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Kit care advice from the professionals

Nicola Wilson and Laura Collett share their eventing tack care tips.

The Great British weather appeared to do its very best to try to dampen (quite literally) the start of the season. While we all keep our fingers crossed that the better weather is here to stay, no matter what the elements throw at you, it’s good to know how you can ensure your kit stays in tip top condition. 

Nicola Wilson, Laura Collett and a saddle expert offer their tips and advice. 

Post-event boot care


Veredus ambassador Nicola Wilson is a big fan of the E-vento cross country boots:

"I love using the E-vento cross-country boots, as they fit so well and provide maximum protection to my horses, which is of the utmost importance to me. After an event, I make sure I clean the velcro using a velcro brush, then wash the boots with the velcro fastened on a cool wash, before hanging them out to dry naturally. I also always make sure I check them for any damage after each use. They are fully waterproof, so don’t absorb or retain water, meaning they stay dry despite weather and going conditions." 

Support your saddle

 
With saddles and tack often being the most expensive purchases, it goes without saying that caring for them is crucial, perhaps even more so in wet weather. Phil Lowe, Saddle Sales Executive from Zebra Products, has some helpful advice. 
 
"I advocate choosing leather care products wisely. It’s often a false economy to select a product based on price, as it may not last as long, offer the same benefits and can sometimes even damage the leather.

"Many saddle manufacturers have their own leather care ranges, which have been designed specifically with the choice of leather in mind. For example, Amerigo and Equipe use calf skin as opposed to hide, so it’s vital that people don’t use a glycerine-based product as this would be too harsh on the soft leather and may discolour the product. Using recommended products also helps to ensure saddles are kept under their warranty.

"It’s really important not to over oil leather work as this can make it too soft and can even cause blistering – depending on use, twice a month is usually adequate. Balms or grease are also a good option, offering added conditioning properties, and these should be used once or twice a week.”

Preparation is key  


Laura Collett, Equipe ambassador, has some helpful advice for those looking to make sure they are a step ahead when it comes to preparation. 

"Before the season starts I find it helpful to go through all my kit in the lorry to make sure I’m stocked up on everything, and it’s all in good working order. I also get my Equipe saddles checked as the horses can change shape over the winter, so it’s vital that they are all fitting correctly before the competitions begin."
 
For more product advice, visit www.zebraproducts.co.uk or call 01352 763350.