Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Care and Feeding of Tack

I recently mentioned my emotional pain at having to throw out a bunch of tack that had not been taken care of. since I hadn't ridden or worked the horses much I had neglected my equipment and paid the price for it also. So, here are my tips for taking care of your tack and keeping if for a long time. All leather needs to be cleaned and oiled on a regular basis. Even kept in the barn it will dry rot if not kept from doing so. Dry rotted tack is dangerous as you never know when it will break. So on a regular basis clean your tack to get any sweat and dirt off of it with a good leather cleaner. I like Murphy's oil soap and have used it for years. A mild solution of soap and warm water will clean all the sweat and dirt off of the leather. Sweat and dirt will cause the tack to age and degrade faster. After cleaning run a dry cloth over the leather and then oil, oil oil. I prefer neatsfoot oil, but there are many good products for this. This will condition the leather putting much needed oils back into it to keep it soft and supple. Not oiling your leather will cause it to dry out and crack. Now, how often to do this? Many of the big show and training barns that I worked at over the years required tack to be oiled every time it was used and then thoroughly cleaned and oiled again once a week. The horses got a day off of work and that was always tack cleaning day in which everything was taken apart scrubbed down and oiled and then put back in place. After riding a light swipe of oil was run over the leather before putting away for the day. This kept the tack ready to use, clean and intact for a long time. Good tack is an investment so care should be taken that it last a long time. The plus side is that well cared for tack is much more comfortable for the horse to wear as it is supple and soft. When cleaning and oiling pay careful attention to the buckle areas which tend to wear faster than the rest of the leather. Anything that needs repair or looks worn should be taken to the leather repair guy right away instead of put back where it could accidentally be used. If you take good care of your tack then it will last you many many years. Blessings, Kat

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