Fall is here, as is the rain, rain, rain (at least in Oregon). Getting caught out in the rain, as well as all of those ocean wave splashes during your ride on the beach, isn’t doing your tack any favors. This brings us to one of the 7 Worst Enemies of Your Tack: WATER!
Water is a good thing, right? We clean with it so it must be ok?
Why water hurts your tack:
- It swells leather fibers, weakening the fibers and ultimately resulting in drying, shrinking, and cracking. Uh oh!
What can you do about it?
- Avoid saturating your leather. Don’t leave it in the rain or wash it down with a hose.
- Use water sparingly when cleaning your tack. For example, use a damp cloth, not a wringing wet cloth.
- Caught in a soaking storm? No problem, towel off the excess moisture right away so it isn’t absorbed. Let your tack stand uncovered in a well ventilated area in order to breath and dry before storing. Terry towels and a fan work well for this.
- If you’ve gotten your leather soaked, clean it thoroughly and apply a nice coat of conditioner once your leather has dried. This will help restore balance to the leather fibers and will help diminish rain spots. Additional buffing with a cloth will also help reduce rain spots.
- Wet boots? Try newsprint or tissue paper loosely stuffed in the foot. Electric boot dryers work wonders, too.
- Cover with a saddle cover or blanket if out in wet weather.