Here is my new (old) tack room! It is basically the same but there is more storage in it now. We pulled out the existing cupboards and cabinets and replaced them with new (old) ones. The new cabinets came out of our kitchen and are 22 years old. My tack room now looks a lot like the inside of the house used to look (but not anymore, lol). It worked out really well because now I have quite a bit more storage space and can stay even better organized than before.
It can be difficult at times to stay organized and keep things neat when you have as many things as I do for each horse. I keep extra sets of tack at home that will work with each horse so that I can ride any of them without needing to pull tack out of the trailer. This keeps me from arriving at a ride and finding out that I left something important at home!
Most of my tack is still the original things that I started with. For example, I am still riding in Weaver’s original Sports Saddle. I am also using the first sets of reins that were purchased for each horse. Biothane really does last forever and most of it is still the original stuff that I got for each horse.
In addition to my tack room housing a lot of my tack, it is also a feed room. Each of the four white feed containers you see can hold two bags of horse feed. That works out to eight bags of feed, which is a lot and more than I really need. I rarely feed my horses grain or even beet pulp in between competitions.
There are also two five gallon buckets with screw on lids in the corner behind the feed bins that can be used to store additional feed. Right now I am storing extra horse sheets in them. There is one more bucket with a screw on lid which is where I keep the loose salt. I highly recommend getting feed containers that can be sealed to keep bugs and rodents out. I really hate when mice get in the tack room! They won’t find food in there but will nest and can do a lot of damage to my tack and horse blankets. This is why you see everything placed into sealed containers.
Here are some of the things I’ve done to keep such an enormous amount of tack under control.
1) Bridle bags. A few years ago I made up a few dozen bridle bags. I gave a lot of them away to friends and kept a dozen for myself. The cost worked out to be really inexpensive per bag, only a couple of bucks each. I was able to make them in multiple colors so that I could keep each horses tack in their own colored bridle bags. The bags also work great to store things such as girths, fly masks and extra halters or ropes. Plus they can each hold an entire set of biothane – bridle, breastcollar, reins, crupper, girth, etc.
2) Rubbermaid type storage containers. I have one larger one that is like a tack trunk. In it I store leg wraps, protective leg boots, extra saddle pads, horse blankets and sheets. I have another smaller one that also contains horse blankets and rump rugs. These kinds of containers come in all different shapes and sizes. Be sure to get ones with lids that snap tightly shut.
4) Feed containers with screw on lids. These are really great for keeping out rodents and bugs. They are square on the bottom so make it easy to store several easily. I also use these in the horse trailer. I don’t always need to keep four different kinds of feed for my horses so will sometimes put other items in them to store – such as blankets, bale bags, etc. The kinds of things that clutter the room up quickly.
5) Wall hooks. The pine peg bridle hooks came with the tack room. I did take down one row on the side of the room where the new counter and cabinets went and placed it up near the ceiling on the side where I was already hanging bridles and ropes. This makes these items a little high for me to reach so I placed items that I don’t use as often but still might need from time to time. I try to always keep enough halters and ropes at home for the horses that they can be found easily if I am gone.
6) Door organization. On the inside of the tack room door I also have blanket bars. They aren’t really big enough to hang heavy blankets on but work okay for a fleece sheet or a saddle pad. I also have an organizer that hangs in the middle of things that I want to access while working in the barn and the door is open. This keeps me from going in and out of the room and tracking up the floor.
7) The floor is carpeted. I know it would be easier to maintain something besides carpet, but I really like the warmer feel of having the carpeting in there. I have an extra scrap over the entry way and a larger utility rug in the center of the rug so maintenance usually means shaking those items out and then vacuuming everything else once in awhile.
8) Saddle covers. I keep some sort of a cover over all of my saddles. This keeps the dust off and protects them. I made some of these covers to match the bridle bags. A plain old bath towel will work just as well.
9) Cabinet storage. I try to keep the items that I might need the most often in the easiest to access cupboard. I have medications separated into their own space, hoof care items are also in their own area, as are supplements.
10) Shelves. Items that I need to use regularly or that are shaped so that they won’t fit well into an actual cupboard go on the shelves. I try to keep in mind that the more stuff I have ‘out’, the more work it will be to keep cleaned.
Years ago I tried to hang my horse blankets. That doesn’t work well in my climate. I found that almost any kind of horse tack (biothane excepted) or blanket will fall apart faster or wear quicker if it is exposed versus being sealed and protected. You’ll notice in the photos that I do not have any leather items exposed. Those items are all in the bridle bags or the plastic containers.
Items that are temperature sensitive are stored in the house so they won’t be exposed to temperature extremes. There are lots of products that mostly suffer from it’s packaging falling apart. It’s no fun to find that everything in your cupboard is sticky or glued down to the shelf so be sure to keep that in mind if you live in a climate that has a lot of temperature changes. My tack room isn’t heated so it can get very cold out there.
I have outside storage lockers that are tall where I store additional items like more buckets and hoof boots. I also use more rubbermaid containers for that kind of stuff and keep everything labeled with duct tape and black markers and stack them in the hay storage area. I had an idea for better organizing my hoof boots but haven’t had the time to work on that yet. That is something that used to be a lot easier too but now with most of the boots having materials on them that will disintegrate if exposed to heat, sun, cold or whatever – they now also need to be kept out of the elements as much as possible to ensure their longevity.
Here are all of the photos together in one gallery: