Taking good care of your tack seems like a no-brainer – we all know how much it costs! So, here are a few recommendations to help keep your tack in tip-top condition.
Keeping it clean
Tack often picks up a lot of grease and sweat, particularly if autumn temperatures stay mild. Keeping your tack clean will both protect it and keep your horse more comfortable. So, make sure you…
- thoroughly scrub your horse’s bit and wipe your girth off after every ride (whether it’s synthetic or leather) – to prevent rubs and sores, as well as to help protect the girth itself
- give all your tack a wipe off with warm water to remove any grease or dirt, then, using a dry sponge, apply a layer of saddle soap at least weekly.
- ensure you don’t apply soap to a dirty bridle, – the soap won’t be able to get into the leather and work its magic.
- double check with either your saddler or saddle manufacturer, to ensure your soap is suitable. Some soaps have the potential to stain or fade the leather.
- cover the buckles of your synthetic girth with a thick bag to prevent damage, and put it in your washing machine to freshen it up.
- try a metal polish to give any buckles and martingale rings a real shine
Take good care
Looking after your tack and storing it appropriately is just as important as keeping it clean. By keeping your tack stored somewhere dry, such as in a tack room or your house, you will help prevent the growth of mould, which thrives in damp conditions and can cause damage and staining. Ensure you always store your saddle on a purpose-built rack, this will prevent the tree from being damaged, and try to keep your bridle hung up on a peg to keep it both clean and supple – many people loop the reins through the throatlash and twist the noseband around the rest of the bridle to keep it neat and secure.
We also recommend:
- using a saddle cover to help keep your saddle clean and prevent scrapes to the leather
- checking the stitching on all of your tack regularly to ensure it’s safe to use
TOP TACK TIPS
- If you use a hard saddle soap, wet it very slightly to make application easier. Make sure you don’t let it lather, though, as this can leave a white coating on the leather.
- Use a cocktail stick to poke through the holes in your bridle and stirrup leathers to prevent a build up of soap – this will make it easier when you come to do the buckles up, too
- Don’t oil your tack too often as it can weaken and distort the leather.
- Strip and clean your tack immediately after riding in the rain, as this will prevent the leather from fading or being weakened.
Once you’ve got on top of taking care of your tack and worked out a routine, it’s easy to stay ahead of the game. Spending a little extra time giving it some TLC can save you money in repairing or buying new kit, ensuring your tack lasts longer.
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