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Until recently only leather was used to make horse equipment. However, nowadays almost every piece of horse equipment is available in a synthetic material (you can find these products at any horse tack store). Once you purchase tack you need to upkeep it if you want it to stay looking great. If you opt for synthetic tack, you can clean it by simply hosing it down or even tossing it in the washing machine. Leather, on the other hand, is a lot more high-maintenance. You should wash and oil your leather tack after every use.
When you are not using your tack you will need to store it in a safe place. It is a good idea to invest in a tack box that has specialized compartments for each and every piece of tack (inclusive of grooming pieces like hoof picks and combs). If you need to you can even store your tack on hooks or in a corner of the barn or stable. Be sure, however, that the equipment is readily accessible when you are tacking your animal.
*Keep in mind that it is commonly found in poor taste to use synthetic tack at a horse event or show.