Horse Tips and Tricks for Tack Care & Cleaning

Horse tips and tricks for tack - saddle

The ultimate list of the top 10 horse tips and tricks for tack – top tips for storage, cleaning and time saving to make life easier and keep your tack in top shape… (for a step-by-step guide on how to clean tack, click here)


Top horse tips and tricks for tack…


1) Each time you give your tack a clean (ideally weekly) swap over your stirrup leathers to prevent them from stretching unevenly


2) When tacking up, slide your hand in front of the saddle; the tree should sit just behind the horses shoulder to allow free movement. Also make sure you pull the numnah or saddle cloth up into the gullet of the saddle so it doesn’t cause pressure on the spine


3) If the joints of your bit start squeaking, rub a little olive oil into the joint (if you use oil in feed this oil should work too)


4) Metal tube style saddle racks can dent the flocking in your saddle. To prevent this, pad them out by covering them with pipe insulation. And don’t hang bridles over a standard hook or nail – use a proper bridle bridle hook that is rounded to prevent creasing the leather

Proper bridle hangers


5) To save time when tacking up you can attach snap/dog clips to your breastplate. Loop the leather that you’d usually thread through the D-rings on your saddle through the dog clips instead, then fasten the buckles as normal. Then each time you ride you can just clip the breastplate straight onto the D-ring without having to fiddle with the buckles


6) When adding holes to leather with a hole-punch, make sure you match the punch hole size with the existing holes, and use a ruler to measure out the gaps in between – it’ll be less noticeable as a new hole and look so much smarter overall


7) Mould is an enemy of leather! Make sure your tack is dry before storing/covering it, and keep your tack room at an ambient temperature and well aired. I find a cheap dehumidifier can help too (nothing fancy, just the little plastic boxes with the dehumidifying balls inside)

Mouldy saddle


8) An emery board that you’d use to file your nails can be good for gently removing marks and stains from suede tack


9) For security, make sure tack room is like Fort Knox, and get your tack security marked or engraved with your address to discourage thieves


10) One of my wonderful client’s showed me this years ago – if the reins (or breastplate/martingale) are particularly congealed with sweat, using the flat part of a butter type knife to scrape it off works really well (go with the grain of the leather holding the knife at an angle, and DO NOT use anything sharp or serrated or you’ll scratch the leather!) I used to spend ages cleaning with a sponge or ruin my nails picking it off before I had this tip!



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If you liked these horse tips and tricks for tack, check out these for other aspects of horse care…

Horse Tips and Tricks for Riding

Horse Care Tips and Tricks for Grooming

Horse Care Tips and Tricks for Bathing a Horse

Horse Tips and Tricks for Shows

Horse Tips and Tricks for Rugs & Equine Equipment

Miscellaneous Horse Care Tips and Tricks




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