If you find an ancient horseshoe, whether it be in an antique shop or out in the middle of nowhere, there is a good probability that it will be rusted and faded in appearance. A layer of rust, however, does not always indicate that the horseshoe has reached the end of its useful life. You just need some time and some elbow grease to bring it back to life and make it shine so that you may use it as a decoration or even play a game of horseshoes with it. Check out this post on how to clean a horse’s hoof if you work with horseshoes that are attached to horses. It will be helpful to you.
You would believe that a guide on how to clean horse boots could be as quick as directions to throw them in a washing machine, but in order to keep your horse boots looking their best, a little bit more care is required. Horse boots will have a longer lifespan, will give better protection, and will make a more professional turnout if they are cleaned properly. In this piece, we will go through different techniques to clean horse boots so that they not only look but also function just like new.
What type of boots does this guide work for?
This instruction manual on how to clean horse boots is adaptable for use with tendon boots, open-front boots, shipping boots, fly boots, and any other type of horse boot. Although this guide on how to clean horse boots does not specifically address horse leg wraps such as polo wraps, standing wraps, or pillow wraps, many of the suggestions that are provided in the guide can be used to cleaning horse leg wraps.
Step One. Brush off excess dirt and hair.
Hold the boot in the hand that is not your dominant hand as you use a horse grooming brush with stiff bristles or a dry scrub brush in the hand that is your dominant. Brush the surface of the horse boot, both inside and out, using the bristles of the brush in a vigorous and circular motion. The bristles of the brush will pick up and brush away a significant portion of the surface filth and hair that is present on the dirty horse boots, which will make it simpler to clean the boots.
Step Two: Use tape to lift embedded hair
If your horse boot has hair embedded in the fabric, fleece, or sheepskin lining of the boot, you can remove the hair by wrapping your hand in an inside-out loop of packing tape and patting it against the surface. For this stage, you can make use of a lint roller; however, packing tape tends to have higher adhesiveness, making it ideal for extracting hair off horse boot liner fabrics ranging from premium sheepskin to more common neoprene.
Step Three: Inspect before Cleaning
Before moving on to the next step in the cleaning procedure, it is important to check the condition of your horse boots now that the loose dirt and debris on the surface has been removed. Examine the buckles and straps to look for signs of deterioration such as fraying. Put an end to the cleaning process and get rid of any horse boots that have considerable damage to the straps or the body of the boot. In the event that your horse’s boots get unfastened or come off in any way while you are riding them, you should immediately stop.
Step Four: Clean Horse Boot Closures
The majority of horse boots have fasteners made by the VELCRO® Brand or an off-brand version of similar hook and loop tape for attachment. However, over time, both hook and loop and VELCRO® Brand fasteners gather up tiny particles of dirt, hay, manure, and other fibers. Hook and loop fasteners pick up dirt more quickly than VELCRO® Brand fasteners. As the small hooks and loops become tangled up with debris, the fastener will become less “sticky.” Hook-and-loop straps can have their full strength restored by simply cleaning the fasteners if they are of the VELCRO® Brand.
Using a cleaning brush that is specifically intended to clear the dirt out from between the tiny filaments that make up a hook and loop pad is the quickest way to clean the hook and loop fasteners that are found on the straps of horse boots. These fasteners are found on the straps of the horse boots. You can clean something with a safety pin and some tape if you don’t have a specialized cleaning brush:
After opening a safety pin, run the pointy end of the pin along the fastener pad until it reaches the space in between the hook filaments. The metal will jar loose particles, which you can then remove and dispose of by capturing them with the tape as you take them away. When you are finished cleaning your boots, they will function just as well as when you first bought them because the fasteners can be restored to a like-new adhesion level in just a few minutes.
Step Five. (Sheepskin or fleece lined boots only) Brush Liner
The next step is to comb and fluff the matted fleece, which is necessary if the lining of your horse boots is made of fleece, sheepskin, or shearling fleece. You can clean your sheepskin-lined horse boots and restore filthy matted sheepskin to fluffy and fresh in a matter of minutes if you have the correct tools and approach (explained in our piece on how to restore matted fleece saddle pads), which we cover in more detail in that post.
To clean the sheepskin liners in your horse boots, you will need a slicker brush. Here’s how to do it. A slicker brush, which is typically used for dogs and cats, contains very small bent tines on the brush pad. These tines can be used to separate fleece strands that have matted together and draw out dirt that is embedded in the plush lining. Comb the liner of your horse boots until the fleece is fluffy and clean, avoiding any spots where it may have matted. To achieve the greatest possible outcomes, brush in a number of different directions.
Step Six. Wash Horse Boots (Skip if Leather)
It is time to wash your boots now that the excess dirt has been removed, the straps have been inspected, the fasteners have been cleaned, and any fraying synthetic fiber has been fixed. Washing your dirty horse boots in a washing machine will yield the finest possible outcomes. Place the horse boots inside of a laundry bag made for washing sensitive clothes. As an alternative, you can wash horse boots by placing them inside of a pillowcase that has been tied at the top.
This avoids the boots from wearing out too quickly or your washing machine from breaking down prematurely. Wash on the gentle setting using a gentle detergent, and make sure to include an additional rinse cycle in order to eliminate any remaining detergent, which could cause skin irritation or collect dirt. After giving them a wash, you should allow them to air dry in a spot that gets enough of sun and has a good breeze.
Step Seven. Repair Frayed Straps
When cleaning horse boots made of synthetic material, part of the maintenance process includes taking care of any frayed parts of the boot before the damage becomes irreparable and the boot has to be thrown away. When you inspect your horse boots, be on the lookout for torn fibers made of nylon or polyester.
It is possible to burn away these fibers in order to produce an edge on the boot strap that is cleaner, safer, and will last for a longer period of time. If you see any fraying, you can singe away the fibers by using a lighter that is held close to, but not in direct touch with, the fibers. For your own safety, you should perform any work that takes place outside within reaching distance of a water supply or fire extinguisher.
Step Eight. Finishing Touches.
Before putting your horse boot back into use after it has been cleaned and dried after having the fabric washed and the leather cleaned, perform a last examination on it. This should be done before putting the boot back into use. When finishing the process of cleaning horse boots, it is important to perform a final inspection to ensure that the boot was not damaged by the washing machine and to re-fluff the liner if it is necessary to do so. If your boots are made of leather and have metal buckles, you may use a little bit of metal polish to brighten up the buckles and make them shine exactly as brightly as when they were brand new.
Estimated Cost: 4 USD
- Lingerie Bag or Pillowcase
- Hypoallergenic Detergent
- Safety Pin
Cleaning Leather Horse Boots
In order to properly clean leather horse boots, such as tendon boots or open front jumping boots, you will need to take care of the leather in the manner that is prescribed by the manufacturer. This involves using a mild cleanser that is appropriate for leather along with a damp sponge for the washing process.
Make use of a gentle brush, such as an old toothbrush, to ensure that the dirt is removed from the spaces in between the straps as well as the grooves in the sewn seams of the leather. Wait until the boots are totally dry, and then apply a very small coating of oil to them. Too much oil on the leather will contribute to rotting, and it can leave the surface sticky, which will cause it to attract dirt and become much dirtier than before you began cleaning your boots.
Keeping your horse’s boots in the tack room for storage
If your horse boots did not come with a storage bag, buying one is a fantastic method to ensure that they remain clean while they are not being worn because the bag can be used to store the boots when they are not in use. The last thing you want to do is pull your boots out of storage only to discover that they have already been filthy and dirty as a result of being stored alongside other pieces of equipment. When not in use, keeping horse boots in a basic, lightweight bag made of cotton or polyester and equipped with a drawstring is an excellent method to keep colors together, organize the boots, and prevent them from getting soiled. I like these cotton drawstring bags because they are the perfect size, they can be easily cleaned, and they are good for the environment.
When putting away boots for the winter, extra caution should be exercised, particularly if the owner does not intend to wear the boots frequently during the colder months. Because rodents like mice are a common problem in barns and tack rooms, it is important to take preventative measures to keep these burrowing animals away from your equine saddlery and tack in order to save the expense of having to replace it in the spring. When not in use, horse boots should be kept in airtight, sealed containers such as Rubbermaid totes during the off-season. This will ensure the best possible results.
You may extend the life of your horse boots and any other equipment that is kept in winter storage by adding a few packets of silica, which will absorb any moisture that has become trapped in the box, as well as a sachet of cedar wood shavings, which will prevent wool moths from causing damage to sheepskin and other natural fibers. This will allow your equipment to remain in good condition for a longer period of time. Consider using space-saving vacuum-sealed bags if you want to provide your non-leather and non-sheepskin horse boots with an even higher level of protection. These bags, which can be sealed with a shop vac or horse vacuum common in many barns, can assist to not only keep your clean horse boots in a lesser amount of space but also totally seal them off from insect and rodent damage while they are in storage. This can help to ensure that your clean horse boots remain in good condition for as long as possible.