Ranch Horse Tack Hacks
- March 30, 2017
- Jolyn Young
If you Google “tack hacks,” you’ll discover that most of the ingenious solutions apply to English riders. What the heck? We western riders also have cool ideas to solve everyday tack problems in a pinch! The West wasn’t settled by flat-saddle riders wearing velvet helmets; cowboys and girls are a resourceful bunch known to make minor tack repairs while riding over the desert at a full gallop.
Well, maybe that’s a stretch. We at least slow down to a lope. But regardless of the speed you like to ride while fixing your gear, here are a few tack hacks that I have collected. Feel free to add your favorite tip or trick in the comments.
1)Put strips of the hook part of hook-and-loop closure (aka “the stiff side of Velcro”) on the inside of your horse trailer’s tack room door or along a convenient spot in your home tack room. Then, stick your splint boots to them when not in use for a handy and clean storage place.
2) Using a leather hole punch, put small holes around the top of your rubber bell boots for easier application and removal.
3) If you can’t find your curb strap, use a short piece of baling twine as a temporary fix. It will help your bit deliver the intended signal until you can replace your curb strap with a real one.
4) Tie an Easy Boot onto the back of your saddle with your saddle strings in case your horse throws a shoe while on your next trail ride. It’s light and easy to pack, and it will help prevent your horse from getting a stone bruise or abscess on rocky ground.
4) Wash off your horse’s back thoroughly before saddling to prolong the life of your saddle blankets and prevent sore spots from developing on his back due to hardened blankets. Just take a garden hose and rinse him off in the warm months, especially targeting the loin area. You’ll be amazed at how much muddy water will run down his sides.
5) Next time your horse has a hoof abscess, you can secure the poultice of your choice to his injured appendage with a baby diaper. Fasten the tabs around his fetlock, then reinforce the bandage with an extra layer of vet wrap.
6) Don’t you hate it when you’re grooming your horse or cleaning your trailer and you just really want to rock out, but then you realize it’s 2017 and you don’t have a boom box? To create an instant speaker, place your smartphone or iPod inside an empty plastic feed or water bucket and crank up the tunes.
Is it a water bucket? Is it a feed bucket? No, wait – it’s an instant speaker system! Note: Remember to remove the phone or music playing device before returning bucket to its original use.
7) To spruce up a roughout saddle or pair of boots, clean and oil the leather as usual. Then, gently use an emery board or a piece of fine-grain sandpaper to fluff up the roughout fibers.
Same old question: “Did you break a nail?”
Cowgirl’s new answer: “Nope, just cleaning my saddle.”
8) If you have a bedroll, make your next set of straps from two brand-new latigos with buckles on the end. Then, if you’re out at cow camp and your latigo breaks, you have two spares.
9) When your latigo wears out right at the ring of your rigging, cut it off at the very top. Then, fold it over the ring again, punch some new holes to secure it to the rigging, and voila – you’re ready to safely saddle up and go for a ride.
10) If you’re a roper, save your old worn-out horn wraps. Later, you can cut strips from them to repair headstalls, spur straps, cinch hobble, stirrup hobbles, etc. in a pinch.
About Jolyn Young
Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....