Checking Tack For Safety
The best time to thoroughly check your tack is when you are cleaning it (which we all know, should be at least once a week!). Taking a few extra minutes to make some basic checks could, potentially save a life.
Following are some of the things that you should look for - and some examples of what your tack should not look like!
Check all stitching - at first signs of weakness this should be sent to a saddler for repair
Girth Straps - the example above shows where a girth strap has broken. Also note where the holes have become stretched.
Stirrup Leathers - check that they are even lengths. Fastenyour leathers up on their normal hole and check if they are even. You will find that you near side leather will stretch more than your offside from where you get on. Swap your leathers around to ensure that the stretching is even.
Girths made of cloth wear thin and fray.
Check your bit for signs of wear - be particularly careful with rubber bits. The example above shows where the rubber has been chewed away to expose the metal inside.
Check that your billet hooks are secure
As with your saddle, check for the stitching for signs of rot.
Rubber reins will wear thin - however, these can be rerubbered by your saddler. The example below shows a pair in desperate need of some help.
Below is an example of a saddle destined for the 'saddle graveyard' in the sky.
The tree on this saddle has snapped.
The pictures below show where the stitching has come undone and the broken tree.
Taken From New Rider