As we start the new year I can’t help thinking that spring is right around the corner. For the northern half of the states we’re riding less and it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at our tack to see what kind of shape it’s in and get the repairs done before we get into trouble. Here are a few areas to focus in on: Check for any wear and tear to the saddle rigging. On English saddles take a look at where the billets are sewn to the saddle. Make sure that the leather is not worn and that the stitching isn’t frayed.
Check that the holes that the girth buckles go through haven’t stretched to the point where they might rip.
Make sure your saddle leather is not dry and cracking; if it is, clean and oil the leather to make it supple again.
On Western rigged saddles, first check the area around the rigging plate. Look over the leather for dryness and cracking. Check the rivets that attach the plate to the leather. Make sure they haven’t stretched the leather and pulled loose.
Check your latigo and offside billet for wear, drying and cracking.
The next area to really focus in on is the stirrup leather or fenders. On English saddles check the stitching that attaches the buckle to the leather. Make sure it isn’t worn and fraying.
Check all the holes to make sure they’re in good shape and not about to rip. Once again, check over the entire strap for dryness and cracking.
On Western fenders, check the rivets that attach the Blevins buckle to the strap. Make sure they haven’t stretched the leather and might pull loose.
Check the area where the fender is attached to the strap. Look over any rivets or stitching for wear. It’s much better to take care of a problem now rather than have a failure on the trail.
Periodically cleaning, oiling and conditioning of all of your leather goods and tack will dramatically extend their life.
Michelle’s Note: My friends Dave and his wife CJ own Synergist Saddles. Have them create a perfect fit custom saddle for you and your horse at www.synergistsaddles.com
Synergist Saddles is the proud sponsor of “Ride the World with Michelle”
Drifter-Bob loves his custom built Synergist www.synergistsaddles.com