How to Inspect Your Tack for Safety


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When you’re looking at new tack for sale, like saddles or bridles, the safety of that tack probably isn’t foremost on your mind. But after you’ve had your tack for a while and have been using it regularly, it’s important to perform tack safety checks to make sure that it’s still safe when you mount up. Here’s what you should be checking to make sure that your tack is safe.

Pay Attention to Stitching

With time and wear, stitching can become frayed and can pull loose. Regular oiling can also degrade the quality of the stitching, reducing its strength. Pay careful attention to the stitching on your tack, in particular on your girth and on your saddle’s billets. If you notice that the stitching is coming loose, stop using the item and have it professionally repaired. Stitching that lets go while you’re in the saddle could result in serious injury, and that’s a risk that you don’t want to take.

Check Your Saddle’s Tree

You should check your saddle’s tree from time to time to make sure that it is still straight and hasn’t been warped or broken. Try to flex the pommel and cantle of the saddle, both up and down and from side to side. If you can move them, the tree is not sound. Turn the saddle over and look at the channel running down the back. It should create a straight line. Any variation in this line signifies that the tree is twisted and the saddle should not be used.

Inspect the Leather Quality

Look at the quality of the leather of your tack, and make sure that it does not have weakened spots. Tack should be pliable and flexible. Be sure to clean and condition your tack regularly to keep it in good, safe shape.

Look Out for Leather Cracks

Cracks in leather tack signify that the tack has been allowed to get too brittle. Once deep cracks have formed in leather, it is no longer safe to use, since the leather has been significantly weakened. If you find cracks in your bridle, girth, or billet straps, those items need to be replaced before you use your tack again.

Go With Your Gut

If you haven’t spotted any of the above issues, but if you have a feeling that something isn’t right with your tack, listen to that feeling. Have your tack inspected by a saddler or tack repair person to make sure that it’s okay to put on your horse.

Performing regular tack safety checks can help to prevent serious accidents and injuries. If you find that your tack is beyond repair, then it’s time to start looking at tack for sale before you mount up again.

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