Tack Cleaning Day
Finally! A glorious spring day at the stables.
Today I hauled the winter-worn tack out into the spring sunshine for cleaning. Setting up shop on the porch at the stables, I began.
Please don't ask how long it has been since my training tack had a thorough cleaning. (OK, I will confess to a few quick cold-weather swipes with leather cleaning wipes.)
Of course, the show tack is spotless. At least, most of the time it is.
Needless to say, a true tack cleaning was in order.
After scrubbing with Murphy's Oil Soap (an old stable-hand trick I learned a couple of barns ago), and rubbing Passier Lederbalsam leather conditioner into each piece, I was rewarded with the results. Saddles, girths, bridles, reins, martingales, leather halters and other pieces simply shone in the midday light.
My favorite pieces now glow. The leather is soft and supple again. As a bonus, my hands are really soft again. (Gee, I wonder if Lederbalsam is good for dry, cracked heels that have been cozily ensconced in paddock boots for months.)
I only wish I had bought the tee shirt. (Click the tee shirt for more info.)
Rubber Stoppers to the Rescue!
Riding my three-year-old half-Arabian sport horse yesterday, I discovered the importance of a 45-cent tack accessory.
Cantering a 20-meter circle on the left lead, we lost the rubber stopper on the right rein. The ring on the training martingale became stuck in the ring of the snaffle bit.
My sweet horse bunched up and prepared to buck for the first time. Oh, boy.
I dropped the reins, took a deep breath, sat back a bit and said the W-word. And he stopped.
Soon, we were off and running again, with a completely different set of reins. And we now have a brand-new set of rubber stoppers.
Maybe it's time to drop that martingale anyway.