Rope Halter & Lead Cleaning 101

Rope Halter & Lead Cleaning 101

Let's talk about an essential piece of gear in our tack room: the rope halter and lead. 

If you're anything like me, you rely on these trusty tools day in and day out. From tying up horses during feeding time to leading them to and from turnout, and all the groundwork in between, rope halters and leads definitely get put to the test.

We all know they can get downright filthy. But don’t stress! Cleaning them up is a breeze, and trust me, the results are oh-so-satisfying. Here's a simple guide to get those halters and leads looking spick and span:

  1. Prep for washing: Before tossing them in the washer, it's a good idea to remove any snaps to prevent damage to the washing machine. If the halter is attached to the lead without a snap you don’t have to separate them in order to wash. 
  1. Wash it up: Add your choice of detergent to the washer. I prefer using natural options like Norwex, but whatever is on hand will do the trick.
  1. Set the cycle: Opt for a Heavy Duty Wash setting with an extra rinse cycle to ensure a thorough clean. If the halter and lead are particularly grimy, consider running a pre-wash cycle as well.
  1. Dry it out: Once the washing is done, hang the halter and lead to dry. I usually hang mine near the wood stove for a quick dry, or outside in the sunshine if the weather permits. They dry surprisingly fast!
  1. Condition: Once the rope halter and lead are all nice and dry, it's time to give them a little TLC. You’ll notice that the leather on the halter and the popper on the lead are looking a bit parched. Grab a good quality leather conditioner or oil, and give these thirsty bits a well-deserved drink. Trust me, they'll thank you for it by staying supple and looking their best for many more adventures to come!

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing those squeaky clean ropes ready for action. And as a bonus, after a good wash, you'll notice the leads have this amazing feel to them. It's like magic!

Once you've given this method a try, don't forget to tag me on Instagram or Facebook and share your before and afters!