Summer has finally arrived and where once we were all moaning about the cold, rain, dark long miserable grey days, now equestrians have flies, hard ground and the heat as the topic of conversation in tack rooms up and down the UK! Our UK Equine PR team knows how the weather change can affect all aspects of our dream equine summer.
One aspect you might not have thought about though is how the heat affects your equipment, so in this feature, the UK Equine PR team have done some research into how to keep your tack and equipment in good working order and safe from perishing.
Perhaps the obvious piece of kit every rider uses on a daily basis is the saddle and while your saddle might be stored away in a cool tack room, leaving it out in the sun could affect the colour of the leather as well as drying it out. Sweat is another factor which can affect your leather. After hosing off your horse at the end of your schooling session, don’t forget to clean your tack with saddle soap and water and then finish with a good conditioning oil, paying particular attention to stirrup leathers and anything leather that sits directly on the horse’s skin. If you are unsure of what to use on your saddle, then ask the manufacturer and if the saddle is new then Definitely ask your saddler for advice!!
Keeping your saddle covered in the tack room is also advisable for keeping it free from dust and clean.
Your long leather riding boots are also going to take a battering in the summer months with arena sand, heat and dust all drying out the leather so make sure you clean the grease and dust off your boots and give use a good conditioning feed on them to revitalise them while the hot, dry weather lasts!
Our team prefer to wash their boots, bandages, saddle cloths and fabric girths every time they are used in the summer, but if you don’t then hang your boots, bandages and girths out to air and detach your saddle cloth from the saddle and leave it to dry before brushing off excess hair and dirt before putting back on the saddle rack.
Another and (life saving) consideration is where you decide to store your riding hat over summer. Sweat, hat, dust and also rain can have a detrimental effect on the performance of your helmet over time, and helmet manufacturers recommend that you replace your hat every 4 – 5 years. We would also say always replace it if you have a fall or drop it as the damage is not always visible to the naked eye.
Have fun this summer and keep your tack and equipment in tip top condition so it’s ready for winter (did we REALLY mention that word?!)