The Care and Feeding of your Pony Gear
Mane Hair and Tail Hair
Horsehair is rather low maintenance and does not need to be washed often unless you've done something to deliberately put dirt in it. IE run through muddy fields, etc.
You can wash real horsehair with Mane and Tail shampoo and conditioner products available at tack shops or online. Make sure to use BOTH shampoo and conditioner. Without conditioner your horsehair will become course and more prone to breakage.
Synthetic Hair is more prone to tangling and should be brushed after each wear. Use a boar bristle brush for best results. Do NOT use combs or brushes with plastic prongs.
DO NOT WASH SYNTHETIC HAIR. It is better to brush any dirt out. If you must wash it then it needs to be done carefully and by hand. Use liberal amounts of fabric softener in the water. Be as careful as possible not to tangle the hair. Let it air dry.
Straightening and styling your synthetic hair will require heat. I recommend this Tutorial on How to Style your Synthetic Hair by Epic Cosplay.
If your synthetic hair has become especially tangled then you can use a flat iron (see the tutorial link for which ones are safe and temp recommendations) to straighten the fibers and restore the smoothness and shine to your hair.
Leather Harnesses and Head Stalls
The leather parts of your gear can be cleaned safely with the following products;
1.To remove dirt use Saddle Soap. Take a wet cloth or sponge and get a bit of water in the soap tin to lather to soap. Scrub the dirt off your leather. Don't soak your leather. Rinse your cloth or sponge of all the soap and wipe off any remaining suds.
2. To condition your leather use Aussie Leather Conditioner. You buff this into the leather with a cloth. Old t shirts work great. One coat is fine, make sure not to leave any in the nooks and crannies.
***The above cleaners are not safe for suede or nubuck. We don't use these leathers in our harnesses, but this is useful knowledge for your other leather gear.
Don't have time to do all this? Instead hand your harness to your local bootblack along with $$$ and save yourself all the time and hassle. Don't forget to tip! They're getting your butt sweat out of stuff. They deserve a tip.
Cleaning of harnesses does not need to be done super frequently unless you've done something to get dirt on them. Conditioning leather too frequently is worse for it than it getting a tad dry.
Rubber and metal bits should both be cleaned after each use. I recommend Hibiclens, but you can use regular anti bacterial soap. Make sure to completely dry all metal bits!