I have confession. I am a tack addict. Not just one particular type of tack. I’m talking about horse products in general. For most of my horse-owning life, I have owned only one horse. I happen to like tack shopping (especially during a sale!), but when you own only one horse for so long, eventually, you have everything you need. When you have everything you need, you start to get extra things. (For clarity, I mean “extra” like embellished, not “extra” like back up or too many—too many is not a thing that can happen.) I don’t have a saddle pad this color. These polo wraps match my new saddle pad. This bridle has pretty stitching. That’s a new leather conditioner! I mean, is it ever a matter of needing something? It is a slippery slope, but here we are, 37 saddle pads and 10 bridles later.
I have basically the equivalent of a tack room in my basement. (I wish it were in my barn, but that’s a different story.)
This post will be the first of my monthly product reviews. Each month, I’ll review one product. For this initial post, however, I’ll be talking about a handful of my favorite things around the barn. These are little items that make my life easier. So many times, people gush about a special saddle, pad, bit, or bridle that is a game changer, but sometimes it’s a the little things that make all the difference.
Up first, is a spray bottle holder. My stall has one hook on the front, and it’s job is to hold Wex’s halter. It’s always difficult to figure out what to do with the fly spray bottle. We have long winters in Michigan, but we also have some pretty intense summers. On top of that, our barn has a creek running through the length of it, so we have all those fun water-dwellers, on top of the normal obnoxious flies. A good fly spray is a must, and it has to be in a convenient location so the staff can put it on daily. Out of sight, out of mind. This holder makes it easy to keep it right next to Wex’s halter. It’s a simple concept, but super useful.
The next product is admittedly, a bit of a luxury item. If you’re not familiar, let me introduce you to the miracle of bit wipes. Sure, you could always use the old standby method of dunking your bit in a bucket, or running it under the tap. But there’s the tangle of leather to risk getting wet. These bit wipes are peppermint flavored. I’ve never had a horse who wouldn’t accept a bit, so I can’t tell you if it helps with bit acceptance. They just make cleaning your bits so much easier. If there’s green or foamy gunk left, it takes it right off. They are single use, which is not terribly environmentally or economically friendly, so I only use them about once a week. I use them on my spurs, stirrup irons, and any other metal pieces of tack. They just do a better job than dunking, or a damp rag. Nothing like a sparkly bit!
People, this moisturizer is what’s up. Healthy Hair Care moisturizer. I’ve used this product for probably 15 years. It smells so light and pretty. Can a moisturizer smell pretty? This one does. Almost like roses. It comes concentrated, and you mix it with water in a spray bottle. I spray it all over, and then use my finishing brush to work it into the coat. Like any product, it won’t replace good nutrition. (Healthy horses start from the inside out!) This adds that extra little bit of shine and softness to a healthy coat. Did I mention it smells delightful?
The last item I want to talk about today is this round bridle tag. I’m sure it’s great as a bridle tag, but that’s not what I use it for. I use this tag on all of my blankets. You can engrave on both sides. On one side, I put my horse’s name, and my cell phone number. On the other side, I put the weight of the blanket (sheet, midweight, heavy, etc.) and the temperature range for use. They stay on, even when I send my blankets out for cleaning. They’re super durable, and good looking too. Even though BooBoo and Wex are the same blanket size, Wex *may* have acquired some of his own blankets, and he also needs some tags with his own name.
Do you use any of these products? What are you favorites?