Like leather, sweat and dirt build up on rawhide and get absorbed into the fiber causing it to degrade over time. Additionally, rawhide will dry out and feel dry and rougher to the touch than usual. Check your gear regularly, especially the parts that are often against the horse’s hide. If you see sweat and dirt built up, or if it’s dry, it needs to be cleaned and conditioned.
Rawhide is cured but unlike leather, it’s not tanned. Although Neatsfoot Oil is fine to use on tanned leather when needed it should not be used on rawhide.
Follow along with the video and the guidelines below to see how easy it is to take good care of your beautiful rawhide equipment. You will need saddle soap, Vaquero Rawhide Cream http://bit.ly/1pm12qp (originally made by Ray Holes) and sheepskin or rags. The saddle soap will help clean the sweat and dirt from the rawhide and both the saddle soap and the rawhide cream will help to replace the natural oils that were taken out of the rawhide by use and exposure to the air.
1. Spray or rub saddle soap on a piece of sheepskin or a rag.
2. Rub the rawhide aggressively, especially where the dirt and sweat have built up. This will take some time and elbow grease but you will see it become cleaner as you rub.
3. Allow the saddle soap to dry at approximately room temperature for an hour.
4. When the saddle soap has dried, rub the rawhide with a clean cloth to remove any excess saddle soap.
5. By hand, liberally apply Vaquero Rawhide Cream. Work the cream into the braids.
6. Leave the rawhide in a warm area for a few hours or overnight so the cream can be absorbed into the rawhide fibers. If it’s a nice sunny day you can leave it lying in the sun for about 30 minutes but not much longer. If there’s excess cream that hasn’t been absorbed rub the rawhide with a clean cloth.
7. Now you’re ready to ride!
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line handmade tack manufacturer and we’re here to help you! We have a wide selection of hand braided rawhide tack http://bit.ly/1oRerXg and Vaquero Rawhide Cream http://bit.ly/1pm12qp. Visit www.dmtack.com or call 817-312-5305 for more information.