Nine Tack Stall Hacks to Organize Your Horse Show Home
At the horse show, the stall areas become home away from home for trainers and exhibitors. Often, there are classic drapes, wooden frames, and relaxing living room setups. There are cozy couches and lounge chairs, tables and lamps, coolers of refreshments and snack tables. It has also become a great place to display exhibitor photos and barn logos. Horse show participants have gotten pretty creative with ways to make the spaces more comfortable.
But, just as important to the comfort of the tack stalls, is organization. Here are a few hacks for your horse show home away from home that are space savers, time savers, and sanity savers. And the best part? All of these items can be found at your local hardware stores, convenience stores, and big-box stores.
These little guys are incredibly handy. Clip them onto the grooming cart and use them to hold the quick-grab items that need easy access. It is a perfect place to clip scissors, electrical tape, hoof picks or any other item that can be clipped through. Not only does it save space inside your groom cart, but it automatically becomes a hands-free way to take those items with you to the in gate – just unclip the carabiner from the cart and snag it through the belt loop on your jeans. Now you still have your quick grab item and one fewer thing to carry.
Transform this closet organizer into a tack and grooming supply organizer. Splint boots and polo wraps fit nicely into the slots, as do your cans and bottles of grooming supplies. Hook it to the outside of your tack stall, and everything you need is right at your fingertips. Place items you use most frequently – such as fly spray or mane and tail brushes – in the middle slots, saving the higher and lower ones for your less used things. These can be found at any home goods store.
One of the most common last-minute grabs while heading to the show pen are rubber bands. It just happens, bands break, and chances are you will need quick and easy access to some replacement bands throughout the horse show. Believe it or not, the No-Spill snack cups for toddlers is the solution. You can reach in and grab bands without needing a free hand to open the container lid. There is no risk of spilling your bands everywhere, and you can hook the handle of the cup right onto the grooming cart, so it is right there when your need it. These can also be found at any home goods store.
Throughout the horse show, things are bound to get dirty. Having a laundry basket in the corner of the tack stall is an excellent way to keep the still clean enough to use items separate from the things that need to be washed. That way, when you get home from the horse show, you don’t have to do the sniff test on all the blankets, hoods, coolers, towels, tail bags, etc. Instead, you can just throw the items from the basket in the machine. Plus, with the collapsible basket, it is a space saver when you’re trying to pack up the trailer.
The secret is out on the portable tack room supplies. You can create a wall of saddle racks, headstall racks, and other equipment shelves by putting a few pieces together. However, the metal can sometimes be slippery, and then you have that devastating moment of walking into the tack stall and finding your tack in the dirt. By putting just a little vet wrap on the parts of the racks that hold the stuff, it creates enough grab to prevent the slippage.
In the hectic atmosphere that trying to get to and from the show pen can be, tack can get thrown all over the stall. To help ease some of the chaos, simply take some duct tape and a marker to create temporary place assignments for each exhibitor at the show. That way, everyone’s tack stays in the same, easy-to-find place throughout the whole horse show.
Simple, stackable storage containers are great to keep in the trailer to use in the tack stall. They are easy to put up; simply slip two or three zip ties between it and the bars on the stall, and there you have easy access to any of your necessary, quick-grab items. It’s a perfect place for brushes, the clippers, or the bag of treats for the horses. You can use as many or as few as you need, and they are stackable, which makes them easy to store in the trailer.
One great way to keep all of your supplies organized is to have labeled storage containers for specific items. This tip saves the potential mess created by rummaging and the time wasted looking. When everything has a place, the getting ready process becomes much easier. This suggestion is also a great option for the horses that can’t seem to leave their stall bags alone – just give them a storage bin for all of their belongings.
Speaking of bins for storage, make sure you keep the silica packets you get from your new shoes and throw them in when you store sheets, hoods, quilts, coolers and polo wraps. It will prevent them from getting moldy in wet weather and during prolonged storage. The last thing you want to do is pull out your stuff at the show to discover a bin full of items that are no good to you. They can also be purchased at your local home goods store, but whatever you do, don’t eat them!
What are some of your tack stall hacks? Post them in our comments section.