Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring Equipment Check

Some of us do not do much riding during the colder winter months.  Now is the time to take a look at our equipment that has been sitting dormant.  Check out your saddle to make sure the integrity of the leather is sound throughout.  Lift up the flaps and look in the spots you do not normally see.  It is a good practice to bring your saddle into a warm basement, garage, or room that will allow the saddle warm up.  Once the saddle is warm take the time to wipe it down with a leather cleaner or gentle soap and water.  Then make sure it is dry again and apply a leather conditioner. 

Check your bridles.  The bridle is important to keep in good repair.  It would be similar to losing your steering wheel on your car.  If you were not happy or your horse seemed to fight the bit look for a new bit.  Determine how your horse is reacting to the current bit and research which bit may be more comfortable for your horse.  Later on I will discuss what different bits do for you and your horse.

                                       Look at your halters that are routinely used make sure the nylon is not frayed.  Look at the buckles and clips making sure they are not rusted tight and can be easily opened.  Check all your lead ropes making sure there are not rips, tears, and fraying.  Check the clasps on the lead ropes. 

If you do travel with your horse check any equipment that you keep in the trailer.  I have a second set of most things in the trailer.  Buckets, hay bags, and some grooming items are always in the trailer as back up or just to always have along.  It is a good idea to have an extra halter and lead in the trailer at all times. 

Whatever else during your riding season that  is used should be cleaned and checked over.  It will make your riding time increase.  Safety will also be increased because it will stay in good repair.  Have fun and spend time with your horse.

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