Summer is here, and the show season is in full swing. Luckily, you organized your tack room, your tack trunk, and your trailer during spring cleaning, right? OK, we know you skipped spring cleaning, but that’s no reason to let a disorganized life bring you down. Take a little time on a rainy day and get your stable life back on track. Here’s some barn organization tips:
Sort it out: Whatever you might need at a show does not include everything you own. Pick a tack trunk or a storage bin to start your adventure. Go ahead, take everything out. Put the items into sorted piles. Leg wraps and boots here, bits and bridle pieces there. Spurs and gloves, brushes and hoofpicks… you get the idea. Sad old tack sponges and the scrappy ends of flex bandages: trash can.
Clean it up: Once you’ve got your items sorted, you can give everything a polish and decide if you’re going to keep it around another season. Inspect your leather and give it a good cleaning. If you missed my latest blog post on cleaning, it can be found here – https://equinefacilitydesign.com/misc/deep-cleaning-saddles-bridles-leather-tack.htm. Check the expiration dates and storage instructions for medications. Throw all the halter fuzzies in the washing machine. Wipe off the hoof polish containers so they don’t get oil all over your horsehair brushes again.
Decide its fate: Do you need that old flash noseband attachment with the missing keeper, or has a nicer, show-ready one taken its place? What are you really going to do with one leopard-print polo wrap (and what happened to the other three)? Are those neoprene boots disintegrating at last after years of service? Broken, unpresentable items present you with two options should you choose to use them: they might break more, and cause a safety issue, or they might accidentally get used in front of clients, leaving you looking less than professional. Your best option is to get the broken item fixed, or discard it.
Give it a proper home: So you don’t need all sixteen of your bits to go to every horse show? Maybe if you kept your gloves in one place, you would buy fewer new pairs every time you can’t find them? This is your opportunity to have fun in the storage section of your local discount store. Small items can go in small containers: a little box or drawer just for gloves. Find another small bin for your bit collection (well, maybe you need a medium-sized bin). Consider your labeling options, especially if you have communal tack space, and make your storage bins easy to identify. The brightly colored packaging tapes at office supply stores could be a great way to personalize your items.
If all of your gear lives in a tack trunk, find small containers to go inside the trunk that can be labeled clearly. A tack trunk doesn’t have to be a big pot full of everything you ever owned. It can be a container full of containers, with each item in its place and easy to find.