General Purpose Saddle
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Horse Riding Equipment - Tack

Tack - the equipment you use to be able to sit comfortably on your horse and to be able to control him.  It's your seat, your support, your steering and your brakes.  Without tack you'd be riding bareback with no way to change direction or stop.






If you ride at a riding school the tack should be inspected regularly.  Riding schools have annual inspections where the condition of the tack is looked at.  But sometimes breaks or tears occur which have gone unnoticed.  If you are tacking up a riding school horse just check for wear on reins and stirrup leathers, or stitching coming undone.  Noticing a problem early could prevent a nasty accident.
Tack is described in more detail on these pages:

Saddles
Saddle history
Bits
Bridles
Nosebands
A saddle fitter should check the fit of the saddle regularly, as unless it's slipping badly you may not notice that the stuffing has flattened and it is now resting on your horse's spine and hurting him.

Tack should be given a wipe over after every ride to remove sweat, and given a proper clean every few weeks.  Leather tack will benefit from a good quality leather conditioner, and will last for many years if properly cared for.  Synthetic materials can simply be washed.
Whether you own your own horse, or are just riding at a riding school you will benefit from knowing about the tack you are using as each part has developed over thousands of years to help you and your mount be comfortable, and for you to be in control.
Knowing about tack is an important part of horse riding and horse owning.  Different tack is used depending on what type of riding you do.  Making sure your tack fits the horse, and caring for it properly is vital to safe, comfortable and enjoyable riding for both you and your horse.

A saddle that doesn't fit properly will not only hurt your horse, but make cause him to hurt you by bucking or rearing.  A bridle with worn reins can mean you suddenly lose your ability to stop if they break at full gallop. 

Tack is expensive, so taking care of it is important as well as vital for safety.  Cleaning tack regularly is an opportunity to check for stitches which are coming undone, or stirrup leathers which are getting thin and could break.  It's not good to lose your reins or your stirrups when your galloping across a field!