tack, room and first aid kit suggestions

What do you guys do for the following:

1) How do you keep your tack & tack room dry?

We've never had a problem with our tack getting moldy before. We stored it in our garage, inside a cedar storage locker that Brad built at our old place. It was off the floor & securely attached to the wall. We quickly outgrew it, so the frequently used tack lived on racks & hooks in the garage. I was sad to leave our cedar storage behind, but it didn't make sense to bring it now that we have a tack room. Not to mention it would have been a huge ordeal to move the beastly thing.

We don't have a door on the new tack room (yet) so I never gave our tack a second thought. With huge fans in the aisle, there is plenty of circulation. Until the day I walked by and saw my old Circle Y Saddle covered in dust, 'er wait, that was surface mold! GASP!! As you know, I haven't ridden since we moved here, so other then grabbing a grooming bag by the entrance I haven't paid any attention to our tack. Big mistake. The new wood must have a lot of moisture, plus the endless rain we've had we are having.

Thankfully our new saddles are stored in covers and were fine, but our bridles had some mold. They are also stored in a bag, because we had to haul our tack to our trainers barn. Boy were we surprised!

I searched online for suggestions to remedy the situation, and hung my head in shame because no, the pieces of tack that got surface mold were not stored spick & span clean. Obviously, clean tack is key to preventing mold. 

I looked for Silica gel locally, but couldn't find any. If we go that route, it looks like I'll have to buy it online. I don't have enough shoe packets to make a difference lol, plus I re-use them in my camera bags. 

We are thinking about getting a de-humidifier. For now, I am turning the light on during morning chores & running a fan.

2) What do you use to clean your tack?

Just curious. There are tons of products and methods out there. Many contradict. Our saddle maker suggested holding off cleaning until really needed, then wiping clean (with gentle saddle soap if needed) and following with a very light application of household oil.

We used to use a really nice custom handmade combo cleaner/lubrication spray from a local saddle fitter. Unfortunately it's a PITA to get now that she lives so far away. 

For the moldy saddle, I wiped the mold off with a separate cloth, and since we are out of the custom spray I used Lexol cleaner & followed with Lexol polisher. It's what I had. It says it's for leather tack, but I find the cleaner drying and would like to find something better suited for saddles. For the bridles, I take them apart and briefly dunk them in warm water first. Old toothbrushes sure come in handy for cleaning tack!

3) What do you keep on hand for first aid?

Of course what one keeps on hand depends on what ails your horses. I have the general non medical stuff, like vet wrap, padding & gloves. I also keep bute, and have some some antibacterial wound ointment. I am thinking about getting an annual tube of banamine to keep on hand, even if none of our horses have ever coliced, as well as mineral oil. Shirley's Beamer colic episode prompted this. You just never know when that day might come. We would rather spend the annual $30 and throw the tube away, then be caught helpless. I definitely need to get a thermometer for the barn, and our vet clinic suggests a stethoscope. Not sure if I'll get the latter. 

Fall chill-axing


Linda said...

I use BlackRock for ALL my leather needs. Many different people suggested it through the years, and it's pretty wonderful. https://www.amazon.com/BLACKROCK-LEATHER-CLEANER-WITH-COND/dp/B008NB5QC0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1538675015&sr=8-2&keywords=leather+conditioner+black+rock

As for mold, I used to get it when I stored my tack in my trailer. Since I've moved it to an enclosed tack room -- with a heater-- I haven't had any. I think the heater helps, but who knows.

As for First Aid, I have sterile pads, 6" gauze, vet wrap, several ointments and sprays, thermometer, latex gloves, iodine, Scarlex wound spray, SWAT, SMZ's, penicillin (fridge, and I'm currently out), syringes, needles, Bute, Banamine, scissors, epson salt, ...and I have several people first aid things, too, including plain old tylenol.

aurora said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I've never seen that leather cleaner around here. I forgot about iodine & epson salts, those would be good additions. It's been a while since I soaked a foot. We don't have our barn fridge yet, so half our first aid type stuff is in the house. Like the needles from Nemo's allergy shots. They live in my kitchen pantry :) Makes sense since the allergy vials have to be refrigerated. No penicillin or SMZ's tho.

Interesting that having the tack enclosed made the difference. Our stuff had always been fine stored in our trailer. Hopefully that hasn't changed since our move, maybe I should go look! My chinks are in there.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Everything that Linda said about first aid and I always keep Animalintex(it’s great for abscesses and just about anything else), betadine, duct tape, gall salve or whatever works for wounds and scratches. There’s so much on the market. We do have a stethoscope. We have so much medical stuff we rarely use but we keep it in a cabinet just in case.

I use saddle soap and Lexol. Don’t like the cleaner so I don’t use it.

Now about mold...I hate it. We had a miserably hot and humid summer. Everything in the tack room had mold on it. Disgusting. So it took us weeks but we finally got rid of it. We had so much tack from so many years and lots of horses. Maybe 25 bridles. Lots of saddles and girths too. So we pared it all down to just what we use currently and stored it in a room we have in the loft. We put unused saddles up there on racks and covered them in zippered saddle covers we bought , I think at Dover. We bought wire shelves with that are open in case any critters come along and poop and dust doesn’t collect on them. . Now we only have 6 bridles and 6 girth’s etc. and 4 saddles to deal with. We got rid of the mold by spraying a solution of half white vinegar half water and cleaned it with cloths. When they dried we treated them with a cream recommended (I’ll have to go to barn tomorrow and get the name,it’s something I never heard of before) but that’s only used if you’re going to store the tack. You might not need it. Just do them with Lexol. We stored the unused tack in plastic bins with covers and silica gel packets. We bought them online. We also washed all saddle pads and wiped down the wood walls with Murphys Oil Soap. All this because mold is a living entity and the spores get into everything. If you don’t get rid of it it will return. We have a dehumidifier in the tack room and a small air conditioner in the wall and a ceiling fan. Since we cleaned everything,including tack that looked clean, we have been mold free. We also washed all saddle covers and keep them on the saddles. Sorry this was so long. You don’t seem to have as big a problem as we did but if you catch it now it will save you a ton of work.

aurora said...

Thanks for all the info Arline! I had not thought about the walls. I've still got more cleaning to do, on things where I can't see the mold. Who knows where the mold spurs spread to? I feel like I need to clean everything. Sigh.

One thing I read helps stop mold from growing is light, in particular sunshine. The sun works like a type of antiseptic, and kills bacteria. I remember that from when my daughter was using cloth diapers for my grandson. It was amazing how stains disappeared after hanging them in the sun. Mold grows best in dark damp locations. For now turning the light on & running the fan works, but it's not a long term solution.

I am truly sorry for your woes, but it is nice to know I am not the only one. I was feeling like a really dumb horse owner for letting tack get moldy. I knew you guys would give me solid advice!

I agree, I don't like the Lexol cleaner. That's what I find drying. Guess who bought another bottle, because that was all they had. Not me! I would like a thicker conditioner, especially for our older worn tack. I would definitely be interested in the cream storage treatment if you think of it. We don't have a lot of unused tack, but there is some for smaller/younger horses. Including my Circle Y saddle, and that sadly was the moldiest. Brad wants me to buy storage bags for the saddles. Our good ones have nice padded bags from hauling them each time we rode. Well Brads is nice, mine is at least 12 years old and discolored but it works for me.

It's true, much of what we have built up for first aid is based on past horse needs. I don't want to go overboard, but would like to get a few more supplies.

Linda said...

After reading all this, I’m wondering if a dehumidifier would help. And I second the duct tape!! That is a MUST!

Grey Horse Matters said...

The leather dressing is called: Ko-Cho-Line Leather Dressing. We got it from Smart Pak.

There are lots of sites and advice on line if you put it in the search engine. Sunlight is a great way to kill it too. We washed all the blankets, sheets etc. and hung them outside on the fence on sunny days to dry.

aurora said...

Awesome, thanks! I will look up Leather Dressing.

Shirley said...

I too use Lexol leather conditioner, I love it. Don't like the cleaner. Plain old Fieblings saddle soap and I'm wondering if Thieves household cleaner would work for your moldy tack.
For first aid, I keep Animal Scents ointment, Melrose and Purification essential oils, and a must have is DiGize essential oil (Young Living) it probably works better than anything on gas colic, which is what Beamer had and what Sassy just got over (blog post upcoming on that). Also, apple cider vinegar for soaking feet that are thrushy, and adding to feed. Towels! Handy for lots of applications. Banamine (used that on Sassy too!) Large syringes, duct tape, diapers, epsom salts, soaker boots, vet wrap, and Underwoods Horse medicine and the baking powder that goes along with it. Thermometer. Peptobismal. Stethoscope would be a good idea, for listening for gut sounds and heartbeat.

aurora said...

Just when I thought everything was mentioned, Shirley chimes in with great addition's! Some of which I've never heard of & will look up.

I look forward to having our tack cleaner, tack room finished then organized, and filling in our first aid supplies with everyone's great suggestions!!