If you have multiple horses, clients and students in your barn organization is key! Especially if you have a lesson program and students may be using equipment and incorrectly putting it away. It’s also important to protect each of your boarders’ tack from being used by someone else . In our barn, every horse has a set of English tack and Western tack and can be ridden in a variety of bits because our horses are trained in all-around events. We have seven horses on the farm and some additional tack for my mom’s lesson students plus our feed all in one tack room. And, just to complicate matters, our tack room is the same size as our 12 x 12 stalls. So, in this article you’ll find the best organization tips for your small tack room that have worked well for us!
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General Organization Tips For A Small Tack Room
Use Vertical Space and Hang Everything
For some reason, no matter how large or small your barn, storage is precious real estate! To maximize the use of your space and keep a clutter free environment, hang up anything and everything! If the tack or equipment has a strap or hook, put it on the wall!
Cover Your Tack
If you want to extend the longevity of your tack and equipment, keep it clean! After each ride, you should clean off sweat and dirt and then cover your tack! Saddle covers will help keep dust, debris and mold off of your saddle, so you should consider investing in one!
Enforce Your Barn Rules
There’s no sense in setting up systems no matter how well designed if the people in your barn don’t follow them. Rules such as putting things away where you found them and cleaning up manure and debris from the aisle are just as important as closing stall doors properly. Make sure that everyone is aware of the correct procedures and understands the importance of utilizing them.
Products We Use To Organize Our Tack Room
Amazon has a good variety of affordable tack organization solutions. However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for check out Schneiders Saddlery! They have lots of tack organization equipment for both your tack room at home and lots of items that are great for tack room set up at horse shows!
Tips For Keeping Boarder Tack And Non-Lesson Tack Organized!
Assign Each Horse Their Own Space
Assign each boarder their own area for tack and equipment to help keep your tack room clutter free and prevent mix ups between owners. Keeping your boarders happy is key and one way to do this is to avoid other people using their equipment. Especially items like saddle pads, no one wants their horse’s saddle pad to be used on another horse!
We’ve all been there, tack gets mixed up or looks similar to someone else’s tack. Or worse yet, someone borrows tack or equipment without permission! The best way to avoid these mishaps is to label everything! Label every hook and every item! Labeling equipment may be enough to deter customers from taking other people’s belongings. It will at least minimize confusion!
Organization Tips For Communal And Lesson Tack!
Designate Space Based On Equipment Type
One of the best organization tips for a small tack room is to give everything a home and keep like items together! For example, put all your saddles on one wall, bridles on another etc. In our tack room we hang girths on the back of the door and saddles and bridles on their own wall. Another section holds all of the helmets, grooming boxes are on specific shelves, lunging equipment has it’s own spot along with spare bits, leg wraps and miscellaneous training equipment. We use as swing arm rack for saddle pads and coolers to help them dry quickly and keep them neat and off the ground. Containing each type of tack in it’s own area will help keep things from going missing even if a student puts it away incorrectly.
Hang Up Girths By Size Or Horse
For communal tack that can be shared, girths can be organized by size to make them easy to find. In our case, we organize girths by horse and size. Each horse has their own girth however, they may need a larger one if being tacked up with a children’s sized saddle with shorter billets. Many of our horses have 2 girths on their hook.
Organize Bridles By Horse
Every horse in our barn has their own English and Western bridles which are adjusted to fit them. They also have an appropriate bit for each horse and some horses have 2 different English bridles. We use two parallel bridle racks and label the corresponding hooks for each horse. This way all of their bridles are found in the same area.
Give Each Horse Their Own Brush Box
Assembling separate grooming boxes for each horse helps to prevent the spread of germs and or any potential skin issues. It also makes it easy for lesson students to find the equipment they need when tacking up. And, if there is a group lesson, there are enough brushes for each student to use on their respective horse.
Organize Saddles By Discipline, Then Horse, Then By Size
Since every horse’s back is different, chances are your favorite saddle won’t fit every horse in your barn. In our barn each horse has their own adult sized English saddle. English saddles do not get shared between horses. We also have a couple of children’s sized saddles but not enough for each horse. My mom keeps the children’s saddles together so that if she has a young lesson student she can fit them appropriately.
We store western saddles by size because there are less of them and they are easier to fit to multiple horses. We keep the lesson saddles separate from our personal western saddles and store them on racks under the two horse’s which use them most. The children’s size saddles are kept on a separate rack as they are used less frequently. Depending on how many saddles you have and what you use them for, you may have to organize them differently.
I hope you found this article helpful! If you did, please give it a share! And, leave a comment with your favorite barn or tack room organization tips!