Tips for Care of the Harness


Maintenance and care of the harness is a very essential issue and should never be underestimated or forgotten.

For driving you need a well-cared and maintained, tidy harness.

This is your life-insurance while driving!

harness part

When taking the harness apart, you will be able to see all the hidden bits and parts and you can detect any wearing and tearing.
So take that time for the care of the harness.


To clean the harness, take it apart into its pieces.

Wash it with a good saddle soap and rinse it with plenty of warm water and hang it up to let it dry. This removes the dirt and sweat.

Before you polish make sure all grease is removed and the leather is dry.

Use a clean brush to put the black or brown polish to all leather parts. Harness polish is better than boot polish as it nourishes the leather.

For patent leather use e.g. neutral shoe polish on a soft cloth and work it well in. For this sort of leather its better not to use a brush.
Work the polish well into the leather.

Use brass polish for all harness furniture (brass parts).

Leave everything over night in a warm room.
The polish can be absorbed by the leather properly and this gives a good shine, when finally brushed.

The final polishing comes next:

you will need therefore

  • clean brushes (keep black and brown brushes in seperate containers),
  • a soft dust cloth,
  • 2 or more wash leathers,
  • old toothbrushes to remove brass polish from initials and crests.

The leather is polished with a brush, then a soft dust cloth and finally with a wash leather.

The patent leather should be polished only with a soft dust cloth and a wash leather.

The brass parts are polished with a wash leather.
Cloth can break fragile parts of the initials and crests very easily.

If everything is perfectly clean and polished, reassemble the harness. This can be fun sometimes, especially for the first time :)

For white and cream horses use white shoe polish for the underside of the harness, which lies directly onto the haircoat.
Black or brown polish will stain the haircoat if the horse sweats.

A few tips for maintenance and care of the cleaning tools:

Allways wash them after each use.

Brushes are washed in detergent and afterwards rinsed thoroughly with cold water. Then let them dry.

Leathers are washed in warm water with soapflakes and a teaspoonful of oliveoil.
There is no need to rinse out the soap. Hang them up to dry and finally rub them to soften.

Tools cared for like this will last you for many years!

Brass polish:

Soak small pieces of gauge or rag in the brass polish and keep them in an airtight container.
This way it is easier and cleaner to apply the polish onto the harness furniture.

Harness cared for in such a way will last for a long time. You will be able to detect and repair or renew faulty parts before the next carriage ride.






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