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Caring for your English tack is the best way to keep it looking and functioning well. Optimally, wiping your tack after each ride is your best bet. However, we all lead busy and hectic lives and there isn't always time for saddle rub down. You should definitely wipe it down a few times a week, on extra-dirty days. At the very minimum you should rinse the bit after each ride (don't put soap on it).
You should set aside some time once a week to sit down, take your tack apart, and clean each piece. Dirt and grime has a tendency to accumulate in the little crevices that you can only reach by dismantling everything. And, while everything is in pieces, you should examine each unit carefully, searching for loose stitching, wear, cracks, etc. If any of the pieces look iffy, don't risk your safety or the safety of your horse—replace or repair it. You don't want to be taking a jump and have your stirrup rip clean off!