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Tips For Caring For Your Tack

Learn the Basics from Dennis Moreland.

Expert tack maker Dennis Moreland shows you how to select, care for and use tack in AQHA.

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.

Learn the fundamentals of horse tack in AQHA's "Tack Talk" DVD, available exclusively through Quarter Horse Outfitters. Dennis Moreland covers the basics of how to pick the right gear and how to properly use it. He explains how to maintain your tack and even includes a few extra tack tips any horse owner will find valuable.

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.

Learn more with the "Tack Talk" DVD. It's a must-have item for any beginner horseperson, plus it makes a great gift.