The new year provides a fresh start and a clear marker on the calendar to knock out all of those things we keep putting off. Last month we reminded you to check your helmet’s expiration date and replace it if it had expired. This month, we’re highlighting some additional considerations for your to-do list.
Tack Check: This month set aside some time to thoroughly inspect all of your tack and give it a deep clean. This includes even the things that aren’t in daily use. Anything that has loose or rotted stitching, deep cracks, or has frayed needs to be repaired or tossed. As quiet and therapeutic as a night in front of the TV with all of your leather goods can be, consider making a night of it with your barn buddies. Just add some wine, cheese, fruit and a few designated drivers and you’ve got a party in the making!
I am particularly intense about girths and have a vaguely defined replacement policy for myself. Essentially, if I can’t remember when and where I purchased it, or I know it to be older than I am, it is time to replace it. This all comes after hearing a tale from a friend about a nasty fall she had when the elastic on her girth popped over the top of a jump. Yes, I’m a bit paranoid. I also like to have an excuse to go shopping.
Hauling Check: Even if you don’t intend to be on the road much until spring, both your hauling vehicle and the trailer could probably use a once over. Having the tires rotated and the floor examined now can help spare you some stress before the first event of the season. Take some time now to reorganize the tack-room, making sure that you’ve got only the essentials in there. An extra halter and lead rope is a great thing to have but all of your score sheets for the last six seasons’ worth of Dressage tests are probably not so vital.