Get organized! Your barn and tack room are tough to keep ahead of. With boarders, students, and clients in and out all the time, to say nothing of barn staff never putting things back in quite the same place twice, we know even the best-designed tack room is going to slip into chaos without constant intervention. Prevention is the best way to tackle a lack of organization! With this in mind, we have six easy hacks to a more organized tack room, feed room, and barn
1. Go #MatchyMatchy to organize tack belonging to multiple horses. Tired of seeing Jack’s blanket on Jill, when Jill is the barn’s queen of destruction and Jack can’t live without his blankie when the temperature drops below fifty degrees? If everyone already has their own gear, use color-coded zip-ties to mark each horse’s personal clothing and tack. Pick a color for each horse and add the zip-ties to everything from halters to blankets to wash buckets. You can trim off the loose ends with scissors to avoid giving someone a poke in the eye. Colorful zip-ties are available at any home improvement store, and they can improve your barn life for pennies apiece! Just don’t give Jill pink zip-ties, because Jill thinks pink is beneath her.
2. Ditch the dirty bin full of muddy horse boots. With some Velcro strips from the fabric store, you can transform a section of tack room or trailer dressing room wall into a boot storage facility. (Of course, this doesn’t work with those old-school leather boots with brass buckles, but you’re not just throwing those in a bucket anyway, right?) Splint boots, ankle boots, gallop boots, every boot for every occasion can get stuck against the wall for easy access–and easy cleaning, too.
3. Ask for a sample of linoleum from your home improvement store. No, you’re not redoing your kitchen… you’re making a game-changing horse show life-hack. Next time you’re tacking up alongside your horse trailer or in the unpaved aisle of a temporary stable, position your linoleum sample and set your horse’s hoof on it for a no-mess solution to applying hoof polish. It’s also great if you’re trying to protect a shiny new concrete aisle from the inevitable hoof-oil stains, before your rubber mats arrive.
4. Put feeding instructions right on your feed buckets with plastic sleeves from the office supply store. Glued onto your feed bucket, these sleeves can store printed instructions for your horse’s feed, including supplements, leaving no room for error when a groom or barn manager is mixing feeds. Place a piece of tape over the open end of the sleeve, then peel it back and replace in the instructions if your horse’s feed mix changes.
5. Extra bits and pieces floating around your tack room can get stuffed into drawers… or they can get organized with a hanging shoe organizer attached to your tack room’s wall. Spare snaps and screw-eyes, loose-ring snaffles and pelhams, old hoofpicks and toothbrushes waiting to go on cleaning duty — everything can be ready and waiting at your fingertips with just a little wall-space and an eye for organization. Some organizers are even large enough to fit helmets into, making them great choices for horse trailer storage, too.
6. Stop the slippery madness! Saddles, blankets, saddle pads, wraps — everything falls off metal poles, so why do we keep using them for our equipment? Fight back (and make things pretty) with some elastic bandages such as CoFlex or Vetrap. A quick wrapping job of metal blanket poles or saddle racks has enough gripping power to keep your horse’s expensive clothing on top where it belongs, instead of slithering to the dusty ground.
What are some of your favorite barn hacks?