Top 5 tips for storing your tack

A complete set of good quality tack can be quite an investment, so it makes sense to store and maintain your equipment properly to prolong its lifespan and keep everything looking good and performing well both for training and showing.

Proper storage doesn't just preserve the functionality of your equipment, it's better for your horse, too, keeping them free from skin conditions that can be exacerbated by poorly stored, damp and mouldy leather.  The benefits of proper storage for you and your horse are obvious. And by extending the life of your equestrian equipment, you'll save money on premature tack replacement. Take time to clean and press your showing kit and you'll always be turned out smartly. In fact, finding sensible storage solutions really is a win-win situation.

Leather goods 
t's vitally important that you store your leather tack correctly as it can be adversely affected by heat, cold and damp. Clean with a suitable leather cleaner, then dry thoroughly and apply a leather conditioner. Pay attention to the condition of the leather and check for any signs of wear on your leather work, check stitching and fastenings on each item, identifying any damage immediately before the item becomes unsafe to use. Store out of direct sunlight in a dry place or store in a suitable storage bag or box to protect from damp and bugs.

Seasonal equipment
Make sure you store winter and summer equipment in clearly marked airtight bins and rotate them as necessary. Plan your storage area carefully so the equipment you need is always at hand, whatever the season.

Hanging items
The tack items that you reach for every day - headcollars, bridles, and so on - will store really well on wall hooks. Storing in a zipped tack bag will keep these items clean and free from damp yet still handy for daily use. Plan to use an accessible wall that's sheltered from the elements or invest in a metal locker if there's no suitable wall. Saddles can be stored using a saddle cover keeping off dust and damp.

Cost-effective storage
You'll use your grooming brushes morning and night so why not try a hanging organiser? The separate pockets will let you see at a glance exactly which brush is where for ease of storage and use. Grooming bags and boxes also make great storage for your brushes.

Clothing care
Keep your show kit looking neat and tidy by having it cleaned and pressed after every use and then hanging jacket and jodhpurs on wooden hangers in garment bags in the wardrobe, ready for the next competition.

(Photo Credit : erikcharlton @ Flickr)