Horse tack can be a pricey investment, but luckily for you we have some tips on how to get the most life out of your tack.
If you've ever looked at the prices of saddles, bridles, bits, and even some saddle pads, you know that buying tack can quickly add up in cost.
The good news is that, cared for properly, many tack items can last for years, and some even retain most of their value. Consider these tips to get the most life possible out of your tack.
If you want a tack item to last, then you need to invest in a quality piece of tack. There are always cheaper versions available, but these are usually made with lesser quality materials and often lack the craftsmanship of upper-level tack items.
In order to get plenty of use out of your horse tack, buy the best quality items that you can afford.
Clean and Condition Often
Treat your tack right, and it will last. If you have leather tack, then you need to clean and condition the tack often to keep the leather supple and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. If you've bought an item such as an expensive saddle or bridle, then contact the manufacturer to find out what type of products they recommend for their tack.
Bridles and saddles are made out of different types of leather, so you'll want to be sure that you're using cleaner and conditioner which is appropriate for the leather.
Store Tack Carefully
Carefully evaluate how you store your horse tack. Ideally, your tack room should be climate controlled and should have minimum humidity.
Your saddle should have its own saddle rack - never stack saddles. Make sure that the rack can fully support your saddle's weight, and always place a few saddle pads or a towel between the rack and the saddle. Keep your saddle covered to protect it from dirt and scratches.
Don't forget to also hang other tack items, like bridles or halters. Keeping your horse's halter inside the barn when he is turned out, instead of hooking it to the pasture gate, can help to preserve its life.
Protect Tack from Mice
Won't be using a particular item for a while? Then take measures to protect it from mice - mice can damage and even destroy tack. Hang up leather items, like bridles, where mice cannot access them.
You may choose to bring some tack home when you won't be using it for a while. You can also store tack in heavy-duty rubber tubs which rodents can't get into.
Keep Your Tack Secure
While it's sad that we have to mention it, tack theft does occur. Take measures to keep your tack secure. Put a lock on your tack room door, and never leave your tack unattended when you're at horse shows or events.
If you have a particularly expensive saddle, you may opt to have a microchip inserted, which can increase your chances of retrieving it if it is ever stolen. Labeling tack with your name can help to deter theft. If you're concerned about theft around the barn, consider installing surveillance cameras or alarms.
With a little extra effort, you can keep your horse tack in great shape, ensuring that you get as much use out of it as possible.