June 2021 - The Perfect Tack Room
Written by CRM
Thursday, 27 May 2021 21:43
PDF Print E-mail
For busy barns, the tack room can be one of the most important spaces to consider.

Regardless of the size of the stable or the size of the budget, a tack room is a necessary space for storing saddles, bridles and other equipment in a safe and organized fashion. An effective tack room does not have to be expensive, but it does require a lot of planning and thinking about how the space will be used.


Planning


Take time to think about how the space will be used, what your goals are and what you want to store in the tack room. To properly size a tack room you need to inventory what you are storing there. You need to know how many horses, the number of saddles per horse and the discipline you ride. Also consider what purpose the tack room will serve. Will it be designed to store only saddles and bridles or will it be used to also store other equipment like bits, wraps, blankets and tack trunks.

During the planning process you will also have to decide if the tack room will be a multi-functional space for social gatherings or a space for cleaning tack and/or a laundry area with room for a washer and dryer to launder blankets and wraps. A tack room can become more than just a place for storage.

Location

The tack room should be relatively convenient, keep it close to or nearby a wash stall or prep/grooming area. A barn that frequently trailers to multi-day shows, which requires frequent loading and unloading, should consider where the tack room is located in the barn relative to unloading a trailer after a show.

Ultimately, the location of a tack room is all about minimizing the number of steps a person has to take to get their horse ready.

Security

The level of security in a tack room depends on a barn’s traffic.  Keeping track of equipment and tack can be a challenge at boarding stables with clients coming and going all day long—especially when it comes to the barn’s own supplies. You have to think about how to keep your tack and equipment from walking away or from being used by other people.

Locking areas or separate tack rooms can solve this problem. You might want to consider separate tack rooms, one for the boarders and one for the stable owners and managers.

Simplistic Efficiency

A well-planned tack room should have a place for everything. As long as a tack room is efficient, it does not necessarily have to be fancy. There are always ways to be creative and save on a budget. An interesting alternative to storing saddles is to run a beam from one end of the room to the other, along the wall. (Almost like a vertical jump). The saddles can sit on top of that, pommel to cantle, in a row. This is a very inexpensive solution if a customer does not want to spend the money on individual saddle racks.

If you are looking for something that is not fancy, but iyet efficient you can use a peg board to hang all of your extra bits and created a place for everything so that things do not end up on the floor.

Stable owners do not have to invest a lot of money in a tack room.  You can get a lot of bang for your buck on the basics and then dress it up as far as you want to take it, as long as it is organized, the details are up to your personal taste.

More Than Tack

Even though the fundamental purpose of a tack room is for storage, it can become much, much more. Tack storage is pretty basic, function is most important.  Then you can add to it and make it a place you and your clients want to hang out.

A tack room can be transformed into a lounge and social gathering space. Some people like to see a tack room as more than a store room some like it to take on more of a social function.

Benches and seating areas create a welcoming atmosphere that encourages riders to kick off their boots and chat about their horse’s progress, clean tack together, watch training videos or simply sit and enjoy one another’s company. Personal touches transform a tack room from an everyday storage area into a place of enjoyment. For riders who have achieved success in the show ring the tack room may become a display area for trophy saddles, bronzes and buckles.  

Extra Considerations

Once basics have been covered it is also important to consider:

•    Air Conditioning, Dehumidifier and/or Heater: Controlling the climate of the tack room can inhibit the growth of mold on leather equipment.  
•    Lighting: Overall good lighting coverage is important. Use fixtures that have an even throw of light so you don’t have dart spots or dark corners.
•    Doorway Width: Make sure the door in and out of the tack room is an adequate size so when you are carrying a saddle you have enough room. Sliding doors and tack room walls that pivot are gaining in popularity.
•    Dual Purpose Fixtures: A window seat or bench can serve as a storage bin. A saddle stand can be built like a freestanding cabinet, with a rounded top for holding saddles and interior storage.  Multi-functional fixtures can save a lot on space.
•    Wall Space: Include as much wall space as possible. Extra room will always be needed to keep bridles, lead ropes, girths and more organized.
•    Extra Storage: A small area in front of each horse’s stall can provide organized storage nearer the horse.  Incorporate a certain amount of storage right at the stall for lead ropes and small items such as a small cabinet with doors to keep the items close by and organized.

Designing a tack room can be a lot of fun, but it does require planning.  It may sound simple to design a tack room, but there is a lot to consider.