There are a lot of decisions to make when building a new barn or stable, but one area that is often overlooked is the tack room. For many people, the tack room is an afterthought, but consider all of the important equipment in your space. Saddles, bridles, vinyl tack trunks, and other gear are expensive pieces of equipment that you’ll use frequently throughout your time in your barn, so it is vital that these items are kept both safe and easily accessible.
Choose the Location Wisely
If you are building a new barn or stable, it is important to fully consider where your tack room will be placed. You’ll want a location that is convenient enough to provide easy access to all of your tack without jeopardizing security. Remember that the average Western saddle weighs about 30 pounds, so you’ll need to take into account how far you – and other riders at your facility – are able to carry heavy tack on the property.
Make Security a Priority
If your stable has heavy traffic flow, a tack room is a good way to keep the aisles free of potential hazards. However, you need to make security a priority to ensure that your expensive tack investments stay safe. With boarding stables, this is especially important, as you’ll need to protect your supplies as well as the tack of your boarders. In some cases you may want to have separate tack rooms, but at the very least you should be able to lock the room to keep your items secure.
Building professionals also offer some security tips for tack room construction. First, it is recommended that a tack room is never built up against another wooden structure, which could give a thief an easy way into the space. If there is no way to avoid this, interiors should be lined with robust wooden panels or metal mesh. Secondly, the right roof is also important, as tile and slate will help to keep your items protected while minimizing the risk of fire.
Take Advantage of Vertical Space
While storage bans and tack trunks are easy storage solutions, they can make it difficult to find specific items in a hurry. Instead, try hanging as many items on the wall as possible. You’ll never have to frantically dig through a dozen bins to find a specific piece of equipment while your trainer or veterinarian waits impatiently.
There are several ways to utilize the vertical space in your tack room.
Pegboard. This material is a great option for storing hardware, and it can be painted to match the décor or color scheme of your tack room.
Hangers & Rods. While storage bins with airtight lids might be the best option if your room isn’t sealed off from the dirt and dust of your stable, hanging is often the best ways to store items like saddle pads. Consider mounting a closet rod and using hangers with clips to store English saddle pads. Western blankets can be hung on a frame style saddle pad rack.
Velcro. Try mounting Velcro on an unused section of your tack room wall to store light, fabric items. This may include fly masks, tendon boots, and bell boots.
There is nothing worse than having to sort through a dozen tangled bridles to find the right one every time you want to take your horse out for a ride. If you have multiple horses, all of which have different gear, you’ll get much more enjoyment out of your space by taking the time to organize and label it properly. Just like you might use stall name plates to identify each horse, consider some organizational tactics in your tack room, including but not limited to what goes inside a tack room.
By taking some time during the design process to properly organize your space, including where each horse’s tack will be placed, you’ll have an easier time finding what you need in the future.
Consider Climate Controls
It is important to control the climate of your tack room, not only for your comfort level while you are in there, but to also keep your tack safe. Leather equipment is prone to mold growth, so the right air conditioning system or a dehumidifier can help to inhibit this problem so long as you allow for proper air circulation. If you live in a colder climate, a heater might also be a necessity.
When it comes to designing your perfect tack room, the opportunities are endless. By taking the time to plan for your new tack room, you’ll create a safe and well-organized space that will make your time in the stables much more enjoyable.