If you plan to give your horse the winter off then it’s this time of year that you’ll need to start thinking about how and where you’ll store your tack. Your tack is an investment and therefore making sure it’s looked after properly even when it’s not in use will save you time and money in the long run, as well as prolonging the useful and safe life of it.
Firstly, tack should always be cleaned thoroughly before being stored away. So this is the ideal time to completely take apart your bridle. All buckles should be undone as well as and making sure all the straps are out of the keepers, as well as removing buckle guards, stirrup leathers and girth from your saddle. Using a specialist leather cleaning product such as Carr & Day & Martin Belvoir Step 1 Tack Cleaner Spray is an ideal product to ensure thorough cleaning, and will much more effective than using just water.
Belvoir Step 1 Tack Cleaner contains active ingredients which have been specifically formulated to make dirt, mud and sweat easy to just gently wipe off. It also contains ingredients which will soften and break up grease, which cannot be removed with just water alone, allowing the grease to be just wiped off the leather without the need for scrubbing. Think of this product almost like a leather shampoo before you apply the conditioner later on. Belvoir Step 1 Tack Cleaner also contains antibacterial and antifungal ingredients which will both get rid of mould which has already grown on your tack, as well as helping to prevent mould growth in future. This is especially important if you are storing your tack away over winter.
To use, simply spray directly onto the leather or on to your sponge and wipe over the leather. There’s no need to add any water or to rinse off – for stubborn dirt, just leave the product on the leather for a few minutes before wiping off.
Once the leather is thoroughly cleaned, before storing away, we recommend applying a layer of Ko Cho Line. Ko Cho Line will provide a protective layer over the leather during the time it is stored; preventing the leather from drying out or growing mould. Ko Cho Line can also be applied to all the metal buckles on the saddle and bridle and this application will help to prevent any rusting. We do recommend that bridles should not be put back together whilst being stored, lying them flat will help to maintain their shape. Also, tack should be stored in a breathable bag or container. A cotton pillowcase is a great way to store your bridle, whilst a cotton saddle cover will help to keep dust and dirt off your saddle.
Once winter’s over and you’re ready to bring your tack out of storage, simply wipe off the Ko Cho Line and your tack will be soft, supple and ready to use again.