Saddles and bridles are an essential piece of kit and a big investment. Look after them and they’ll keep their value and could last for decades. Caring for your tack doesn’t have to be time-consuming – a wipe, a squirt and a rub – is there any excuse for dirty tack?
Here are seven simple ways to keep your tack looking beautiful:
1 If possible, find out what type of leather your tack is made of. Different leathers require different methods of care to keep them happy.
2 Always follow the manufacturers’ guidelines as they will be able to advise you how best to maintain the type of leather they use.
3 When revitalising dry and cracked leather, apply oil sparingly. Wait until it has been absorbed, then repeat. Over-oiling will cause irreparable damage.
4 Storage conditions need careful consideration to avoid mould and mildew growth – somewhere cool and dry is best.
5 Don’t dry saturated leather next to a direct heat source, like a radiator, or it can become dry and cracked. Clean and condition your tack while it’s wet, then leave to air dry naturally.
6 Be disciplined. Wipe your tack over with a damp sponge after every ride to remove grease and sweat. This will prevent build-up and make your weekly tack cleaning blitz a much easier job.
7 Take your tack to pieces and thoroughly clean it every five times it’s used. This will ensure all dirt and grease is removed from awkward areas and help maintain the stitching. Apply a conditioner to protect the leather, and keep it soft and supple.
And don’t forget to rinse your bit after you ride, or you’ll just end up spending ten minutes scraping dried, half-munched grass off it next time.
For more details, call 08455 004040 or visit www.carrdaymartin.co.uk.