The care and maintenance of equestrian equipment is a very important part of maximizing its lifetime. An important component of equestrian equipment care is proper storage, which also makes a big difference in the long-term quality and functionality of equipment. Learn a few tips on proper storage so that you can keep your equestrian equipment in tiptop shape for training and performances.
The Dual Benefits of Proper Storage
In addition to prolonging the life of your horse equipment, proper storage directly benefits your horse. Leather tack and other items that are taken care of can help prevent skin conditions, infection and discomfort. For example, leather tack that’s exposed to damp conditions can develop mold and mildew. These can irritate your horse’s skin, causing discomfort. The care you extend to equestrian equipment also benefits your equine friend. Likewise, properly stored equipment provides long-term financial benefits. As you extend the life of your horse tack, you save money by not having to replace equipment prematurely.
Storage Tips for Tack, Saddles and Other Equestrian Equipment
- Hanging Items. Store items such as girths, bits and helmets on hooks to make them easily accessible. Empty wall space can prove to be an excellent place to store items that you use on a daily or frequent basis. If you don’t want to leave these items out in the open, hanging storage bins or lockers can keep horse equipment sheltered.
- Grooming Supplies. You’ll use grooming supplies often as you clean and brush your horse at the start of the day or after training. A wall-mounted bathroom organizer can help you store and display grooming supplies so they’re easy to find.
- Storing Leather Goods. It’s especially important to ensure that you care for and store your leather tack and saddles properly. This natural fiber can be adversely affected by extreme elements, such as humidity, heat or cold. Clean leather equestrian equipment with a shampoo or soap made for leather goods. Retain moisture with a leather conditioner, and always store leather tack out of direct sunlight to prevent drying and cracking. Leather goods will last for years if they’re kept clean and conditioned.
- Seasonal Equipment. It makes no sense to sift through winter riding equipment during the summer months. Store equine equipment according to the season in which it’s used. This will allow you to rotate bins as needed so that the items you need are in the front and the items you don’t need for several months are stored out of the way.
- Cost-Effective Storage. It’s not necessary to spend a lot on storage. Use items from the household, such as an over-the-door shoe rack for grooming items or hooks made from old, repurposed horseshoes. These inexpensive items promote efficiency and convenience without emptying your wallet.
Make a Plan
Before you organize your equine equipment for storage, make a plan that will help you create a storage area that is efficient for you. Categorize the equipment by season and need. Create a plan that places frequently used items in convenient places, with seasonal items being rotated throughout the year. Use airtight bins whenever possible to protect natural materials, such as leather or wool, from becoming adversely affected by the elements and pests. In the end, the time you invest in planning and creating a storage area will pay off with the savings you accrue by extending the life and performance of your equipment.