The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,742

    Default Professional Tack Cleaner?

    Enough with the idle talk and lolligagging about how tack should be cared for, can I JUST DO IT? For a living?

    I'll do some bragging about my qualifications and tell you why I think people need this service really, really bad later. I can also think in vague terms about how this would work.

    But I want to know what you-- the dirty-tacked customer-- thinks.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2002
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Enough with the idle talk and lolligagging about how tack should be cared for, can I JUST DO IT? For a living?

    I'll do some bragging about my qualifications and tell you why I think people need this service really, really bad later. I can also think in vague terms about how this would work.

    But I want to know what you-- the dirty-tacked customer-- thinks.
    In a lot of barns, they call this a groom. In others, they call it one's "personal responsibility". I, too, appreciate well-cared-for, clean tack, but I wouldn't pay another to do it for me- I don't think my trainer would let me into the ring if she found out abut that!
    Here today, gone tomorrow...



  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Enough with the idle talk and lolligagging about how tack should be cared for, can I JUST DO IT? For a living?
    I made good enough at it when we owned a feed store...took maybe 4 part time days to do well tooled western parade saddles,a day or two for english stuff....I did it between customers so it was never "full time" really but it was about $75 for the parade saddles and $25 for the hunt seat stuff

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    Location
    City of delusion in the state of total denial
    Posts
    8,736

    Default

    For a few years when I was a junior at a barn with a lot of pony kids, I paid for my show fees by cleaning tack. I think you'd have to really be in the right place at the right time for it to work, but sure, it can.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Posts
    2,609

    Default

    Until recently, I would have said no way -- But, these days I use my tendonitis-prone elbows as an excuse to avoid all sorts of stuff -- I haven't cleaned my saddle in 2 months, and am riding in a clinic this weekend, so it needs to be done --

    If it were a service where I didn't have to do anything but write the check, I'd want to use it this week -- But, if I had to drop the tack off or be without it for a day, I wouldn't be interested --

    I think it would be hard to build up a big enough client base to make this worthwhile -- My bet is most people who are interested and can easily afford this service board at places that provide tack cleaning -- Folks who keep their horses at home tend to either be do-it-yourselfers or have hired barn help who would clean tack if desired -- Are there enough middle-of-the-roaders who could keep you gainfully employed by visiting their farm at most once a week? -- (I'm assuming people who clean tack daily don't want it to sit around waiting to be cleaned -- It gets cleaned immediately after they ride, so it would be tough to coordinate your cleaning schedule with their riding schedule) --

    If I were showing without a groom I might think about using a tack cleaning service on the show grounds, but I wouldn't be willing to spend much --

    If you conditioned new tack, I think that service could be a big seller -- I think people are most careful of their tack when it's new, and many could see your service as a good investment to prolong the life of their tack -- You could become the go-to person for darkenning strap goods to match saddles --
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2009
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Enough with the idle talk and lolligagging about how tack should be cared for, can I JUST DO IT? For a living?

    I'll do some bragging about my qualifications and tell you why I think people need this service really, really bad later. I can also think in vague terms about how this would work.

    But I want to know what you-- the dirty-tacked customer-- thinks.
    No bragging needed your posts have been so valuable to me! I personally LOVE to clean tack, the 'reward" of clean yummy smelling leather that has just a bit of shine to it is so satisfying to me LOL but I am SURE there are people out there who hate that job and I would highly recommend you for the position!!!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2001
    Location
    over yonder
    Posts
    2,993

    Default

    I agree with Renn/aissance that you would need to be in the right place at the right time to make regular tack cleaning work. Most people are going to want their tack cleaned at their barn with no interruption to their ability to use it.

    One the other hand, a service for reconditioning tack might get some interest. I know I have old tack laying around that, if it were well conditioned and brought back to life I would probably either use or sell.
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    Location
    City of delusion in the state of total denial
    Posts
    8,736

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHorse
    One the other hand, a service for reconditioning tack might get some interest. I know I have old tack laying around that, if it were well conditioned and brought back to life I would probably either use or sell.
    Absolutely! I should have mentioned this; it's where I did make a lot of money.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,742

    Default

    Thanks for your ideas so far!

    You're right that this service ought to be a cross between an ICU for very sick or old tack and a nursery for neonatal leather.

    It should be mobile with quick turn-around. Though some treatments-- as for mold-- may take several days. That infection is very tough to kill, and it often takes time/several rounds.

    I'd love to start beloved babies-- new pieces of tack out on the right foot. It turns out that leather started well can take more abuse than you think.

    Some people may just want their tack fixed up with no further involvement. Others may want knowledge returned with the supple and softly-glowing item. I'm open to either one as the parent desires. No judgement either way!

    More from y'all?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2003
    Location
    Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    4,253

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHorse View Post
    I agree with Renn/aissance that you would need to be in the right place at the right time to make regular tack cleaning work. Most people are going to want their tack cleaned at their barn with no interruption to their ability to use it.
    This. I had a child who rode at my barn who put up a flyer advertising "Bridals cleaned $20 Saddels cleaned $40" or something along those lines. Now, maybe people didn't want their stuff handled by someone who couldn't spell saddle or bridle (or didn't want to pay that much for a service *I* was offering right on our rate sheet for $5 ) but she never did get a customer. To be honest, in 4 years with this service offered on our rate sheet I have NEVER been asked to clean a client's tack, though a few times I've said before a show, "You either need to give that (saddle, bridle, martingale) a good cleaning/oiling or pay me to do it" and have done it under those circumstances a handful of times. I'd say it depends 100% on your target market. My clients fall squarely into two groups: those who clean their tack religiously every day, and those who hardly ever do but would never consider paying to have it done unless threatened by their trainer

    Also wanted to mention, it might be a good mobile service to have at shows - not everyone has grooms who do this. At the shows in my area, there is an ambitious young kid who rides his bike around offering boot cleaning/shining, does a fantastic job and gets a lot of business. I know in this economy a number of people/farms have cut back on full service grooming at shows, and so this market may be wide open.
    Last edited by Vandy; Jan. 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    It should be mobile with quick turn-around. Though some treatments-- as for mold-- may take several days. That infection is very tough to kill, and it often takes time/several rounds.
    I would gladly pay someone to remove the mold off my saddle! My very expensive Albion Ultima GP developed mold this summer. Despite cleaning it, the mold keeps coming back. I just ordered some Effax Mildew-Free and will try that (do not want to use vinegar or Lysol on my saddle). I'm at my wits end and would love for someone who has experience with moldy tack who could help me.

    I would also be interested in paying - although not much - for someone to clean old tack that I want to unload on eBay.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
    Posts
    1,642

    Default

    I thought about this as a kid, but I was afraid something might happen and I might ruin someone's piece of tack (unlikely, but could happen...). Is there any sort of insurance for this?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,738

    Default

    I would gladly pay to have my tack cleaned and my mare's mane pulled! I think you could make some extra money, especially around metropolitan areas.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2009
    Posts
    417

    Default

    I think that if you marketed it broadly, with a variety of options, it could be a good money maker. In addition to offering pick up and drop off, you could schedule barn visits, clean/condition on site & it could be a scheduled visit each XXX weeks or month(s). Partner with farriers to put flyers in their trucks and see if you get any business. Ask tack or feed stores if they would allow you to use them as a drop off/pick up area.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    565

    Default

    I fall into the category of 'religiously cleans all her and her horses' tack every day,' but that said; I too think that if you market yourself with a variety of services that you could do well. While I'm capable of cleaning and breaking in new tack; for my really expensive show tack - I LOVE to have it professionally oiled and broken in (when it's new) if I have that option. In my experiences, breaking it in right the first time really DOES put more life into the leather. For me, that only happens if I'm at a big show with lots of high dollar vendors and I buy a piece of tack from them. Thus when I order tack online I'm stuck breaking it in myself, but if I had someone local-ish who I trusted to do a top notch job, I'd be all over that. I love my tack and I love making it LAST!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,742

    Default Answering each and everyone!

    FrenchFry-- Well, I'm with you, theoretically we all should clean our own tack. It helps us "bond," appreciate the nice stuff we paid so much $$ for, and also helps us know our equipment's condition in order to stay safe.

    But I don't judge those who aren't religious about it. My old but beautiful and safe leather also lets me know that tack can survive (and even revive) with a good childhood and a bit of neglect in the teen years.

    Tamara-- Your mentioning of parade saddles brings up a good point: Work on western saddles and stuff with lots of silver takes an amazing amount of time and should be priced accordingly. Ask me how I know...

    Renn, and others who mention "being in the right place at the right time"-- perhaps mainly shows. You are right. I'll keep that in mind. Wouldn't it be great to have a reason to be at some big shows and not hemorrhage money?

    I also thought about building a circuit of barns that I'd visit. It seems to me that even the daily tack cleaners spend the least time on their most expensive item-- the saddle!

    dab and others with higher standards than their body or schedule will allow. That's what this is for!

    This brings me to the "grooms at big barns" point. Yes, they ought to do tack well. Many do that. But they aren't dedicated experts. The only time daily tack care by a great staff truly doesn't work is when the same product is used on all tack, all the time.

    My experience leads me to believe that leather needs a varied diet. One limited to a wipe down with glycerine soap or (fill in one product of your choice) works for only so long. Then the leather is thirsting for something else. So I wonder if folks in pro barns can get even better and don't know what they're missing.

    Vandy-- weighing in as the pro-- Please threaten your "grunge" clients regularly! Thanks for the Horatio Alger story about the enterprising your boot shine boy.

    paintedlady-- now mold is a life threatening crisis comparable to "not breathing." You don't bitch about the cracked ribs that come with CPR, so please don't close your mind to vinegar, Lysol or other secret recipes you fear. Yes, that stuff ought to be used judiciously by trained experts, but it can do the job when nothing else well. Leaving mold untreated, or partially treated is bad! The invisible spores remain!

    Janedoe-- insurance. Can you imagine being the statistician asked to calculate a rate for a "killed tack" policy? But the best insurance is the client who sees (and feels) some cleaned tack, and a summit meeting that includes owner, tack dr. and the patient. There are limits to what can be fixed, and clients certainly can veto products or express preferences about how soft/shiny/dark their tack gets. That should be done up front.

    chemtec-- turns out my OCD, "get it done right, beautifully and by whichever way seems best" nature lends itself mane-pulling as well. You could certainly request a package deal!

    TimelyImpulse-- now that "regular visit" idea is good-- kind of like the "barn circuit" I mentioned above. It would help the owners, (trainers like Vandy) and especially the saddles that need at least a really thorough cleaning or conditioning and sealing once in a while.

    *Liz*-- You have the right idea and because you do, you know it's a worthwhile but PITA to start tack out right. (By the way, I don't think a baptism in oil is the right way to go; tack can drown and then suffer from the effects for the rest of it's life.) I think many other people really don't know how to start their tack out. They buy the Edgewood, but despite good intentions, don't bring out it's full potential!

    Perhaps I could be a "tack educator"-- you know, not just fishing but teaching people to fish. Think about a cross between a boring hotel ballroom seminar and a tupperware party at your barn. Anyone dig that?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,389

    Default

    well, want to be a groom/WS? lol

    im a working student at my barn, and theres usually several of us working each day. one of us tacks up the lesson horses, one of us cleans tack and does laundry, someone gets horses ready for trainer, something like that. though usually, we all just end up helping eachother out and doing a mix of things. but we usually do primarily one thing or the other. i primarily clean tack on most days, and i have 2 days where i mostly work with lesson horses. but regardless, i get paid 10/hr, and i clean just about everyones tack. i always ask in advance if they do or dont, and there are some people who do take care of their stuff so i dont have to, but for the most part i am cleaning the boarders saddles and tack
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    840

    Default

    I clean all of the tack for my boss's and I am cleaning all the tack for my trainer because he has no time with the horses in training.
    To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
    for we have not deserved it.
    Marion Garretty



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    562

    Default

    I would so pay someone a reasonable fee to clean my tack...I just don't have time, either I ride-or I clean my tack.

    I also need someone to pull manes, does not seem like anyone in my area (outside of the show barns) pulls manes for money-And clipping, I hate clipping....would love to pay someone to do it. I just cannot seem to find anyone.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    562

    Default

    You know....With the USPS flat rate boxes-you might get strap good sent to you...I am thinking of it right this moment



Similar Threads

  1. Best Tack Cleaner+Conditioner for Tredstep Boots
    By MorganJumper848 in forum Eventing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May. 27, 2012, 09:30 AM
  2. What do you use as a daily tack cleaner?
    By Across Sicily in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: Apr. 9, 2012, 03:47 PM
  3. What's the best tack cleaner !?
    By Addictedeventer in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 74
    Last Post: Feb. 9, 2012, 12:18 AM
  4. Best Tack Cleaner
    By Crazy-Pony in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: Jan. 6, 2012, 01:00 PM
  5. Professional Tack Cleaning
    By mkevent in forum Off Course
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jan. 23, 2010, 03:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness