It’s Time to Inspect Your Equipment!

14 Jul
There is no better time than now to inspect your equipment!  It’s a good idea to regularly see what needs to be replaced, what might be missing from your (or let’s be honest, your horse’s) wardrobe, and be sure to double check that all of your equipment fits properly!

Keeping your equipment in good condition is a good idea not only because it makes things safer for you and your horse BUT it keeps your equipment around longer saving you money!

First things first.  We have a lot of leather items hanging around the tack room and we all know that without regular care things can get a little rough in that department.

cracked or moldy saddleCheck all your leather items to be sure nothing has dried out, cracked or heaven forbid, gotten moldy.

Severe cracks may mean your items could break and should be replaced ASAP, while more superficial cracks can be treated with a good leather conditioner. All of your leather goods should be treated with a quality conditioner to prevent cracking.

After you ride, be sure to clean off any mud and gunk that could dry out your tack and shorten its lifespan.

Even high quality leather will not hold up if it isn’t properly cared for so schedule those tack cleaning dates with your buddies! Similarly, leather of poorer quality can have a prolonged lifespan with regular cleaning and conditioning!

Places that typically receive more wear and tear require more frequent inspection!

_DSC0012 - Version 2We all are familiar with these areas: your stirrup leather where the stirrup hangs, the billets on your saddle, and any leather under a buckle (such as the cheek piece on your bridle or the end of your reins). Things could get pretty intense if one of those leather pieces broke during a ride. Yikes!

We have a few leather cleaning products that can help keep your tack looking show ready while helping to prolong it’s life!

fiebings leather soap Fiebing’s Saddle Soap : It’s a classic favorite! Grab your bucket of water and a sponge to clean and polish your tack with Fiebing’s Saddle Soap.  This soap cleans leather and lubricates the fibers to prevent brittleness, all the while maintaining suppleness and strength.

Stubben Leather Soap : There’s two types of Stubben leather soap that we really like here at VTO Saddlery!

stubben glycerineThe Stubben Glyzerin-Lederseife Tub Soap and the Stubben Leather Soap!  Let me translate some of that for you.  The Stubben Glyzerin-Lederseife Tub Soap is 250 gram of a convenient, no-mess form of glycerin leather soap in a solid form that comes in a tub with a screw-on lid. So, go grab that bucket and sponges again and get to cleaning your leather goods!

stubben leather soaThe Stubben Leather Soap is a liquid soap that is specially formulated for the cleaning of quality leather articles. Sounds fancy!! It squeezes out of a cylindrical tube and should be applied with a damp sponge. After you clean your tack, it should be used in conjunction with Stubben Hamanol which feeds and revitalizes the leather but, we will talk more about our favorite leather conditioners in a bit!

Effax Leather Cream Soap: You can ditch the water for this soap because IT DOESN’T NEED IT!  What?!  Yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds. This awesome cream soap has effax cream soapnatural oils and extracts such as avocado oil, coconut oil and aloe vera which cleanses and cares for saddles, bridles, boots and all other leather products. It’s pretty much as amazing as it sounds. Simply apply with a sponge or cloth without adding water. It soaks in completely and provides the leather with all the important components which guarantee long life. It comes in a flic flac bottle with 400 mL of cream soap goodness!

Effax Leather Combi : Is the leather in your tack room looking really dirty?  Like you effax leather combihave who knows what caked on there?  Yeah…I think we have all been guilty of this at some point or another.  VTO Saddlery has your back!  You need some Effax Leather Combi in your life STAT! Effax Leather Combi is an innovative combination of gentle cleaning and unique deep action. The grease-free solution removes even stubborn dirt and provides leather with a good grip. Thanks to the deep action, the leather becomes tear-resistant and supple. Guess what?  This one doesn’t need water either.  Are we blowing your mind yet?

We also have some leather conditioners that we love here at VTO Saddlery and we know you will too.  It’s REALLY important to condition your leather regularly to keep your gear in tip top shape:

effax leather balmEffax Leatherbalm: This is big old tub of leather conditioning goodness.  Not only does it smell great but it contains lanolin, avacado oil and beeswax, which are ideal ingredients for the care and maintenance of leather articles. That sounds like a cocktail of leather conditioning success right there. It has remarkable nutritive and protecting properties, keeps the leather supple and gives it a high tear resistance! Apply liberally with a sponge, allow to soak into the leather, and watch your leather sigh with relief!

Prestige Leather Balsam: Prestige Leather Balsam, with its natural components and prestige leather balmpleasant fragrance, hydrates, provides protection from water, revitalizes colors, gives greater grip, and neutralizes the harmful action of perspiration against the leather on your saddle and tack. If applied regularly, the leather will stay supple and durable for many years to come. That doesn’t sound anything short of amazing.  I mean, who couldn’t use a bit of protection from perspiration? Even better?  It comes with it’s own application sponge.  WIN!

Effax Leather Soft: Have some really tough, stiff leather hanging around?  This will effax leather softbe for you!  The Effax Leather Soft is an exclusive leather softener with valuable caring oil additives. It makes the leather particularly supple, tear-proof and pleasant to touch. It’s suitable for all smooth leathers and contains a mixture of gentle caring oils, lanolin, avocado oil and perfume. Squirt some out on a sponge and apply to the leather, allow it to be absorbed overnight and whip off any excess. Repeat if necessary for desired results.

hydrophane leather conditionerHydrophane Leather Conditioner: This gentle, pH balanced leather conditioner contains a unique blend of waxes and oils to help preserve and condition leather items. The unique formula penetrates the leather to make it supple and water resistant. Just a heads up, it is not intended for use on suede.

 

leather stitchingAfter you have checked for leather that needs to be conditioned or replaced,inspect all stitching to be sure it is still tight and intact.

A common place for stitching to become loose is the top of your stirrup leathers, near the buckle. Trust us, we know from experience that you do not want your stirrup leather to break while you are riding! Again, YIKES!

breastplate elasticCheck any elastic for rips, breaks or being over exerted.

You know, when it’s lost it bounce back?? If things are looking a rough on your elastic it may be time to replace your equipment. Places to check include your breastplate, the end of a girth, or straps on your horse’s boots.

Next up, it’s time to look in your horse’s vet box and be sure none of your products have expired and make sure that you’re all stocked up.

vet box

If you don’t have it or it’s expired, you know you’re going to need it. Unfortunately, we vet wrapcan’t wrap our horse in bubble wrap. While some products are still safe after expiration, they will have lost potency and not perform as well as you need them too. Now is a great time to restock anything you may have used up over the winter or anything that has been sitting in there for who knows how long. As a side note, you KNOW you can never have enough colors of vet wrap hanging around!

Find some things that need to be replaced or maybe some of your leather needs revived? Visit www.vtosaddlery.com to stock up on our favorite leather care and quality tack.

 


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