Week 1: Tack Preparation

With only seven weeks till spring we probably are all thinking we should really start getting things ready for riding season. There is no better place to start than with our tack. We all have tack, we all need tack, and it normally is the most neglected. Its left out in the trailer’s tack room dirty, muddy and sweat coated for winter. To just again be tossed on the back of your faithful steed to hit the trails in early spring. Your tack needs to be in good shape no matter how far you plan to ride. So, where do we start?

A good starting point for all of us, is just to find it. As we start this process, we need to start remembering if and who we loaned some to; maybe a friend for a late season pack trip into elk camp, or to help outfit a few extra head for a fun day riding in the snow while relatives were in town for Christmas, doesn’t matter just find it. Now that you have gathered it all back up, look it over. Most critical repair concerns are obvious. Missing or broken rivets, broken reins tied back together with bailing twine and those short, broken or chewed off strings.  But what about those less obvious issues?

Broken tree, detreated leather, nails and screws working loose. If you have any concerns and are unsure take them to your local leather shop and get a professional opinion, won’t hurt to ask. After checking everything over, start with a good cleaning of the all the leather and follow that up with a good coat or two of your favorite oil or conditioner. This is also a great time of year to do those upgrades you always are talking about while out riding down the trail, like adding those slanted stirrups to help with your sore knees or replacing all those short saddle string with some long ones, to help keep your coat from always falling off.  Maybe its time to upgrade your saddle and horn-bags.  While we are looking everything over don’t forget the two most over looked tack items you own, your pad and your cinch.  Cinches become hard and stiff the strings start to decay, check them out!! Pads, just because they have held up for decades and have no holes in them, they could very well be tired and wore out. Check out the padding. It is probably compressed and or hard. The bottom side is most likely packed with dirt and hair from never being cleaned. At this point your pad may not be doing a thing to protect your animal.  All these suggestions don’t just apply to your riding saddle it goes for your pack gear just as much if not more.  Don’t be afraid to lift up that halfbreed, there is leather under there that you have never seen and those straps would like to feel some oil every now and then.  Remember sling ropes do wear out!

With that remember nothing last forever, but with a little oil and some love your tack will last for many, many years to come and you can make a lot of great memories going down the trail. As always, if any of us at Trailhead Supply can be of any further help just send us an email or give us a call. If you haven’t already subscribed to our You Tube channel get’r done some great videos are coming soon and you don’t want to miss any of this helpful info…

See you on the Trail,


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