Monthly Archives: August 2016

How To Clean Your Tack

Tack is a significant investment, but with good care, you can expect it to last for many years! Here’s our advice for how to maintain your leather goods.


Wipe down your tack after every ride. If you wipe the dust, sweat, and hair from your saddle, bridle, and other leather items after every ride, your tack will stay cleaner and in better condition than if you didn’t. You don’t have to do a full-on cleaning; simply wipe a damp rag over the item before storing it, or use tack cleaning wipes.

Use soft sponges or cloths to clean. Using scrub brushes or other tools can grind into the leather and cause it to degrade prematurely. A soft rag or sponge will clean your tack just fine!

Clean with a high-quality soap. Most saddles are made from vegetable-tanned leather. There’s no true black in vegetable tanning, so using a harsh chemical cleaner on your beautiful new dressage saddle can cause layers of dye to be stripped away; you’ll be left with a greenish saddle! We love Effax cream soap.

Condition dry leather. If you maintain your tack, you won’t need to condition often. If you buy a piece of equipment that seems dry or if your tack gets very wet, you can condition with a moisture-rich salve like Passier lederbalsam. (Bonus: it smells amazing!)

Polish. Your everyday riding boots will naturally see some wear and tear. If they have scuffs or have faded, you can bring them back up to snuff with a quick polish. Clean your boots well, then apply a small amount of a high-quality boot polish like URAD. Rub your boots with a soft rag to remove excess polish and add shine.

Chris Hickey Joins Our Elite Team

Christopher Hickey - Contento Sogno

Christopher Hickey – Contento Sogno

We’re pleased to announce that American Grand Prix dressage rider Christopher Hickey has been officially named a sponsored rider of The Horse of Course! The Pan-American Games gold medalist has been a regular client of ours for more than decade, and we’re excited to welcome him to our team of sponsored riders.

“I have always admired Chris- he’s a lovely rider and clearly loves the horses. I always felt he would be a great member of our team of sponsored riders. He needed saddles with a great maintenance program that would let the horses he rides have the most freedom possible in their back so they can perform wonderfully and stay happy,” says The Horse of Course’s CEO Beth Haist.

Chris has been riding in Sommer Spezial saddles since last year, and he’s an enthusiastic proponent of the brand, stating, “I think it is amazing that our industry has come out with so many new high tech products that make our horses more comfortable while doing their jobs for us. I work my horses hard, but I also take excellent care of the horses in my program. I am very sympathetic to what they need for their health, happiness, and soundness so that they can each do their job to the extent that they are able.”

Welcome to the team, Chris!