View Full Version : Riding in the Rain

Jan. 1, 2010, 05:20 PM
In an effort to get out of the freaking indoor, I've made a plan to go for a hack outside at least once a week. We get very mild winters here and I have a nice solid quiet road to ride on, but what we do get is lots of rain.

I won't go out if it's pouring, but is there anything I should do to take care of my tack when I go for a ride in the rain? For instances of soaking I've heard to let it dry out and then condition, but do I need to do that on a weekly basis now? Is that much exposure to a little bit of rain going to be so bad that I should just buy some sort of saddle cover?

Thanks! Yesterday we went for a quick meander through the sprinkling rain in a field behind the arena to remind myself and the mare that yes, wet DOES come with eventing territory...she quit complaining after the first minute or so :D

Jan. 1, 2010, 05:24 PM
I would buy a cover, or get one of those very long riding raincoats that covers you and the saddle. It's really a pain to deal with drenched tack. If you can tack up under cover, the jacket is probably the better solution, because then you won't have to take the cover on and off of your saddle, and you'll stay dry as well.

One thing that does help is a very good conditioning job beforehand with a nice paste type conditioner. I am liking the Oakwood leather conditioner at the moment for this purpose.

Jan. 1, 2010, 05:37 PM
You can also do a waterproof quarter sheet that covers your legs and the saddle. Like this, but tuck all around your saddle:

Jan. 1, 2010, 05:46 PM
Rub glycerin on your tack to seal it before riding in the rain.

IME the rain isn't as bad as it looks when standing inside ;) Avoid downpours and your tack will probably be fine - my tack is no worse for wear and it's seen lots of rain. You can always get a cheapo bridle for those rainy day rides.

Jan. 1, 2010, 06:25 PM
Cows live in the rain!

When you return from a ride dry off the tack and lightly oil. Hang up the tack in a tack room with a heat lamp Green mold is much worse than a rainstorm.

An Area VII buddy had her horse and high end saddle take a tumble in the ocean. She just hosed it of and looked great pays to buy quality stuff.

I have tack over 20 years old and I have little access to an indoor

Jan. 1, 2010, 07:05 PM
I ride in the rain pretty often (no indoor) and usually my tack is fine if I just remember to wipe it off when I am done for the day. If you get quite rained on, condition or oil it well (I got POURED on at Waredaca this fall and my tack took quite a bit of conditioning afterwards...saddle was better than the strap goods). Yes, if it gets SOAKED, let it dry they condition, condition, condition.

My bridles, breastplates, etc often fare far worse than my saddle does in the rain. My saddle's very tough though (another plus to a Berney's saddle. The Irish know about tack getting wet! :lol:).

Jan. 1, 2010, 07:06 PM
An Area VII buddy had her horse and high end saddle take a tumble in the ocean.
From what I've heard, a good dip (oceans especially) is the best way to break in a new saddle or boots! :yes:

Jan. 1, 2010, 07:12 PM
I use synthetic headstalls as an endurance rider. You may want to get a synthetic bridle and breast collar for this purpose. Toklat carries Zilco Tack and they have an english style bridle that looks like leather. It is black, but it might be just the ticket for you! Just hang it up, no worries about conditioning.

They also have really cool reins that have a rubber grip texture the whole length of the rein and velcro together at the ends, which I love!

Jan. 1, 2010, 07:30 PM
My friends always said if you wanted to know when it was going to rain, find out when I was going to an event. We seemed to have way more than our fair share of just downright soaking, rainy events. Then I tried to hunt and brought the rain with me also.

I have made a point of hacking Brigitte in all kinds of weather so she will be ready for Mom's bad weather luck at events!

I have always used Passier Lederbalsam and would also use it the night before cross country on my saddle. They have always seemed to come through all the soakings just fine. Like everyone has said, make sure they dry thoroughly afterwards.

Happy riding!

Jan. 2, 2010, 12:49 PM
It may be worth investing in one of those saddle covers you don't have to take off to ride - i.e. the ones with slits for your stirrup leathers. Won't help the rest of your tack, but will make your saddle care a whole lot easier!

Something like this: http://mybreyerhorses.com/Ride-On-Saddle-Cover-For-Riding/M/B002B9PFGC.htm

Jan. 2, 2010, 01:16 PM
I use Nikwax waterproof leather conditioner prior to riding in the rain.

To avoid rain spots, immediately rub down your tack with a wet sponge so the water is evenly spread, then towel it off until dry. Let the leather dry, then condition it.

I lived in a rainy area for 4 years and rode in the rain all the time. My tack looks fine - in fact, it got cared for better as I cleaned and conditioned way more often than when I lived in a dry climate. My instructor says getting wet doesn't hurt tack, but drying out without conditioning does.

Jan. 2, 2010, 06:14 PM
Sounds like I'm on the right track - I already wipe my tack down with a damp rag sprinkled with Effax leather cleaner after every ride.

I think I will buy a saddle cover. It seems like a good investment if I want to be serious about hacking during the rainy months, which sometimes seems to be about half the year :D In the meantime, I will bring my tin of conditioner out to the barn and use it after rides in the rain.

I'm not too worried about my bridle because it's a schooling bridle. I'll take care of it like my saddle, but I don't care too much if it takes a little rain.

I have made a point of hacking Brigitte in all kinds of weather so she will be ready for Mom's bad weather luck at events!

That's why I've decided to suck it up and hack outside in the rain. I was reading Practical Eventing, which suggested doing so. Makes sense. Not that I think my mare would really object to competing in the rain, but we might as well get comfortable with it, since it's going to happen at some point!