Working with horses is such a rewarding experience. The bond between horse and rider is incomparable, and our horses can become like family after years of rides and experiences together. But owning a horse requires an investment of time and money, so it’s important that you take the best care or your horse and tack.
Here are some ways to keep your tack and tack room organized and clean to prolong the life of your tack and keep you and your horse as comfortable as possible.
Make Cleaning Supplies Convenient
After a long trip or ride, it may be tempting to skip out on cleaning your tack, but in order to maintain the integrity of the leather and prolong its life you really should clean it after every ride. Don’t worry – this doesn’t have to take too much time or effort.
To simplify the process, set up a cleaning area that is organized and convenient so that you can do this quickly and with little effort. A well-organized storage system where you can easily grab a brush, fly spray, or other cleaning product can save you a lot of time and will make it easier for you to maintain the life of your equipment.
Protect Your Tack From Moisture and Dust
Excessive moisture can weaken leather and cause the metal components of your tack to rust. It is best practice clean out the bit after each ride to remove any pieces of grass or feed stuck in the crevices and care for the leather if it is a leather bridle. Bridles should be stored on hooks to keep them untangled and in good condition.
Similarly, store your saddle on a saddle stand where it won’t stretch out or lose its shape. Your saddle should also be completely covered on all sides. Leather is especially vulnerable to the elements, and even the accumulation of dust can wear it down. Saddle cases that completely enclose the saddle and have a zip closure may be a good investment to protect your saddle. If you use a typical saddle cover that goes over the top, you can just use a towel or sheet underneath the saddle for protection.
Alternatively, leather can dry out, crack, and even snap without enough moisture. This is why it’s important to use a safe leather conditioner frequently to extend the life of your saddle, and also to keep the leather in good condition for the comfort of your horse, as well.
Grooming equipment, such as brushes and combs, can be hung onto tool hooks for convenience. Many tools come with holes in the handle for easy hanging, or a strap intended for hanging. They can also be stored in a tack storage box, drawers, or cabinets in your tack room. Just make sure you clean and dry them before storing them.
Trophies and Awards
Your tack room wouldn’t be complete without a display wall. Show off your awards and memorabilia so you feel inspired every time you prepare for a ride. With a panel wall you can hang medals on hooks or display trophies and mementos on shelves and easily move them around as you add more awards to your collection. Keep your awards dusted and shiny, and consider placing ribbons or other awards made of less-durable materials in a frame or shadow box of some sort.
Taking good care of your horse requires taking good care of your tack, as well. You will protect your investment in your horse and equipment by regularly cleaning and maintaining it. Keeping your tack room clean and well-organized can make tack maintenance a quick and easy process that will pay off as the life of your tack is prolonged. Not to mention your horse will feel more comfortable with well-conditioned leather, and you can ride safely knowing all of your tack is in great condition having been regularly inspected and cleaned.