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This is what a tack room looks like in a horse stable
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English Saddles in tack room
this is how to store English Saddles
Warmer weather and the start of more horse activities signal the need to get organized and clean up around the barn and tack room. Spring cleaning the tack room is the first step in preparing for show season, trail rides and other warmer weather horse activities.
As more horseowners move toward environmentally safe, “green” living, the desire to get the barn area eco-friendly swells. Your spring cleaning can “go green” with just a few simple steps and cleaning methods. The market has welcomed more ecologically-saving products to clean barns, tack and even horses.
READY, SET, CLEAN!
Starting with the tack room, move everything out into the sunshine by placing individual pieces of equipment onto a clean tarp for cleaning and conditioning.
Clean the tack room thoroughly before returning the cleaned tack. Vinegar, a natural product found in most household pantries, mixed with water is a good way to remove mold and mildew that has grown on surfaces over the wet winter months. Vinegar water cleans the various surfaces of the tack room and aids in preventing the mold and mildew from growing back in the future. Use one cup vinegar to one gallon of water to begin not only going green, but removing green that has grown around the tack room and barn.
The addition of vinegar in the wash water is a good way to clean blankets, wraps, rugs and pads. Hanging these cleaned items in the sun to dry is a simple way to save energy.
With everything moved out of the tack room, this is a good time to look at organization and implement changes to make the tack room more efficient. Organizing the tack room can be as simple as the addition of baskets, rubber containers, saddle racks and hooks. To prevent future collection of dirt, mold and mildew, you’ll want to think about air circulating around the leather items while keeping them off the floor. New covers for the saddles and other tack pieces will lessen the collection of dust.
Another way to prevent the growth of mold and mildew is the addition of a ceiling fan and lights in the tack room. The fan will keep the air circulating and discourage mold and mildew from growing on the surfaces in the tack room in the future. Light coming through windows or overhead ceiling lights discourages the growth of mold and mildew that need dark, damp places to grow.
SCRUB AND POLISH
Now that the tack room is clean, it is time to start on the tack. The leather of bridles, saddles and other harnesses needs to be wiped free of mold and mildew before the cleaning process begins. Many leather cleaners and conditioners already contain natural products and are eco-friendly. Check labels before purchasing to be “green” while keeping the equipment clean and conditioned for many years of use.
Bits and brass can be cleaned with the combination of vinegar and water. An old toothbrush is good to clean the small crevices. Rinse bits thoroughly before putting the bridle and harnesses back together as the vinegar could leave a bad taste in the horse’s mouth. Wipe all excess off saddles and harnesses before re-assembling.
Repairing leaks, painting, sealing the areas where mold and mildew want to grow – these steps save time down the road. Simple updates to the tack room and other areas in the barn assist you in “going green” this spring, leaving you free to enjoy your horse when the weather is perfect for that long ride.
H. Lynette Partridge-Schneider is an equine rehab specialist, horse show judge, equine appraiser, freelance writer and author. She is a lifetime member of the International Association of Animal Massage Therapists and the International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing (IAATH). Certified in Equine Sports Massage, Reiki, and Equine and Canine Body Work, Lynette works on horses nationwide. Contact Lynette at (618) 979-3192, QREquineUnltd@yahoo.com and www.quailridgequine.com