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How to store horse riding tack and equestrian gear

horse riding

In this blog we aim to explain the various ways to store horse riding tack but before we start lets just consider;

How popular is horse and pony riding in the UK?

Horse riding is a popular sport and leisure activity in the UK. According to the British Horse Society, there are over 3 million people in the UK who ride horses, and over 6.5 million people have an interest in equestrianism. Horse riding is also a popular activity for tourists visiting the UK, particularly in areas with scenic countryside and coastal paths.

Photo by Valerie Fomina on Unsplash

The UK has a strong equestrian heritage, with a long history of horse racing, show jumping, and eventing. The country is home to numerous equestrian events, including the world-famous Royal Ascot and Badminton Horse Trials. Horse riding is also popular for recreational purposes, with many people enjoying hacking through the countryside or participating in local riding club activities.

So that's a lot of people with a lot of clothing, horse tack, riding gear and equestrian bits and pieces to store. So before we dive in, here are a few things to consider when thinking about;

how and where to store horse riding equipment:

  • What kind of horse riding gear will you need to store?

  • Where should you store horse riding tack and clothing?

  • How should you store horse riding equipment?

  • How should you store a saddle properly?

  • What is a saddle rack?

  • Which are the leading equestrian clubs and organising bodies in the UK?

So here we go:

What kind of horse riding gear will you need to store?

Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash

There is loads of equipment that riders can use, some are required for safety and some are optional for comfort and performance. Here is a comprehensive list of horse riding gear:

Riding Helmet: A helmet is a crucial piece of safety equipment for riders, it protects the head from injury in case of falls or accidents.

Riding Boots: Proper riding boots with heels and smooth soles provide a secure grip in the stirrups and protect the feet from injury.

Riding Breeches or Jodhpurs: These are specially designed pants for horse riding that provide comfort, freedom of movement, and grip in the saddle.

Riding Gloves: Gloves protect the rider's hands from friction and provide a good grip on the reins.

Body Protector: A body protector or safety vest is worn to protect the rider's torso from impact during falls or accidents.

Whip or Crop: These are optional aids used to encourage the horse to move forward or correct its behavior.

Stirrups: Stirrups are the loops on the saddle that support the rider's feet, providing stability and balance.

Saddle: A saddle is the seat on the horse's back that distributes the rider's weight and provides comfort and balance.

Bridle: A bridle is the headgear used to control the horse, consisting of a bit, reins, and a headstall.

Girth: A girth is the strap that secures the saddle to the horse's belly, providing stability and balance.

Martingale: A martingale is a piece of equipment used to prevent the horse from raising its head too high or from tossing it excessively.

Saddle Pad: A saddle pad is a cushion placed under the saddle to protect the horse's back and provide additional comfort.

Half Chaps: Half chaps are worn to provide additional grip and support around the calf and ankle area.

Spurs: Spurs are optional aids used to refine the rider's leg aids and encourage the horse to respond more promptly.

These are the most common and essential horse riding gears, but there are many other accessories and clothing items that riders may use for comfort and style purposes, such as jackets, hats, and belts.

They all need storing somewhere! You will probably store your own clothing at home but anything that goes on the horse will be stored in a stable or tack room.

Where should you store horse riding equipment?

Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash

There are several places where you can store horse riding equipment, depending on how much gear you’ve got and the amount of space you have available:

Tack Room: A tack room is a dedicated storage area for horse riding equipment, such as saddles, bridles, and other accessories. It is usually located in a barn, stable or even a simple shed and can be locked to ensure the safety of your equipment.

Saddle Rack: a saddle rack is a device used for storing and organizing a horse saddle. It can be mounted on a wall or free-standing. More about these later.

Bridle Hooks: Bridle hooks are hooks used for hanging bridles, halters, and other similar items. They can be mounted on a wall or attached to a portable tack box.

Tack Trunk: A tack trunk is a portable storage box used for storing horse riding equipment. It typically has wheels, a handle, and a lockable lid, making it easy to transport and secure.

Portable Tack Box: A portable tack box is a smaller version of a tack trunk that can be easily carried and stored in a car or horse trailer.

Grooming Tote: A grooming tote is a portable storage container used for holding grooming supplies, such as brushes, combs, and hoof picks.

Blanket Rack: A blanket rack is a device used for hanging horse blankets and sheets. It can be mounted on a wall or free-standing.

Coat Rack: A coat rack can be used to store riding helmets, jackets, and other clothing items.

Tack rack: An all-in-one solution to store all your gear in one space saving place. It will include several hooks for blankets, pads and reins etc. and maybe even a saddle rack. It means that everything is off the floor so it won’t get damp, dusty or nibbled by mice and rats and so it can dry out if you’ve been riding in the rain (which is pretty likely in the UK).

Overall, it is essential to keep your horse riding equipment clean, dry, and organized to prolong its lifespan and ensure that it is always in good condition when you need it.

How should you store horse riding equipment?

Saddle rack

Photo by GearHooks Ltd.

Proper storage of horse riding equipment is essential to keep it clean, organized, and in good condition for its next use. Here are some tips on how to store horse riding equipment:

Clean and dry the equipment: Before storing your horse riding equipment, make sure it is clean and dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt, sweat, or debris.

Store in a dry, ventilated area: It's important to store your equipment in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent mould and mildew growth. Avoid storing equipment in a damp or humid area.

Hang or store in a rack: For saddles, bridles, and other larger items, consider hanging them on a sturdy rack to keep them off the ground and prevent them from getting damaged. You can also store them in a padded bag or cover to protect them from dust and debris.

Keep leather items conditioned: Leather items such as saddles, bridles, and boots should be conditioned with leather conditioner before storage to prevent them from cracking or drying out.

Keep helmets in a protective case: Helmets should be stored in a protective case or bag to prevent damage or scratches.

Store horse blankets clean and dry: Horse blankets should be cleaned and dried before storage, and then folded neatly and stored in a dry, cool place.

Following these tips means you can ensure that your horse riding equipment remains in good condition and lasts longer.

How should you store a saddle properly?

 

Photo by Roger van de Kimmenade on Unsplash

Your saddle is probably the most expensive bit of riding gear you have. Storing a saddle properly is important to maintain its quality and prolong its lifespan. Here are some tips on how to store a saddle:

Clean the saddle: Before storing your saddle, make sure it is clean and dry. Use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove any dirt or sweat residue. Let it air dry completely.

Condition the leather: Apply a leather conditioner or oil to the saddle to keep the leather soft and supple. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.

Cover the saddle: Use a breathable saddle cover to protect the saddle from dust and moisture. A cotton or canvas cover is ideal as it allows air to circulate.

Store in a dry, cool place: Store the saddle in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Humidity and heat can cause the leather to crack and dry out.

Store on a saddle rack: Store the saddle on a sturdy saddle rack that is designed to support the weight of the saddle. Make sure the rack is placed in a stable position, and the saddle is balanced properly.

Check the saddle periodically: Check the saddle periodically to ensure it is in good condition. Reapply conditioner if needed, and inspect for any signs of damage or wear.

What is a saddle rack?

Photo by Chris Bair on Unsplash

A saddle rack is a device used for storing a horse saddle. It is typically made of wood, metal, or plastic and is designed to hold the saddle securely in place. The saddle basically 'sits' on it.

Saddle racks come in various shapes and sizes, and can be mounted on walls or free-standing. Some saddle racks also have additional hooks or shelves to hold other horse riding gear such as bridles, reins, and grooming supplies. Saddle racks are commonly used in horse barns, stables, and other equestrian facilities to keep the saddle clean and dry, and to prolong its lifespan.

A complex saddle stand isn’t always the best thing to use. Metal stands will leave impressions in the pads so its often better to have a smooth ‘horse back’ shaped saddle rack. A much easier solution is to hang the saddle on a simple but strong horizontal pole that sits in the gullet (the space between the pads) of the saddle.

Which are the leading equestrian clubs and organising bodies in the UK?

Some of the most well-known ones include:

British Horse Society (BHS) - The BHS is a charity that aims to promote and protect the interests of all horses and those who care about them. They offer a range of services and support to riders, horse owners, and equestrian businesses.

British Equestrian Federation (BEF) - The BEF is the national governing body for equestrian sport in the UK. They represent the interests of 18 member bodies, including British Dressage, British Eventing, and British Showjumping.

Pony Club - The Pony Club is an international youth organization that aims to encourage young people to ride and care for horses. They offer a range of activities and training programs, including rallies, camps, and competitions.

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) - The RDA is a national charity that provides therapeutic horse riding and carriage driving activities for people with disabilities. They have over 500 groups and 18,000 volunteers across the UK.

Endurance GB - Endurance GB is the governing body for endurance riding in the UK. They organize competitive endurance rides, ranging from 20km to 160km, and offer training and support to riders and horses.

These are just a few examples of the many equestrian clubs and organizations in the UK. There are also numerous local riding clubs and associations, as well as specialist groups for breeds, disciplines, and interests.

To summarise how to store horse riding gear

There are plenty of places and ways to store horse riding equipment. The one that suits you best will depend of how much gear you have and where you can store it.

Whatever you do its important to look after all your gear, especially the expensive bits like a saddle, otherwise you will have to replace it every couple of years which gets expensive.

Photo by GearHooks Ltd.

We like to think that the Tack Rack is the perfect solution. It will keep everything in one place, off the floor where its clean, away from rodents and where all your gear can dry out properly.

Photo by GearHooks Ltd.

Whatever you chose we are here to offer help and advice if you need it.

Thanks for reading!!


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