Does the phrase a walking tack shop apply to you? Do you find yourself constantly sorting through random bits of tack? Are there old reins growing mold in your tack box? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you will want to keep reading to discover new ways to organize and properly store your tack.
Reducing Tack Clutter
If tack is properly cared for and stored, then it can last for over a decade. One of the most common ways people mistreat their tack is by improperly storing. Below are a few tips for turning your tack into an organized set of matching pieces.
- Donate Unused Tack. Determine which pieces of tack you consistently use, and which items are taking up too much space. Old horse tack and equipment that you are no longer using can be donated to a local equine therapeutic riding program or equine rescue organization. If you are planning on donating items, be sure to give them a thorough cleaning and ensure that they are in fair to good condition.
- Clean ALL of Your Tack. Whether you use your tack daily or have some items reserved for showing, all of your tack should be cleaned on a regular basis. Take the time to wipe the leather first with a semi-wet sponge and saddle soap or leather cleaner. Next, wipe the leather dry with a clean rag. Finish by shining with leather conditioner and a bit of oil. Removing all of the tack from the tack hooks is also a good chance for you to dust your entire tack room. Cleaning all of your tack on a regular basis will help you to identify what items are in good condition, what is in need of repair, what can be donated, and what should be thrown away.
Tack Storage Tips
There are several ways to store all of your tack. From bridles to saddles to spare stirrup leather, tack should be stored so that it stays easily accessible and in good condition.
- Hang Tack Racks or Hooks. If there is space in your tack room, then each horse should have at least one rack for his or her bridle. If you have limited space, consider investing in additional tack trunks. These trunks often have space for neatly hanging bridles and storing multiple saddles. Adding a bridle hook to the outside of the horse’s stall is one additional tack storage method that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Sort Into Tack Trunks. Tack trunks are a great way to store all of your extra equipment. Each trunk should be labeled with its contents. For example: winter blankets, training equipment, extra saddle pads, extra wraps, show bridles, extra bits and so on. Be sure to properly clean all of your tack before you store it away in a trunk. Tack trunks are also a great way to keep your tack safely stored while you are on the road at horse shows.
Developing your own unique system for storing and organizing your tack will go a long ways toward making barn life simple, fun and effective. No matter what tack organization system you choose to implement, remember to regularly sort through your tack for unused items and to keep everything clean for improved life expectancy.
Ashly Snell of Dover Saddlery is an equestrian expert who enjoys eventing and caring for her two Dutch Warmbloods.