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How to Take Care of Leather Riding Equipment

How to Take Care of Leather Riding Equipment

October 12, 2018

Horse tack is the equipment and accessories required to ride a horse, including saddles, bridles, stirrups, reins, harnesses and bits. Buying the best quality tack you can afford and taking care of all your equipment means you’ll have these things for longer and keep them in the best condition possible. Purchase from a known manufacturer, one that you know uses quality materials and takes pride in their work. When it comes to leather horse tack in Montana, find out the type of thread used for stitching. Natural fibers like linen and cotton are nice, but synthetic threads are unaffected by rot.

Quality horse tack is not cheap; in fact, it’s an investment for most riders. So, if you want your leather riding equipment to last a long time and continue looking good, then you have to practice proper horse tack maintenance in Montana.

Keeping it clean

First things first, unless your horse equipment is excessively dirty after a ride, a thorough cleaning after every use is not necessary. However, there are some steps you should take to keep it clean:

  • Dry the saddle: Even though you don’t have to use saddle soap every time you ride, you should at least dry off all leather tack. For example, wipe dry any parts of the saddle that are sweaty. Don’t let it air dry, because the salt from sweat can attract leather-damaging critters. Sweat can stain leather, as well as draw out the natural oils, causing the leather to dry out and crack. Never place a damp saddle pad or blanket over the top of the saddle after riding. Hang it separately to air out and dry.
  • Use the right soaps: Using the right types of cleaners on horse tack in Montana preserves the condition of the leather, while at the same time saves your horse from skin irritations. Choose soaps containing built-in moisturizers or glycerin, as these soaps remove fewer natural lubricants from leather during the washing process. The chemicals in the soap should not be left on leather for an extended period of time. Leave the soap on and you risk damaging your leather horse tack. Be sure to completely rinse off all the soap.
  • Apply a leather conditioner: Over time, leather items lose some of their natural lubricants, which is why you need to use a leather moisturizer or leather conditioner. The pros recommend you get a leather conditioner that contains balsam and no cleaning ingredients—this type of product can be used on all your leather tack items.
  • Store leather the right way: Cleaning leather tack is only one step in the maintenance process, but it’s needed to maintain condition and help it last a long time. In addition to cleaning, you also have to store it properly. Over time, dry, hot environments can zap natural oils, while damp and humid areas can cause mold, mildew and rot. Climate-controlled storage is best.

Whether you are shopping for new leather horse tack or need some more information about proper horse tack maintenance in Montana, pay a visit to Down Home Tack & Feed LLC. We also carry grooming accessories and other livestock supplies!

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