Looking after your tack
How To Maintain Your Tack In Tip Top Condition
A little maintenance of your tack will go a long way. Ideally you should give your tack a thorough clean after every use, but in reality very few of us have the time to do this. So how do we keep the leather in top condition and prolong the life of our tack. Read on to find our top tips.
We would like to recommend a full clean every day to remove any ingrained dirt, sweat and slobber. However this is rarely practical, but if you set aside a few minutes after each ride your tack will benefit hugely.
Leather deteriorates very quickly if it is constantly wet and left covered in mud and dried sweat. Give it a quick wipe off to remove mud before it sets and dries, and focus on areas that get sweaty or in contact with saliva. Girths and reins are the obvious one. Give the bit a quick wipe down after use, if you dunk it in water ensure you are not regularly dunking parts of the leather in the water as well. If you do you will notice these parts of the bridle will be the first to deteriorate.
Weekly or Fortnightly
Set aside an hour to give your tack a thorough clean and conditioning. Wipe off any dirt with a damp sponge and then use saddle soap and work it into the leather to help condition it.
Set aside a deep clean every month or so. Undo all the buckles and where possible adjust the holes used so there is not always pressure on the same point. Thoroughly check all the stitching and any issues you notice get fixed by a reputable saddler straight away. You do not want to be caught out miles away from home or in the middle of a cross country course with a broken piece of tack.
To Oil or Not to Oil?
If you are planning on leaving your tack unused for a period of time we do recommend adding some leather oil. This will keep the leather in good condition but try and keep the oil away from the stitching as this can cause it to rot. Do not overdo the oil, whilst soft tack is good, you can go too far and soften the leather to a degree that it becomes flimsy. An annual oiling for tack will help maintain the leather in good condition.
Tack Room Storage
There are many affordable saddle and bridle racks that will help store your tack tidily and out of the way. If your tack room is damp consider running a dehumidifier periodically. Excessive damp is truly an enemy for leather. Mould spots forming are the tell-tale signs of too much damp in the atmosphere, this is your warning sign!
Lock It Up!
Tack is often targeted for theft by unscrupulous opportunists, both at home and at shows. Don’t be another victim, lock your tack room up securely and your horse box when you are away from it at competitions. If you need to take tack with you to the ring side consider investing in these secure Tack Packs. These containers are very lightweight and can fit two saddles, bridles and all the extras, hats, bandages and lots more. A convenient and organized way to carry all the tack you will need at an event and a secure way to leave it unattended.
Short of space?
Invest in a carousel bridle rack and folding saddle racks. There are a variety on the market that are collapsible so easy stored after you have done the tack cleaning. Even the smallest of tack rooms will be able to fit in multiple saddles and bridles. You can add extra space by using a lockable tack box/blanket storage container. These are ideal in a yard that does not have extra storage space or out in a field. They are vermin proof and will keep the elements at bay. Also ideal for storing extra items at home if your garage or tool shed are overflowing.
A full set of tack for your horse can be a significant investment on your wallet, look after it well and it will be a worthwhile investment. Follow our recommendations and your tack will last you for many years to come.
Please visit EquinePlus.co.uk for a full range of equine products including a number tack storage items.