If someone asked, could you easily pick out some of your favorite pieces of tack hanging in your tack room? Maybe it’s your go-to set of split reins that fit your hands just right and have developed the perfect level of feel over the years. It could be a trophy headstall you won at a show, your first set of rawhide romal reins, or perhaps you simply have some pieces of tack that you use more often than others. We all have tack that we love to use and enjoy, and your tack will perform better when it used continuously. However, you have to keep in mind that when you use tack continuously you need to keep an eye out for wearing on the leather and the buildup of dirt and sweat on your tack that can keep your tack from working to its best ability.
You should check your gear regularly, especially the parts that are often against the horse’s skin. If you see sweat and dirt built up, or if it’s particularly dry, it needs to be cleaned and conditioned. Keeping leather tack in good condition is critical for safety and helps to keep the communication between you and your horse at top level. It’s a great idea to check your tack for wear or damage before every ride. After your ride, wipe tack down with saddle soap and hang it properly where it has space to hang naturally. Follow along in the video below to learn about how to use saddle soap, pure Neatsfoot oil, and rawhide cream to keep your tack in the best working condition:
Saddle soap is a product used to clean and protect leather and is made from mild soap, glycerin or lanolin (sebaceous gland wax of sheep) and often beeswax. Bentley’s Saddle Soap is a spray on saddle soap that is easy to use and leaves leather clean and refreshed with no residue. Pure Neatsfoot oil is a fat rendered from the lower legs of cattle. It is used to soften and condition leather and will darken leather with repeated use.
Like leather, sweat and dirt can build up on rawhide and get absorbed into the fibers. Additionally, rawhide can dry out and feel rougher to the touch than usual. Rawhide is cured but is not tanned like leather is. Although pure Neatsfoot oil is fine to use on tanned leather when needed, it should not be used on rawhide. After you use saddle soap on rawhide, you can follow up with Vaquero Rawhide Cream to help restore the natural oils that are taken out of the rawhide by use and exposure to air. After using rawhide cream, you’ll need to allow the piece of tack to sit for several hours or even overnight to allow the cream to fully soak in.
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line handmade tack manufacturer and we’re here to help you! We carry Bentley’s Saddle Soap and Vaquero Rawhide Cream, so be sure to get the products you’ll need to keep your tack in great shape.