tack-first-aid-kit
A tack first aid kit can help you make repairs fast while on the road. • Photo by Jatona Sucamele.

Tack First Aid Kit: 5 Essentials

It’s not uncommon for an active lifestyle to lead people away from home. While on the road, they likely have some sort of first aid kit for emergencies.

Horse people take things one step farther. Along with the necessities for human and horse health alike, they need the essentials to keep their tack and equipment in working order. Larger events may have tack shop vendors, but at smaller shows they might find themselves on their own.

Before driving off with the trailer next time, avoid disappointment and possibly disaster by checking to see if your tack first aid kit is complete with these five essentials.

1. Off-side Billet

Many people keep a spare girth in the trailer, but an often-forgotten piece of equipment is the off-side billet strap.

An extra billet strap can help in a bind.. • Photo by Jatona Sucamele.

It often seems like things break at the worst time, so don’t be caught at a show with your billet torn nearly in two. While you’re packing, throw in a spare latigo for good measure.

2. Leather Ties & Hole Punch

Reins and a headstall are imperative in the show pen, but the thin leather ties that hold them together can wreck your day if they break. Along with bringing a bundle of extra leather ties, it’s a good idea to add a leather hole punch to your bag, just in case you need new holes on a piece of equipment to put that leather tie through. Chicago screws and an extra water loop or two are also good to keep around.

3. Curb Straps

If you’re planning to ride in a bridle that requires a curb strap, you should make sure you have a backup. Curb straps tend to wear out faster than other parts of your bridle, so it’s best to keep extras in your kit.

4. Spur Straps & Rowels

Spurs are an important tool in the show arena and practice pen. Having a spur strap break on the road is somewhere between a nuisance and nightmare. Avoid the frustration by keeping a pair of affordable spur straps in your kit, just in case. Replacement spur rowels and their keepers are another must-have.

5. Towels

The number of uses for towels, wipes and paper towels seems infinite. Whether you’re giving your tack a quick wipe down or putting the finishing touches on your horse’s nose before walking in the pen, a supply of towels is a handy addition to any tack kit.