Leather Care For A Stable Connection

Leather accumulates dirt, sweat, and just plain grunge whenever it contacts the horse’s coat and skin. To maintain the leather’s reliability, you continue the care that began at the tannery. You’ll apply leather care preparations to remove harmful
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Strips of tanned hide maintain lines of communication between you and your horse. Whether you lead, ride, or drive, the leather straps of halter, bridle, and harness influence your horse by applying or releasing pressure. The straps transmit the amount of pressure needed–when they are taut, their integrity secures the safety of you and your horse. These pieces of leather also form a bond between you and your horse, and if that bond is uncomfortable to either party–or unsafe–then the health of the partnership is at risk. A strap that connects one point to another must stretch and withstand tension, which can cause the weakest link to break first. Because your life can depend on your leather, assure reliable performance through a regular schedule of inspection, cleaning, and conditioning.


Devote attention to your tack by inspecting the leather’s soundness. A quality strap will feel firm, yet flexible. In your hands, you can pull either end of the strap to feel its inherent tensile strength.

Bend a leather strap and you see wrinkles on the grain (smooth) side. Just like your skin, wrinkles result when an elastic skin surface bends. Straighten the strap, and the wrinkles should flatten. Quality leather–thick and properly preserved through chemical treatments–also will resist abrasion and moisture

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Written by:

Award-winning writer Charlene Strickland lives in Bosque Farms, N.M. She has published 8 books and over 600 magazine articles, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists.

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