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The Australian tack looks fantastic when you first purchase it, but it won't stay that way if you don't care for it! It is essential that you start taking care of your leather items from the first moment they are purchased. If you don't maintain them they will end up looking dingy and ratty.
Aside from the aesthetic reasons for caring for your leather tack, however, there are also very important safety issues to consider. If you do not properly care for your equipment it may not function properly. Leather that is ignored will often crack, peel, mold, or rot. The last thing you want is for pieces of your tack to tear or bust at the seams mid-ride.
If you neglect your leather tack for long enough you will actually hinder its durability. If your tack is the victim of accidental mold growth or drenching, it may not be able to bounce back if it hasn't been properly cared for. Leather that isn't properly maintained will be depleted of its natural oils—one of the main reasons for its durability. If your leather dries out it is subject to cracking and peeling. Additionally, neglected leather may become even more damaged after future cleanings.
In order to properly care for your tack, give it a rub down after every use to remove all dirt and debris that may have accumulated on it during the ride. Additionally, it is important to thoroughly clean your tack at least once a week. To do this, you should take your tack apart and clean each piece individually. Both the metal and leather pieces should be cleaned.