Tips For Caring For Your Tack

Tips For Caring For Your Tack

Learn the basics about caring for your horse tack from Dennis Moreland.

caring for tack western saddle (Credit: Journal)

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Choosing the right tack for you and your horse can be a difficult task, even for the most experienced horse owner. From saddles and hackamores to grooming techniques and proper trailering, there are numerous ways to enhance your horse experience and improve your communication with your horse.

How do you know what tack is right for you and your horse? Tack maker Dennis Moreland explains that some of it is personal preference, such as a sliding-ear bridle versus a browband style bridle. Other choices are easier, based on the type of riding you do. Barrel racing saddles, for instance, are the best choice for speed-event participants.

Safety Check
Dennis offers these tips for keeping your leather tack in top condition and safe to use:

  • Always check that your headstall isn't worn at the buckle piece, that holes aren't splitting and that Chicago screws are tight.
  • Make sure reins aren't cracking or too thin around the bit.
  • Clean your leather tack regularly with liquid saddle soap. Get in all the nooks and crannies to preserve the life of your saddles, bridles and other leather tack.

Bridling Basics
Dennis suggests these rules of thumb to keep your horse happy:

  • When bridling your horse, it's better to start out with the bridle too big, then adjust once you get it on the horse's head.
  • When unbridling, let your horse release the bit out of his mouth. Do not force the bit out.