Letter Re: Stocking up on Horse Tack

If there were an EMP event, what would be the primary mode of transportation: shank’s mare; the bicycle; horses? Likely all three would rate pretty high on the list of most likely. Accordingly, are most prepared? I would anticipate most have the necessary footwear. A bicycle would be viable for personal and logistics transport…if one has an appropriate unit and the maintenance supplies…in fact, this would be a practical way to move young children from one location to another as they already have their bikes.

But what about the eventual and likely need for horse transportation? While it may be and is very impracticable for urbanites to keep horses for post-EMP days, it is very practical for urbanites (and others) to keep and maintain a complete component of necessary equestrian tack: a saddle that fits; quality bridle and reins; halters; saddle blankets; feed sacks; leads; gun scabbards; saddlebags; etc. See, being lucky enough to ‘acquire’ a horse would be quite possible; however, ‘acquiring’ the tack/gear to outfit a mount is another story altogether. Better prepared than wondering one day why you weren’t. Anyway, just a notion. Keep up the great work from your undisclosed venue. – Matt, Somewhere South of Kentucky & North of Alabama

JWR Replies: You are right that horses will be very important, post-Crunch. So buying horse tack is a great idea, Matt! You can also consider those purchases part of your “just in case” Peak Oil insurance and just one more “tangible” investment. Just be sure to keep that leather well oiled, inspected often, and away from moisture and vermin. (Mice and rats do love to chew, and chew, and chew.) OBTW, one alternative is purchasing the biothane nylon tack that is now favored by some “endurance” riders. Regardless of what tack you select, think ahead in terms of maintaining your tack. Buy extra hardware, rolls of different widths of nylon webbing (in olive green and brown, of course) sheet leather, leather working tools, a sewing awl, spools of heavy nylon thread, Barge Cement, Shoo Goo, et cetera. Those are all available from Tandy Leather Company. I have found that slightly used tools can often be found at garage sales, flea markets, and via eBay, from people that flirted with the hobby, but gave it up when they discovered that it was too much like work. BTW, those tools and supplies could form the basis for a second “post-Crunch” source of income or barter. Also BTW, I predict that post-TEOTWAWKI there will suddenly be lots people that want to carry handguns daily, but that will be short on holsters. (Just ask the average American gun collector if he has a practical holster for each of his handguns.)