Tips for the Tack Room
Many of us are now finding extra time on our hands as we embrace lockdown 3.0, with no clinics to enjoy, no competitions and a general lack of social life, with an abundance of ice not helping on the riding front with arenas frozen and roads covered in ice, you maybe twiddling your thumbs or if like me your yard may never have been swept so many times in it's life!
I thought I would share some ideas which will not only spruce up your tack and feed room, but can save you money in the long run, it may even earn you some money and some good karma! Plus by writing this I feel that I may actually have to do some of these too!
1. Clean your tack - I don't mean a quick clean of the essentials, I mean a really good thorough clean of all your leather goods. Take everything apart (good opportunity to check for any damage) and feed the leather to prevent drying, cracking and discolouration, helping it to look good and to last longer.
Always finish up the products that you have sitting on your shelf and sponges, but when they need replacing look for more eco-friendly options such as our Scrubbies and Leather Balm Archives - Topline Naturals
2. Clutter be gone - now I am not suggesting you get rid of the contents of your tack room, but how many of us forget we have some products. Have a tidy up, re-organise and you may even find a hidden gem you forgot you had! Empty the feed bins, give them a good clean along with the stirrers and scoops.
3. Sell - During your spring clean you may uncover a saddle hidden in the corner that you have forgotten about, it no longer fits any of your horses (or in my case you couldn't part with it when the horse moved on). It is the time to clean that saddle, bridle or whatever it might be and let it go and be enjoyed elsewhere, why not put the money aside to be used for something that you really want or do post lockdown.
4. Donate - Is there a better feeling that helping others? Maybe during your declutter you found things that maybe in the best condition to sell but still very useable that you just don't have a job for anymore. Why not speak to your local horse charity, they may love a headcollar or saddle pad, it may not seem a lot to you but it allows them to spend money on the things that are a necessity to their work.
5. Rugs, rugs, rugs - who has a heap of rugs which needs addressing - lets address them. Now is a great time to wash those summer sheets, prep those competition rugs and organise those turnouts. With the majority of rugs being made from Polyester, they are designed to outlive us and our horses, so look after them. If they are damaged beyond repair, maybe your lovely rug repair person would love them for spares.
(Polyester would take over 100 years to biodegrade - so let's stop them going to landfill!)
6. Start the year in a greener way - have you got your recycling off to a t at home, but it all goes to pot at the yard? Set yourself up for success this year with a recycling station, it will make life so much easier. Grab yourself some containers and label them for plastics, general, paper feed bags, bale wrap etc and contact your local recycling company to arrange collection, you could always team up with other local yards to arrange a larger collection.
7. Repurpose pots - It is easy to accumulate a mass of plastic pots of all different shapes and sizes. Well lets clean them up and put them to work! I have a smaller pot with all my plaiting bands in and another which I keep thread and needles in. The larger pots are great for supplements, I choose to buy supplements where ever possible in 100% biodegradable bags. The team at Equus Health have a great range and they don't include plastic scoops as standard, because lets face it we have enough of those too!
8. Check your Hat! - When was the last time you checked your riding hat? it is so important to give you hat a once over, check the stitching, check the overall condition and whether it complies with the relevant standards. Remember to store your hat somewhere that it will not be knocked and out of direct sunlight, as that is likely to damage it's protective properties. Remember to always replace your hat after a fall, especially if it has made contact with the ground, damage is often not visible to the naked eye. Always best to be safe than sorry!
I hope that this may inspire you to make some changes and get your tack room into shape, so that once lockdown is lifted you can spend your time doing what you love, whatever that might be!
Image of bridle by Sophie Callahan