By Richard Romando
Horse tack refers to the accessories worn by domesticated horses. Tacking a horse is the act of fitting a horse with a wide range of equipment before the horse is taken for a ride. Tacking up a horse requires expertise, since any discomfort for the horse causes a lot of strain for both the horse and the rider. The tack also has to be of the exact size and fit to make the horse comfortable.
Horse tack is basically of two kinds: English and western. Horse tack consists of a halter, saddle, saddle pad, stirrup, bridle, Girth (English) / Cinches (Western), lead ropes, martingale, harnesses, and breastplates. The bridle consists of the headstall, chin strap, bits and reins. There are three kinds of bridles: single, double and hackamore. The girths are of four kinds: webbing, leather, string and nylon. Saddles are of many kinds: jumping saddles, dressage saddles, polo saddles, park saddles, racing saddles, show saddles, all-purpose saddles, roping saddles, barrel racing saddles, endurance saddles, trail saddles, pleasure saddles, English side saddles and western side saddles, and military saddles. Similarly, there are different kinds of other equipment as well, based on the rider.
Horse tack has to be cleaned regularly to increase the life of the equipment. Wipe the tack with a wet sponge and then with a horse tack cleaner that is available on the market. Today, tack is made of synthetic materials instead of leather. This tack is lighter, less expensive and easier to maintain, as it can even be washed in the washing machine. Leather tack, on the other hand, is expensive and needs a lot of care. Tack can be stored in exclusive tack boxes which have built-in compartments for holding all the equipment.
Horse tack can be very expensive, depending on the quality and the material used. Leather tack is very costly. A headstall can cost as much as $170, while a martingale may be priced at around $90. A cinch can cost around $40, a rope halter $26, a pulling collar $105, an aluminum barrel stirrup $80, aluminum stirrup $50, noseband $135, and harness leather loping hackamore $225. However, there is also discount horse tack available at some stores. For instance, a whole nylon tack set is priced at $125. Some companies also offer custom-made horse tack. Rodâ€™s, Farnam, Pro Choice, Tom Balding, Big D and Reinsman are some of the top brands of horse tack.
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