I’m sure we’ve used that instead of washing hair at some point!!
But.....what is tack? Where did it come from? Why do we have tack accessories for tack??!!
The definition of tack is “a small, sharp broad-headed nail.
(tacks held the remaining rags of carpet to the floor)
Oh sorry, horse tack, see this is where people can get confused, “Tack is a piece of equipment or accessory equipped on horses and other riding animals such as oxen. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of tack” I’m not sure you’ll get me riding Oxen, but each to their own.
The word "tackle" is used in many instances to mean equipment or gear. Around 1924, the word was shortened to "tack" in order to clarify equipment only for equestrian use. Since the tack is usually stored in an accessible room, the room came to be called the "tack room".
The “tack” room, I’ve seen a few of these over the years! I’m sure we all have, ranging from the “I’ll just put it there for now”, to the OCD needs to be folded and stored here, bridles hung this way. I’m kind of a inbetween. I like a neat and tidy tack room. Bridles hung up, bits washed (pet hate unwashed bits) saddle cloths removed and saddle covers on. However at times I’ve been know to be late and lunge lines have been just laid (you know what I mean when I say laid)! Then when you come back they seem to have been lunging themselves and it’s all in knots and you can’t understand how it gets like it after a couple of days being laid down....and your gloves have done a runner. It’s like socks, you can find one but the other one has hidden itself down the back of the tack boxes.
Tack boxes, how many have numerous tack boxes for different things? If you say just one, you’re in denial.
There are many accessories for our tack, tack boxes, tack lockers, tack bags, #showusyourtack Tack Trolley, saddle stands, saddle racks, bridle holders (round ones and horseshoe shaped ones fitted to the wall, grapple hook types which you bang your head on, or just plain wooden pegs), bridle bags, saddle bags, hat bags, grooming kit bags and boxes (another subject in itself), and the array of tack cleaning equipment.
The “tack” cleaning process. As a child going to “own a pony” days the tack cleaning was an afternoon chore or delight, it depended what was following.
I remember running off carrying the saddle and bridle of my pony I had for the day and trying to beat the other kids to the best spot in the tack room to sit and clean. The best places were at the stands, the worst sitting on the floor and your newly soaped saddle touched the dusty floor and you had to clean that bit off again, this repeated a few times as the saddles always seemed to be so much bigger then.
It was simple back then, clean the muck off, soap it up, give it a wipe and maybe an oil if you weren’t riding for a while.
You always knew who had over soaped and not not wiped, the tell tale yellow/brown seat mark on the jodhpurs after riding!
These days you have a product for each process, step 1 of 3, a pre cleaner or you may have a handy pack of tack wipes for those last minute touch ups at a show.
Has our tack ever looked so good, the plain bridles and saddles of our beautiful cobs and hunters, the fancy ribbon browbands of our hacks and riding horses, the diamanté and sparkle of dressage and jumpers, and those of us in between matchy matching. We can all have a piece of tack we love, for our love of our horse. Whether it ranges from our slightly old looking tack to our sparkly new shiny tack, our cotton webbing girth’s to our leather shaped girth’s, aslong as it fits safely and comfortably on our horses, then why not have as much as we desire.
People do it with clothes and shoes, why not us Equestrian’s with our Tack.
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