The new year is upon us. For the hard-working equestrians, it means that the new horse show season is coming up, too. No matter the discipline, you want to surely look your best in the show ring. And not just that – you will surely want to stay safe as well. Making sure that your tack is on point is one of the most important things that you can do as an equestrian.
Check your tack
It doesn’t matter if you compete or not: you should check your tack regularly. Using your tack in a normal setting your tack wears. For instance, your stirrup leathers stretch and your girth might have signs of usage. Your reins, on the other hand, might also stretch and get thinner.
If your tack is not pristine, there is a risk of your tack breaking while you are riding. This can be extremely dangerous.
In this showjumping show in 2014 in Paris, Gregory Wathelet and Conrad lost their bridle. Fortunately, the rider is a professional and nothing bad happened – in fact, they finished with a clear round. However, as you can see, anything can happen, and your duty as a rider is to ensure that your tack is safe, secure and in good condition.
So, as the horse show season is coming closer, now it is the best time to check whether you need to buy any new tack.
Check at least the following:
- Stirrup leathers
- Safety stirrups
Replace if needed and look your best at a horse show
If your tack needs replacing, use some time on researching what kind of tack is the best choice for you. You shouldn’t result in buying cheap tack – after all, you get what you pay for. It is always better to pay for a quality product, as it will surely last longer and it will be safer.
And of course: you will want to look your best at a horse show. No matter your discipline, it is always nicer to be photographed at a horse show wearing your best outfit and having clean, pristine tack.
Take a look at this 14-year-old Aya Miteva from Bulgaria, who won the very first European Championship for Bulgaria in 105 years. Can you spot what kind of stirrups she has? That’s right: Ophena safety stirrups!
Updated look with small changes
If your tack is already pristine and you don’t need anything new, you can easily give yourself and your horse an updated look for a horse show with small changes. For instance, you can give your tack a deep clean. Wash off all the dirt and use glycerin soap. Dry it well and rub in some leather oil. Remember to polish the bit!
Also, you can update your tack box with new polos, boots or saddle pads. A new halter will look great at a horse show. You should also wash your coolers for the next horse show.
Ready to go?
If your horse’s tack ready? Is everything clean, safe and pristine? Awesome. Don’t forget to check your own show clothes, your helmet and spurs.