Everyone loves new tack! It’s gorgeous, it’s super clean, but it is also stiff and uncomfortable. So how do you turn your new tack from standing up on it’s own to being comfortable for your horse? Easy. A few simple steps and some patience.Read More
Let's face it, good leather tack isn't cheap! If you have spent or are going to spend a substantial amount of money on saddles, bridles, reins and girths it makes sense to think of them as an investment and be conscientious in their care.
Tack can last for years and years if cared for properly! A good leather care regime can be really simple. Spending just a few minutes a day caring for your tack will actually go a long way toward making sure you get the most out of your investment.
The Rules of Leather Care:
Thanks to advancements in technology, the leather tanning and dyeing processes have changed, and the care of your tack should evolve as well. Many tried-and-true rules of leather care no longer apply; some methods or products are no longer necessary while others can actually be harmful to modern leather.
- "Don't" Use Non-Leather Care Items on Your Tack: Heavy oils, harsh detergents and products not specifically formulated for leather should be kept away from your leather tack! This means no bleach, vinegar, motor oil, shoe polish, Murphy's Oil Soap, or vegetable oil (Equine Wellness Magazine).
The lather of saddle soap is also difficult to rinse completely from crevices and folds. An accumulation of saddle soap will cause the leather to deteriorate, encourage mold growth, and change the pH!
Fun Fact: Saddle Soaps are generally composed of a mixture of oil & soap. The soap's cleaning effectiveness is diminished by the need to dissolve its own oils, leaving its ability to remove dirt and grime less effective! (Jenkins, Don. The Saddle Soap Myth.)
- "Do" Keep Your Tack Clean: You don't have to take your tack apart every ride (although you should do a deep cleaning every few weeks), but get into the habit of wiping down your tack after every ride to remove dirt and sweat. This also gives you a chance to inspect your tack for safety. Lexol Quick Wipes are excellent for daily use after each ride.
- "Do" Keep Your Tack Conditioned: Conditioning your tack is just as important as cleaning it! This means applying a "light" coat of leather conditioner to all the parts of your tack. The conditioner should absorb into the leather immediately. If you find yourself wiping off the excess you are probably using too much.
- "Do" Keep It Safe: You & your horse's safety should always be the first priority! The above tack regime will help keep your tack in top shape, but for additional safety tips, check out our blog post composed by professional groom Liv Gude to learn how to inspect your tack for safety > http://info.mannapro.com/equine/Leather-Care-How-to-Inspect-your-Leather-Tack-For-Safety
Clean Like a Pro With Award-Winning Lexol Leather Care.
- pH balanced for safe cleaning so it won't harm your leather
- Leaves no surface scum or residue.
- Available as a liquid and a wipe for convenient cleaning
Saddles, bridles, halters, surcingles, every piece of horse tack we own and keep is an investment in dollars and safety! We spend loads of time shopping for it, lugging it back and forth, and cleaning and conditioning our tack. But do we really inspect it for safety reasons? Cleaning your leather tack is a daily chore, most of us can do it blindfolded. But, if you take a few minutes every day to inspect your tack as you clean it, you can save yourself from a major disaster down the road. I say major disaster because if you have a tack failure, it’s likely to happen at a show, in front of your favorite clinician, or with a video camera rolling.
Have you ever worn poor fitting shoes all day only to find that you ache from head to toe the following day? Poor fitting tack is similar to you wearing poor fitted shoes. Making sure your horse's tack fits properly is one of the most important things you can do for your horse.
Shopping for new leather tack and saddles can be both an exciting and difficult adventure. When you invest your hard earned time and money into purchasing new gear, determining the quality of each leather item before purchasing is of utmost importance!