Leather tack...better in unheated tack room, or in warm house?
As the title says. I keep my tack in the barn all summer, and have always brought all leather inside for the winter (i don't ride much in winter) because I always thought the extreme cold wasn't good for the leather. But this year I got thinking...heat dries stuff out, especially wood heat, which we have.
So...should I leave it in the barn in the cold, or is it better for the leather to be brought in the house?
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
I would bring my tack inside, if there is a chance the leather could be frozen.
Freezing temps will make the moisture in the cells of leather freeze and burst, breaking the tissues and hurting the leather. This makes the leather have a shorter life, takes strength from the leather iteself, if you are stressing it. You may not notice changes, but they do happen, so you could be quite surprised when a leather item fails.
Cold isn't bad for leather so much, it is the freezing and thawing of cold that is harmful. Cold above freezing, will often push some of your waxes up out of the cells, so you get a whitish coating on the leather stored in unheated locations. Then you have to clean the coating off before use so it isn't on your clothes.
I always kept my leather goods in the house when things got cold. Now we have a very well insulated tack room, which I keep minimally heated so there is no freezing. A dehumidifier works in there too, keeping moisture way down to prevent mold on leather.
I would think that well condtioned leather is not going to suffer in wood-heated house. You might want to get a humidifier for YOURSELF, and furniture, so things don't dry out so badly. I got nosebleeds from dryness when we used wood heat. Didn't hurt the tack though! Finally got the humidifier thing going and it improved everything in the house air.