Call us high maintenance, but there are some things in our tackroom that we're not sure we could survive without...
1. Rubber curry comb
Does your horse attempt to outdo the entire cast of The Only Way Is Essex by getting an all-over fake tan in deepest, darkest mud? Do you spend most of the winter months fruitlessly grooming away, wondering how the hell he’s managed to get so much dried-on mud round his ears (how is that even physically possible)? Anyway, a rubber curry comb, a Magic one for preference, is the only answer.
2. Tack wipes
Some people love tack cleaning – undoing all those buckles, giving everything a proper wash and spruce-up and polish. But for those of us who’d rather be putting our feet up watching East Enders than faffing about with saddle soap, tack wipes are where it’s at. A quick once-over, chuck the used wipe in the bin, and you’re done. You might still need to do a proper deep clean now and again, but it’s a great quick-fix that helps keen your tack in good nick.
3. Mane/tail conditioner
Everyone loves a silky mane and tail, and strange as it sounds, the best leave-in mane and tail conditioner is a hot topic on many yards and forums. You can see this from all the comments on this Amazon thread (www.amazon.com). What’s really odd though, is that all the reviewers have been using the mane and tail conditioner on themselves. Are we missing a trick here?
4. Storage trunk
If you don’t have a big, hinged storage trunk to keep all your tack essentials and rugs in, then we have nothing to say to you.
5. Punch pliers
Bridles come in standard sizes, but our horse’s heads don’t and punch pliers are the only solution. Attempting to bore a whole with a sharp knife will look rubbish and you may hurt yourself…
Mucking out, leading, riding – horse-ownership is the fastest way to hard, scaly, old-lady hands that there is. Sure, we have gloves for riding and mucking out, but half the time, we don’t know where they are (probably somewhere near the bottom of your storage trunk.) So we have to invest in heavy-duty gardener’s hand cream – and it’s worth forking out for a decent one. We’ll never have smooth, fair skin like a Disney Princess but they might not look quite so much like a dragon’s claws.
7. Dustpan and brush
Those mucking out Tidee things with the long handles are fine for raking muck into, but a pain in the bum if you’re trying to sweep up dust and old shavings. An ordinary dustpan and brush is much more effective.
8. Sponges, lots of them
We need a limitless supply of these, for the endless wiping of eyes, bums, tack, sweaty horses and sweaty brows that horse ownership entails. Getting a big pack from your local pound shop is the best idea, instead of paying well over the odds for the same thing from an equestrian shop (you can double the price of anything if you stick the word ‘equestrian’ in front of it – fact.)
9. Weigh tape
Guessing your own weight is one thing, but you can’t cheat for your horse. *Stern face*.
Have we missed anything? What couldn’t you live without? Let us know below…