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When do you replace leather tack?

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  • When do you replace leather tack?

    At what point do you decide to replace your leather tack? I've got a bridle that has gotten cracks on the front (facing out side) of the leather and from what I understand, that means it's time to go. Correct? That it no longer has the strength and could snap? This is on the cheek peices and noseband and headstall. I can get pictures later if needed.

  • #2
    Yes, now is a good time. Once leather starts to crack, it's time to replace it, preferably before is snaps and you're suddenly not in control of your horse anymore. If you buy quality leather and take care of it, it should last for years and never crack.

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    • #3
      Ditto what 16 Hands says. It is worth paying more for good quality leather goods, look after it and it should be the last you NEED to buy.

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      • #4
        Depends on the use. Daughter who rode Intermediate 3 Day (big fences that don't fall down) had new stirrup leathers each year at the start of the training to compete (usually February). I put her old ones on my saddle I use for fox hunting. My set went on Grand daughter's English saddle for 4-H showing (no jumping, w/t/c around the ring). The next year we sold GD leathers at the 4-H tack exchange and bought daughter new. Pretty much the same with reins --if there was any thought of wear, daughter got new, I got used, GD got sort of new. Bridles were bought for the specific horse endeavor and were not interchangeable ---Daughter used Micklam, I traditional flat for hunting, GD liked a little bling. Girths --ditto --daughter got new, I got one year old, GD got mine. But girths we didn't change as often --maybe every two-three years. A statistic that is thrown around at the bar of the hunt club is that most accidents are caused by equipment failure --don't know if that's true, but it does seem to be on the hunt field --broken stirrups, broken reins, and broken bridles cause more involuntary dismounts than any other single item. Although my own recent fall was caused by poor footing and poor judgment on my part at taking a jump mired in mud --horse sank to the hocks and my forward motion down his neck and over the fence was the result. Not sure why 20+ riders ahead of me got through, but I did not. Should have avoided. Horse did his best.

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        • #5
          I've pretty much replaced it all with beta and biothane- other than my saddles and shipping halters. It's strong, easier to take care of and lasts better through repeated hard use than leather.
          Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 17love View Post
            At what point do you decide to replace your leather tack? I've got a bridle that has gotten cracks on the front (facing out side) of the leather and from what I understand, that means it's time to go. Correct? That it no longer has the strength and could snap? This is on the cheek peices and noseband and headstall. I can get pictures later if needed.
            Honestly I have never needed to decommission a headstall yet though I've replaced reins and stirrup leathers. But if the whole headstall was cracking I would replace. Excellent condition second hand tack can be more affordable than new junk.

            ​​​


            ​i don't buy used stirrup leathers or girths. I mean yes, I would if they were in as new condition and the exact right size and type. But I won't buy them showing wear. I've seen pretty scary leathers and girths for sale used!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
              I've pretty much replaced it all with beta and biothane- other than my saddles and shipping halters. It's strong, easier to take care of and lasts better through repeated hard use than leather.
              I did the same thing. I moved from PA to TN, and could not keep mild from growing on my tack. I have bought some inexpensive beta or biothane, and splurged on a headstall and breast collar from Taylored Tack that are still beautiful after 3+ years of use.

              I also bought all my reins from Taylored Tack, and I do consider myself to be a rein snob. Previous sets had come from Cowboy Tack, and while were not inexpensive, I loved the feel and the drape of them. I spoke with Amanda, the owner of Taylored Tack before ordering reins, and she was kind enough to send me samples of what she recommended for reins. Her recommendations were spot on and I truly love these reins because they are so easy to clean and keep nice. I sponge them off after a ride, and if they get truly gross I throw them in my washing machine in a lingerie bag. Heck, I even switched to biothane halters!

              I used to have tack cleaning marathons that would last 6-8 hours, and then we’d get humid weather and my tack would immediately get moldy. Now, I have more time to ride! Really the only leather equipment I have left is my saddles.
              "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 17love View Post
                At what point do you decide to replace your leather tack? I've got a bridle that has gotten cracks on the front (facing out side) of the leather and from what I understand, that means it's time to go. Correct? That it no longer has the strength and could snap? This is on the cheek peices and noseband and headstall. I can get pictures later if needed.
                Once you get visual crack the safety of the leather is in question. It might go some time before you have a problem...but maybe not.

                For anything that carries a load (stirrup leathers, girth, breast plates, etc.) I replace at five years unless they need it earlier. Headstalls and reins go a LOT longer if properly cared for. So do leather halters.

                As soon as ANYTHING starts to crack then it goes on the replacement list.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cutter99 View Post

                  I did the same thing. I moved from PA to TN, and could not keep mild from growing on my tack. I have bought some inexpensive beta or biothane, and splurged on a headstall and breast collar from Taylored Tack that are still beautiful after 3+ years of use.

                  I also bought all my reins from Taylored Tack, and I do consider myself to be a rein snob. Previous sets had come from Cowboy Tack, and while were not inexpensive, I loved the feel and the drape of them. I spoke with Amanda, the owner of Taylored Tack before ordering reins, and she was kind enough to send me samples of what she recommended for reins. Her recommendations were spot on and I truly love these reins because they are so easy to clean and keep nice. I sponge them off after a ride, and if they get truly gross I throw them in my washing machine in a lingerie bag. Heck, I even switched to biothane halters!

                  I used to have tack cleaning marathons that would last 6-8 hours, and then we’d get humid weather and my tack would immediately get moldy. Now, I have more time to ride! Really the only leather equipment I have left is my saddles.
                  Taylored Tack makes fabulous bridles etc And yes mold is such a huge problem (I'm in MD right at the top of the Chesapeake Bay), plus my tack gets wet every time I use it so being able to dunk it in a bucket and hang to dry is amazing. If I want it really shiny, I put mine in the dishwasher when my MIL isn't looking lol
                  Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree that I would immediately replace any tack that showed signs of wear/failure such as cracking. But to be honest I have never had a single bridle show anything like that. My oldest bridle is probably 25 years old now - it's an old Jimmy's 20th Century - and it is still in lovely condition. I keep it even though I don't do hunters anymore, just because it is so pretty. But it is kept in a climate controlled tack room and regularly cleaned and conditioned, just as if I were still using it daily. My oldest dressage tack is probably only 6-7 years old at this point but none of it shows any kind of wear at all.
                    **********
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                    -PaulaEdwina

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                    • #11
                      Regarding tack maintenance, a damp climate means mildew. That means periodic cleaning. If possible put a dehumidifier in your tack room and save yourself a lot of time and trouble. If not then plan regular cleanings.

                      Oh, and a dry climate can mean "dry rot." That means maintenance, too.

                      Don't for get the billets on your saddle. They're leather, too!!!

                      Biothane tack is very practical for some uses but some disciplines have tack rules that rule it out. When we did some driving we had a very nice set of working, biothane harness. It was wonderful compared to a comparable leather harness in weight, ease of use, ease of maintenance, etc.

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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