How to care for your bits and spurs.

GENERAL CARE TIPS:

  • Remove wet material (mud, etc) from the surface of your spurs or bit before it dries.
  • Use a semi soft bristled brush to remove dirt or other dried material from the surface.
  • Wipe with a dry towel to remove any residues that might tarnish or rust the metal.
  • Jewelry silver polish paste can be used directly on the silver overlays to maintain its shine.
  • Use 3-in-1 oil to eliminate squeaks or to free up part movement.
  • To sanitize a bit or spurs soak them in a chlorhexidine solution and gently clean build up with a soft bristled brush.
  • Store bits in spurs in a cool and dry place.
  • If rowels start to wobble look at getting them tightened or replaced before they wear into the shanks.

STAINLESS (satin and high polish):

With the proper care a stainless steel bit (shanks) and spurs will stay rust free in almost any climate. If it does get rust on the surface it is easily removed with a solvent and nylon brush.

Depending on the amount of use your bit or spurs receive throughout the year will determine how often this process is used.

1) Clean the metal only (remove all leather trimmings) in a water bath of chlorhexidine or similar gentle detergent (do not use bleach or water with high levels of salt). Use a soft bristled brush to remove any build up on the surface.

2) Dry the metal completely before moving to the next step. Use a dry towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible and then blow dry or air dry it the rest of the way.

3) Oil bit surfaces and moving parts with olive oil or another non toxic oil. Spurs can be oiled with any gun cleaning oil as they do not make contact with the horses mouth; however olive oil or another non toxic oil will work as well.

4) Buff  the surface with a soft cloth to bring out the shine. To further bring out the silver work use a silver polishing compound, but avoid the stainless surface.

TUXEDO SPURS STAINLESS SIDEKICK DOUBLE ROWEL BLACK BACKGROUND(2)

STEEL (brown, black, and satin):

Over time your steel bits and spurs will develop an oxidized or lightly rusted surface. This is a desired patina and should be maintained, but not removed completely as you are removing part of the spur material. On bits, horses enjoy the rusted surface of the sweet iron mouthpieces and this should not be removed.

Depending on the amount of use your bit or spurs receive throughout the year will determine how often this process is used.

1) Clean the metal only (remove all leather trimmings) with a oiled cloth or fine steel wool. Do not use an abrasive material as it will promote rusting and pit your finish. You can use the same non toxic (bits) or gun cleaning oil (spurs) mentioned in the above stainless section. Wipe the spurs down with a soft cleaning cloth (microfiber, old t-shirt, etc) to remove the clouded oil. Use a dry cloth to remove as much of the oil as possible.

2) If you have a black (gun blue) finish you can touch up the worn spots with a gun bluing touch up product. Be sure and follow the products directions.

3) Apply a thin layer of olive oil or another non toxic oil to the surface and moving parts. Spurs can be oiled with any gun cleaning oil as they do not make contact with the horses mouth; however olive oil or another non toxic oil will work as well. Wipe it over the surface with a soft cloth to avoid scratching or marring the finish.

4) To further bring out the silver work use a silver polishing compound, but avoid the non silver surfaces.

Tom Balding