I recently had to acquire a new girth for Mo. This horse--with the same saddle, same Ogilvy half pad, same everything--wore a 42" girth when I bought him in August.
|I don't know how you wouldn't wanna hug him.|
Then he got a little plump so I tracked down a 44". Fast forward to now: He's a solid 50".
Today is a genuine snow day here in northwestern Virginia. Even my daycare center is closed, so I get the day off work (unpaid, of course, but whatever).
|YOU'RE KILLIN' ME, SMALLS!|
Next step: Get a bucket of hot water and the Higher Standards Leather Care cleaner. Because I'm a human on the internet, so I don't use any other soap. I start by using the sponge and cleaning the whole thing that way. And then I break out the toothbrush for any seams (and this girth has a lot of seams) as well as spots with grunge built up, which you can see the underside of the girth had.
|One day M saw me cleaning my bridle with a toothbrush.|
"Get a hobby," she said.
Let's recall that she graduated Pony Club with her A
and has gone to Rolex. And is a National Examiner. Ha.
After I use the toothbrush with soap, I wipe the whole girth down with a rag, and I get the toothbrush out again. This time, I just get it wet. This is the step that makes the biggest difference: I clean out all the seams with a clean, wet toothbrush. This is how you get the hairs out, and the soap scum, and all that other grunge that makes girths less than perfect.
Then I take a corner of the rag and dry out all those seams. Takes a minute, but it's a minute well spent.
Next step: Conditioning. I don't condition my tack every day. That would be time consuming and bad for the leather, but this girth needed it, and I was cleaning tack because I felt like it. So I broke out the Antares leather conditioner (which I use on Antares stuff and other really nice leather I have, but not on just whatever. Effax is fine for Mo's Harwich bridle, for instance). Antares conditioner, for those who haven't used it, has about the consistency of a body butter kind of lotion. You really have to rub it in, but the effects are fabulous (and not necessarily clear in the pictures). The leather is so soft and silky that I want to cry when I touch it.
And at the end, I have a girth that I know for a fact would pass the US Pony Club formal inspection at the A level, but is also broken in. And it makes me unspeakably happy.
Sigh. So that's how I spent a solid 30 minutes of my morning, and it was well worth it. The only problem is, now the girth is clean! NOW WHAT?