Well, I think I may speak for all of us in the West when I say we are more than ready for spring. Winter was ROUGH. Flooding in the lower elevation and a snow pack in the higher elevations that we haven't see for awhile. Rain, snow, ice, and now....MUD. Sigh. I am ready for the horses to slick out, to get in the back country and ride, although still trying to calculate how long it takes 50+ feet of snow to melt....? While we still have some more storm in the forecast, the weather has been leaning more towards spring, so with that comes cleaning and inspecting tack and preparing for a full send on riding and show season. We always encourage you to take the time to go over your tack and your trailer so you know you’re prepared for the season.
First, let’s discuss tack. Pull everything out, take things apart and go over it. It’s helpful to take pictures of your gear fully assembled before disassembling. Check the tightness of any Chicago screws. Make sure all leather is cleaned and oiled. Is your hardware free of rust or oxidization? Go over all stitching. Is anything brittle or fraying? A tack failure can be catastrophic, so I personally find a peace of mind by going over everything with a critical eye. Wash your girths, leg wraps, saddle pads, and even your grooming kit. It’s a great time to launder and repair winter blankets and properly store them until winter.
Your rig is also extremely important. Its a good idea to have your trailer taken in for a safety inspection, but there are things you can check on your own. Lift the stalls mats and check the floorboards for any weakened or rotting wood. The west coast has gotten its fair share of rain this year, so there’s a high probability for mildew in your tack room and even on your tack. Make sure stall dividers securely latch, as do all doors. A first aid kit is very important to have in your trailer, for human, equine and canine cohorts. Take it out and check your supplies as well as expiration dates.
There are countless other ways to prepare for spring and summer riding, which can feel quite overwhelming. However, if you prioritize tasks that effect your safety and the safety of your horse, such as the ones listed above, then you will have a much more successful and enjoyable riding season. If you happen to discover you need to replace a piece of tack, please feel free to contact us, as we would love to assist you.
Happy trails, from all of us at Buckaroo Leather!