With any big purchase you make, you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. For horse riders, this couldn’t be any more true. Your riding gear is a necessity that is well worth spending the extra money.
That being said, your tack is an investment. Whether it’s synthetic or made of leather, you’ve likely spent a lot of money to get the best tack to ride your horse. When you take care of your tack, it can last you a lifetime. Alternatively, if you don’t tend to it, you may see something break during your ride, potentially causing a catastrophic disaster.
There are several steps you should take to ensure the longevity of your tack, especially when it comes to cleaning. Keep reading to see how proper cleaning can help to sustain your tack.
What is horse tack?
When picturing horse tack, you’ll likely think of your saddle first. While the saddle is a key part of horse riding, it’s far from the only piece. It’s crucial to define this to understand the importance of cleaning all of your tack, not just the saddle. Unclean saddles are obvious to the eye, but you may not notice a cinch that needs attention, for instance.
Outside of your saddle, tack also includes:
Keeping it clean
Before you start cleaning, you should be aware that there are different cleaning processes for leather tack and synthetic tack. Leather should be treated with great care, as it is easy to ruin. Leaving it out in the heat or using too much soap can cause it to crack, and moisture can quickly cause mold. Synthetic tack can be cleaned with gentle soap and water and let out to dry without too much issue.
If you’re looking to make your tack last, follow these tack cleaning tips:
- Check and clean every day. Every day before you go out to ride, you should examine your tack for signs of wear and tear. Remove any dirt or dust before you go out and check once again after a ride. For frequent riders, you should be cleaning your tack once a day at minimum.
- Keep your tack cool and dry. Climate plays a big part in the longevity of your tack. High humidity fosters the perfect environment for mold to thrive, while hot temperatures suck the moisture out of leather and leave it to crack. Store your tack in an area where it will be both cool and dry to prevent these issues.
- Don’t forget to deep clean. Take some time once or twice a year to deep clean your tack, checking areas that aren’t typically seen or cleaned. For your leather tack, use conditioner or oils to help sustain shine and color.
- Follow manufacturer guidelines. Check and see if there are any directions that were given when you purchased the tack. While general cleaning advice can help any kind of tack, certain varieties of tack have different needs. Knowing what the manufacturer suggests can help you to better care for your tack.
Your tack can become ruined at any time if you don’t care for it. If you want your tack to last a lifetime, regular cleaning is an absolute necessity.
Need help with your tack or tending to your horses?
Contact San Cayetano Ranch. Our horse boarding facilities offer beautiful views and top quality care in Tumacacori, Arizona.