As any horse owner will tell you, properly maintaining riding equipment adds to the enjoyment of the ride, the comfort of the horse and to the health of the pocketbook. Retailers that cater to riders can help them protect their investments by carrying a range of maintenance products for cleaning and conditioning tack.
Dirt and sweat can make tack uncomfortable for the horse, but a few simple maintenance steps can ensure that it wears well, looks its best and lasts its full lifespan. For leather goods, these steps include thoroughly washing straps with soap and warm water to open leather pores and lift out sweat and dirt; polishing metal parts for deep shine; conditioning leather to replenish natural oils after drying; replacing worn or frayed pieces; and storing tack away from moisture and chemicals.
Some of the many products available include:
- Effax Leather Balm. Lanolin and avocado oil condition leather goods, while the beeswax helps to repel moisture.
- Simichrome Polish for buckles and other metal parts.
- Absorbine Horseman’s One-Step®. The pH-balanced formula cleans and conditions leather.
- KIWI® Saddle Soap cleans and softens leather goods.
Other items that are very useful for cleaning and caring for tack include buffing cloths, stiff brushes for loosening embedded debris like mud, pressure washers and sawhorses for cleaning fleece saddle blankets.