5 Top Tips for Looking After your Horse Tack
Horse tack is expensive, but caring for it properly means it will last you much longer, even if you’re spending long days in the saddle.
It’s funny – some of us wouldn’t dream of splashing out on a leather jacket, but will happily spend triple the money on a good saddle. (It makes sense when you think how much more enjoyment you’ll be getting out of the horse gear!).
Here are 5 top tips to looking after your horse tack:
1. Don’t put it off!
It’s tempting to leave your horse tack for cleaning ‘later’, but cleaning it immediately after a ride makes a really big difference to the longevity of leather tack. You don’t need to do an elaborate cleaning job every time, but wipe off the obvious dirt with warm water and leather cleaner.1 A quick wipe-down that happens daily is better than an elaborate cleaning session that isn’t so frequent.2
But when you do give it a good cleaning session, take it apart to do so.
2. Give the saddle special treatment
Your saddle is a complex bit of kit and needs special treatment. Yes, you need to condition it after cleaning, but you need to be very careful about the girth straps because too much oil can weaken them3 and it’s important for safe riding that they remain strong. So condition the girth straps roughly once a year, but condition the rest of the saddle more frequently.
You should also invest in a proper saddle rack and saddle cover – the former to help the saddle keep its shape and the latter to keep the dust off. Avoid stacking saddles on top of each other because this can damage the leather.
3. Be on the watch for mould
Mould is a menace in the damp British climate. It can eat away at your horse tack, causing potentially dangerous equipment failures.4Good ventilation helps to reduce the spread of mould, but don’t be tempted to leave your saddle in hot sun as a mould-prevention strategy; too much sun exposure will damage the leather too.