Over time horse tack and other equipment can accumulate and make your tack room and barn aisles overcrowded. Barn clutter does more than just make a barn look messy. Extraneous items in barn aisles can get in the way, impede movement and cause potentially harmful situations. With winter and blanketing season approaching, the aisles can become even more chaotic as wet blankets are hung to dry and various blanketing layers are stored around stalls. Start with these tips to reduce the horse tack clutter around your barn:
- Eliminate the Unused – Identify which items are used regularly, which are older and taking up space, and which are no longer in a condition to be useful. Old horse tack, equipment and blankets in functional condition that you no longer want, could be donated to a local equine rescue or therapeutic riding program, or sold. Items that are in poor condition, or not able to work as they were intended, should be thrown away.
- Clean What You Keep – Take the time to dust off, clean and condition the equipment you are keeping. If leather is looking moldy or stiff, it should be cleaned and conditioned to stay in proper working order. If blankets are looking dirty, arrange to have them cleaned before you need them. Having all your horse tack pulled out of the tack room and aisles is a great opportunity to dust or vacuum cobwebs that have accumulated and sweep out all the dirt that has been dragged in.
- Hang Necessary Tack Racks – If horse tack you regularly use doesn’t have its own place, hang the appropriate tack rack for it so it can be stored in a way that helps keep it in good condition and extend its lifetime. Also get ahead of blanket season clutter by ensuring you have enough blanket bars to hang all your different blankets, as well as somewhere appropriate and out of the way to hang wet blankets to dry.
- Maximize Grooming Totes – Keeping all the small items like brushes, shampoos, and tack cleaning products organized is arguably the most difficult. It seems there is always a wayward sponge somewhere in every barn. Use grooming totes to keep all of these items together. You can even split out similar items, putting all your brushes in one and all your bathing products in another. A small bucket you can fill with water for cleaning tack works as a great holder for leather care items as well.
- Sort Into Tack Trunks – The items that you are not using regularly, such as out of season blankets, training equipment, or extra saddle pads can always be arranged into tack trunks for storage. If not everything fits into one tack trunk, they can be sorted by category and labeled for easy locating- such as one for winter blankets in the summer and fly sheets in the winter, one for extra saddle pads, one for extra bits and lunging equipment, etc. This will make it simple to find items when you need them while keeping everything clean.
Maintaining the organized atmosphere you have created will improve your experience at the stable and streamline the time, so you can spend more time with your horse. Reducing the clutter in your barn can seem like an overwhelming task, but when it comes to horse tack and riding equipment, organized storage spaces can help avoid mishaps and make everything move smoothly while improving aesthetic appeal.
Let us know your favorite tip for eliminating clutter in the comments!
I agree that it’s best to eliminate the unused items in your old tack to get rid of clutter. You also said that it’s important to take the time to dust off the tack that you do use and want to keep. I think it’s a good idea to have cubbies and racks to properly store your tack gear.