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Tack Stall Organization

It’s the dead of winter here in the Midwest, which means bitter cold temps, grey skies, snow and ice. I’m still faithfully trekking out to the barn to ride (thanks to our wonderful indoor arenas!), but I can’t help but dream about summer horse shows. You know, where the sun is shining, and I’m not racing to finish my ride as quickly as possible because I think my toes have frostbite. Our small group of show-goers has this winter tradition that we call “The Horse Show Fairy.” See, this “fairy” comes when winter is particularly nasty and drops off little reminders of show season like a new crop, hoof polish, etc. This year the coalition of horse show fairies has decided to get together and organize our tack stall.

Spoiler alert: the horse show fairies are just us, buying stuff for each other. You’re world is rocked, I know. Anyways, we really want to work on organizing our little tack stall at shows. So I’m looking for ideas from ya’ll. What do you love about your tack stall? Does your trainer have an awesome system for storing grain? Or maybe you saw this AMAZING bridle hook in someone else’s stall at a show last year. I WANT TO KNOW.

We don’t travel to big shows, so our setup is pretty rudimentary, but here’s what we’re thinking so far:

  • Color-coded milk crates stacked into shelves for grain
  • Whiteboard with riding and showing schedules, plus feeding instructions

Tack Stall Example

And what we already have:

  • Stall cards and blanket chains for each stall
  • Tack trunks

I think our biggest problem is that we each bring everything — we’re all very self-sufficient. We don’t mind downsizing a bit, and borrowing things during the show, but we need a way to place them in the tack stall so that everyone knows “oh hey, this hose is for community use.” I think our biggest loss of space is the walls — we store everything on the ground. For example, each person brings their own saddle rack, which takes up a lot of space on the ground!

organized trailer and barn

I’ve been pursuing this website: The Organized Barn & Trailer, which sells wire organizing solutions, which would be cheaper than the custom wood options you typically see at big show barns. Does anyone have any experience with his company and their products?

What tips, ideas and solutions do you have for an organized tack stall?

Tracy

Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

21 thoughts on “Tack Stall Organization

  1. Oh yes I love putting the tack room together for shows, and now that I’m not going with like 10 other riders, I can lead the operations B) These are based on showing with a fairly large lesson barn using a 12’x12′ space.

    My best advice is to make use of your vertical space. Have two rows of bridle racks, hang something above your saddle racks, stack drawers, etc. On the topic of drawers, I highly recommend those over trunks. In a more crowded tack room, opening a lid is less convenient than pulling out a drawer. Plus, I’ve noticed that trunks very closely resemble tables and tend to have things unconsciously stacked on top of them, making it harder to get inside.

    Now, where do you find those drawers? Target. Just go to Target. You can probably get nice colors, too. Label every drawer, even if it’s misc stuff.

    I also recommend the saddle racks with the little shelf at the bottom.

  2. Wire racks are the best. I wish I had some photos of the tack stalls from Congress… I guess when you bring 30 horses in, there’s no other option. If you can find a way to do hanging saddle racks, you’ll free up a ton of space. Lots of hooks – between bridles, bits, draw reins, lungelines, having everything hung up makes things a lot nicer. We always put some type of flooring down too. Big sliding Rubbermaid container drawers are okay – if you don’t just shove things in them (not that I’m prone to this at all…)

  3. You can also pre-make your grain for each horse and keep them in tupperwares. I usually get the $6 shoe containers from Target for such purposes. They take up less and less space as you feed because you can stack them and put them away.

    Drawers over trunks is a good point, as made above.

    If you use floor saddle racks, be sure to rig up some system where you can store grooming essentials below your saddle. No reason to waste space there.

  4. Hanging saddle racks are a must. They save so much space, and they don’t take up much space when you store them. Ours are just a piece of wood that hooks onto the side of the stall and hangs down, and then has metal loops you hook each saddle rack onto. This just looks so much tidier too.

  5. I’d encourage you to look at the USPC’s required equipment for overnight rallies: http://www.ponyclub.org/?HMRallyreqequip

    It’s a very useful list (and you can decide what is and isn’t necessary for your group, since you are not Pony Clubbers who will be scored on this stuff). At the rallies I attended, we had one tack and one feed room per team (4 riders); the feed room housed the feed chart, hay, pre-packed grain rations, feed tubs, and mucking equipment. Everything else was in the tack room. This kind of setup has stuck with me for years because it’s efficient and covers most of your bases!

    The wire racks would be very, very helpful for hanging bridles/spare halters/girths/garment bags, etc. We use them at work when we travel to shows- the gridwall pieces can be zip-tied together or against something like a stall wall and you can get hooks or baskets to hang on them. You can find them online by searching for “gridwall” or you may be able to find them locally at a retail store supplier. They’re store of a pain in the ass to store, but are very useful and easy to set up and take down.

    1. Stephanie, I read “wine racks” instead of “wire racks”. I was so excited that someone else was bringing wine to shows… and then I re-read. Oh well. Wine racks next time.

  6. i just show out of my trailer, usually with only one other rider…. so no real useful hints or tricks. i wonder tho if you have any local tack shops that take trailers to shows, maybe you could call them up and ask how they optimize stock in the trailer? in any case let us know what you come up with!

  7. I have plastic shelves that come apart for traveling. They are perfect for the tack stall because you can store so much in one spot! I also have a wall mounted saddle rack to keep the floor free. I bought a nice one back when I still lived with the parents, but they’re super easy to make too. It has screw eyes on top so you can mount it with a nail, or if you’re in temporary stalls you can tie it up with baling twine or clothesline. I always string some clothesline along the walls too to hang saddle pads and towels on to dry. I think I have some tack room pictures on my New England finals post (October) if you want to see!

  8. Not much advice here- most everything is supplied by the barn so I just show up with riding stuff! I do think the wire racks look amazing!

  9. My trainer puts up the BEST tack stall. First she has an EazyUp with curtain swags that we all hang our ribbons from. I don’t know which brand she uses, but she’s got all of the parts for the wire hangers. She has little baskets, bridle hooks, saddle racks, you name it. Under all of this, she lines the tack stall with tables for snacks and so on. Underneath the tables are several massive ice chests filled with drinks and salads or fruit and dips. Outside, under the tent, are chairs and side tables. She also sets up a snack table outside with little teepee nets to cover the food to keep the flies away. Two day shows are SOOOO much fun with this set up! :0)

  10. Back in my pony club days one of the parents built the most beautiful free standing saddle and bridle racks. I wish I had a picture because it was the coolest thing. It was made of wood painted white with red folding saddle racks and bridle hooks (our pony club’s colors were red and white). They made it free standing bc some of the stall walls where we set up were to wide for the hanging saddle and bridle racks. Sadly I think some of the moronic parents that took over afterwards threw them out- oh well 🙁

    But for your purpose I think having stacked saddle racks would help immensely and help free up floor space. Something like this would be a good place to start! I’ve seen a variety of styles but this at least is a starting point!!!
    http://www.sstack.com/product/Easy-up-4-Tier-Saddle-Rack-Black/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=paid_search_google_pla&scid=scplp520051&gclid=CjwKEAiAw4e1BRDfi7vghaWU9jESJACzo9juQRTa4YutyozJb5YKgCQPAcoH2kFuDjgNsdbF4cDaEhoC7J_w_wcB

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