Proper Saddle Storage
I am so excited to get back and talk about tack after taking a break to welcome my new son, Jasper, into the world. Our first topic for getting back into routine, is proper saddle storage. No matter for the total length of time you store your tack, proper storage is essential to keep your tack in usual condition.
What type of saddle stand is best?
The best surface to store your saddle on is a shape that is similar to your horse’s back. I personally like wood racks with a padding on top. Ideally we would all have those beautiful stands that are shaped, but the wood is a great option. The metal racks that are commonly found are good for short term use but if used long term will leave your saddle uneven.
This beautiful saddle stand (above) has a gently curve that mimics the horse’s back. The wooden triangle shaped stands (below) are more common and an excellent option to store your saddle on. These provide your saddle with a even solid base. Just make sure the angle isn’t wider than your saddle’s tree. I personally like to use a thin saddle pad to also pad the bottom of my saddles.
Metal folding saddle stands can be super handy in temporary situations as they are lightweight and portable, however I don’t recommend them for long term use as they put the pressure on narrow sections, which can lean to indenting the panels of the saddle and damaging the flocking.
Flocking in English saddles can be made of a variety of materials, such as wool or foam. If either of these materials are stored on a uneven surface for a long period of time, it will affect the flocking. Wool can be reflocked by a fitter, but with proper maintenance it will not need to be reflocked due to storage. -You should still have your wool flocked saddle reassessed by a fitter to make sure it is in good working order- Foam can not be replaced as easily. Foam panels are typically thinner as well so any damage will have a greater affect to the horse’s back.
By creating uneven lumps and bumps in the saddle’s flocking can lead to soreness and unsoundness for your horse. As always keep your saddle in a dry, damp free room. Inside a house/heated tack room is preferable to protect the leather from mould.