with laundry detergent. I pour a whole bunch on the worst spots and then rub it in. It's best to use a scrubby brush if you have one but when there isn't one around, pretty much anything will work. This time I just used the lid of the laundry detergent and rubbed it in with that. You can also rub it together and that works too. Once the detergent is on, I let it soak in for about an hour.

Step 2

Bleach and/or Stain Remover

The next thing that I do is put it in the washing machine with at least 1 cup of bleach. I let the washer fill up for awhile and then I leave it soaking in there for about another half hour.

If you would rather try a stain remover, that might work too or maybe rub the stain remover on and let it sit for awhlie before putting it in with the bleach water.

Please read the labels first to make sure they can mix in the laundry.

Stain Removers

There's lots of stain removers out there. It's hard to choose one to try with so many options! If one doesn't work, try another one until you find the one that works the best for you. It might take a few tries but it will be worth it.

Have you ever tried TideTo Go Instant Stain Remover?

See results

Step 3

Wash It!

I start up the washing machine again and make sure to have it on two rinses. It will get a good washing in there and by the time the washer is done, it should be fairly clean. Look at all that dirt already!! You can run it through the washer a few times if you need to. Or you can go to a laundromat and use their industrial strength washers. They'll be able to power out a lot of the dirt but make sure there's no signs hanging up anywhere that say "No horse items in the washers please"..

Step 4

Hang to Dry

Once the washer is done, hang the pad up in the sun. The sun is a natural bleach. The pad should be pretty clean by now, this is just to add the finishing touch and bring out that extra brightness. This really works!

The Sun is A Natural Bleacher

Things get bleached in the sun. Even when we don't want them too. Those nice bright outdoor play toys even fade when left out too long so it's only natural that when you want something to get nice and white, you put it outside and hang it where it will get flooded with sunlight.

Have you ever tried sun bleaching something?

See results

Step 5 - Super bright! - TA-DA!!!

A day in the sun and the pad is nice and bright white! Ready for a show! No need to go buy a new one. Just follow these simple steps and your pad should be show ready in no time.

White or Colorful?

The show world can be a strange place sometimes. One judge likes colors, another prefers white, but it's hard to figure it all out and remember which judge prefers which one. Should the color of the pad even matter to the judge or should it be personal preference?

Perri's All Purpose Economy Saddle Pad, Navy/Lt Blue/White
Perri's All Purpose Economy Saddle Pad, Navy/Lt Blue/White

This is a budget friendly saddle pad. It's navy blue so that you can't see all the dirt. I probably wouldn't use this in a show but it's nice for around the barn.


Do you like to blaze your own trails with fun colors or do you prefer to stick to a more conservative white?

See results

Still Need a New One?

Sometimes you just can't get all the stains out and it's time to break down and buy a new one. There's usually a percentage of points that are determined by appearances. That's why you should make sure to have a nice clean one just for the shows. Find some great deals here.

Intrepid International No More Sore Back Saddle Pad
Intrepid International No More Sore Back Saddle Pad

This is a really nice saddle pad that would be great in a show. The judges seem to like the bright whites the best.


Are there any other products that you use to get your white saddle pad bright white? Do you have an extra pad or do you only have one? Do you have any other tips?

Other Products?

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    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 4 years ago

      I don't know bleach sounds good :)