Thursday, April 2, 2015

How to Borrow Tack From a Tack Ho

so many pretty things
So you're friends with a tack ho and you really want to try out some new, cool piece of equipment that said ho has. Here is a simple how-to of borrowing that should keep you both happy without sabotaging your relationship. Noted: this list has three number ones because they are equally important.

1) Always keep in mind--the reason said person is a tack ho is because they care about equipment a lot more than you do.

A lot.

more pretty things
As such, many tack hos are willing to share the love a little and let you try things out because they want everyone to understand what they love. HOWEVER. That does not mean you should ever make assumptions about the availability of equipment. That leads us to other point #1:


I considered leaving this off because it's so fundamental, but plain and simple: do not use someone's stuff without their express permission. Just because it's in the tack room does not mean it goes on every horse in the barn. Or your horse, ever.

not a public collection
1) Say please and thank you. This part is so basic that it shouldn't get it's own bullet point, but  It's not rocket science. If you want to be able to borrow again, you sure as hell better be grateful you've been able to borrow before.

2) Be mindful of your horse.

Say you have a horse that likes to over react to certain stimuli and sometimes bolts or pulls back or gets loose or does other things potentially endangering to tack.

Yes, maybe someone else's piece of equipment would fix your problem--on the other hand, maybe you'll just ruin their equipment. On their dime.

That's not cool. That segues into the next point:

i enjoy this picture
3) You damage it, you buy it.

The reason a Tack Ho has something that you don't is because said Ho laid out their own hard earned money for it because they care about equipment (see #1). If you put it on Pookiekins and Pookiekins has a complete psychotic break and the bridle gets rubbed into the fence or the boot get torn or anything else that keeps the borrowed item from being in the exact same condition you borrowed it in, it's yours.

In the sense that you either give the Ho the purchase price of the borrowed equipment or you buy them a new one. Their preference. And yes, that means you have to tell them.

again with the pretty things
4) Always wipe down tack before returning it.

Don't do a full cleaning and conditioning unless you know that you know that you know exactly how said Ho does their own cleaning on that particular piece (believe you me, it varies from piece to piece how I maintain something). It's beyond tacky to borrow something clean and return it dirty. It's also unacceptable to borrow something new and strip the color out of it or darken it without permission.

If you're not sure here, ASK.

5) Do not include negative comments about said Ho's tack when returning it.

This one boggles my mind. I wouldn't include it, but it keeps coming up. (If you're off the borrowing list, this is very likely why, unless it's something more obvious like #2).

not a loan
So you borrowed a very nice piece of equipment and it didn't work for your horse. That's ok. What's not ok is then to blame the equipment and be like "it's all wrong and what poor design and Pookiekins deserves better so glad I didn't buy this."


If it wasn't bought for Pookiekins (hint: it wasn't), there is no reason it should fit him/her. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine. If the Ho who loaned you something wanted your feedback, they would ask for it.

Again, see the first #1. Tack Hos care more than you. If you're attacking their stuff, you don't understand the privilege it was to borrow it in the first place.

I think that about covers it. Anyone else have loaner problems out there?


  1. Honestly? My number one pet peeve that wasn't listed here? PUT THE DAMN STIRRUPS BACK WHERE YOU FOUND THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    ... anyway. Nice list. ;)

  2. I love my barn here because everyone knows what they already like, buys it if they want it, and could pretty much give a shit less what other people use. They have their own thing going. I love it because we literally have absolutely zero barn fights over tack and equipment.

  3. This post is the exactly why I bought a locking tack trunk way back when. I don't mind if people use my stuff, but you a) MUST ask me first. I'll probably say yes 99% of the time, but come on, exercise some manners. And 2) you may NOT use my stuff when I'm not at the barn. This is why my tack trunk locks.

    Piggybacking off of Austen's post, one of my pet peeves is people riding in my saddle (a verrrrrrry rare thing but it occasionally happens) and NOT READJUSTING MY STIRRUPS AT THE LENGTH YOU FOUND THEM. When you ride in my saddle, you're probably going to have to adjust my stirrups because most riders don't have jockey-length legs. Totally fine. However, please take note of what hole the stirrup leather was on before you hopped into my saddle. Trust me, it makes life easier for everyone. kthanks.

    /rant over.

  4. I looove this. I let two people borrow my tack - my mother, and my old barn manager. I trusted them, plus, when my bridle broke while my BM was using it, she called me right away and paid for it to be fixed. It was an over $200 bridle, and the fix was expensive enough, but I knew she'd buy another one if she had to. I even told her several times not to worry about it, because frankly, that woman is why I was able to have horses then, and the board was cheap - I always felt bad when she would do extra things because she deserved more pay. I kept all of my stuff (other than like, halters and leads) at home, in my car, or locked up, and the only people that had access was my mother and BM. When only hackamore, the only thing my horse rides in, got broke and was just thrown on my saddle later by someone who didn't even ask if they could use it...I made rules, lol.

    And no saddle borrowing. Ever. Like, no. Touch my stirrups and I kill you. Roping saddle stirrups are flipping hard to adjust.

  5. So simple, yet so many people don't get it. Which is why I rarely share my toys!!!

  6. I disagree with this: "Always keep in mind--the reason said person is a tack ho is because they care about equipment a lot more than you do."

    I care about my equipment and I care about fancy equipment. The difference is that I cannot afford $400 bridles or $250 halfpads. I am fortunate for the things I have and I am blessed with the things I have. If I borrow from someone I take care of their items and I respect them.

    But I also DO respect my own things. I've worked hard for them. And because I only have one English bridle doesn't mean I'm incompetent or any less.

  7. Luckily this isn't a problem I have. I own my own barn and my only boarder shows up like twice a year. I do plan on taking on more boarders, so I anticipate this may happen. :/ I'll have to put in the barn rules that just because they can use my barn, it doesn't mean they can use my x without asking.

  8. Great list (even if you're borrowing from a non-tack ho) to remember!

  9. Very practical advise! My only issue with lending stuff is that I lend things to my friends who tell me they want to buy it but it takes a really long time for them to actually PAY for it. Or really how long does someone need to keep something before they decide to buy their own or not? I think a small trial period is appropriate but keeping bareback pads/saddles/bridles for over a month is rude and is taking advantage.

  10. I was going through the list in my head and realized I forgot to to wipe down your reins....nooooooo! I think? And then I remembered that I used your saddle (that was awesome) and never adjusted the stirrups back. And then I realized they were mine. Ha.

  11. Other than trying on for size in the aisle, I don't borrow stuff. I don't trust either my klutzy horse or my bad luck. And since I don't really like loaning my stuff out either, I feel like not-borrowing means people will be less likely to ask for loans. But it's very nice of you to share your wealth of beautiful tack and equipment!

  12. Great list. Fortunately nobody borrows my stuff because it doesn't fit anyone other than Paddy. Win-win. ;)

  13. My 2c would be, if you borrow it, please return it to exactly where it came from!

  14. lol i swing from wildly possessive to kinda meh. some things i just don't lend out... and others it's all about 'eh just toss it back in the pile when you're done!'

  15. If people "borrow" my stuff without asking ... they are dead to me. People don't have to ask every time, but must ask at least once. Some stuff I straight up do not lend out. I am a selfish crone.

  16. Me thinks this was provoked. I shall wait for dirty gossip via text message.

  17. Here's the thing: I'd let you borrow anything I own. I wouldn't let anyone else borrow anything. THE END.

    Okay, not really the end. I let my mom borrow stuff sometimes but she's watched me clean my tack enough that she knows how ridiculous I am about my equipment and she's very careful with it and takes good care of it. Mary would be welcome to anything I own including a kidney because I wouldn't be able to own a horse without her, but she doesn't need anything. And the small handful of wonderful friends who could borrow things (Tracy!) don't need them because our horses aren't the same size.

    I love this list of rules and want it published online as a PSA.

  18. Great post, so sad that many of these points should be common courtesy. That said, I normally do a full cleaning of all tack that is lent to me (I've been riding others' horses in their own tack), so I'll be mindful about that in the future. Good tip!


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