Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't forget to oil your tack!

Learn from my mistakes, and don't forget to oil your tack regularly. It's disappointing to know that you have potentially ruined something that might have survived if you had oiled it regularly.

When I bought my first (used) bridle about a year ago, it looked virtually unused, but was extremely stiff and dry. The owner of the tack store also sold me neatsfoot oil and urged me to oil the bridle before using it.

I did oil it first, but the leather was so stiff, and I was so clueless about oiling tack, that I don't think it did much good. It definitely didn't make it any more supple. I haven't tried oiling it again, so over time the leather has started to crack in places.

When my trainer was riding Panama today, she mentioned that my saddle needed to be oiled, so after our training session I took both the saddle and bridle home.

I oiled the saddle first, and discovered that for the most part it didn't need much oil — it was in like-new condition when I bought it in the spring. However, the stirrup leathers were a little dry: They soaked in three or four coats of oil, and probably could have taken more. (I'll bring home the saddle in a few weeks and oil them again.)

Then I oiled my bridle. And oiled it again. And again. It seems like no matter how many coats of oil I give it, it ends up looking just as dry as ever. I'm going to give it one more really good coat before I go to bed, and then let it sit overnight.

Unfortunately, I don't think all the oil in the world is going to repair the damage my neglect caused. I anticipate having to get a new bridle and reins before too much longer — maybe for Christmas.



Post a Comment

<< Home