This is one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love moving everything in and seeing my vision come together. However at times the initial design i had planned does need to be tweaked, as sometimes when everything is in you realise that you can change it a bit to better maximise the space.
So the things to bare in mind are:
Saddle racks – these take up a lot of room and you also need to take into account the height. If you have spare saddles that you don’t use often look at putting some saddle racks up high out of the way, with these spare saddles on. The saddles you use regularly think about how easy it is for you to get to them – i have a bad back so having lower saddle racks and lifting the saddles up off them works much better for me, however you may find it easier to have the higher racks, this is something you are going to be doing daily, sometimes more, so make sure it is the right height to be comfortable for you.
Bridle hooks – i am a huge fan of keeping the bridles seperate to the saddles. This is because i use different bits for different dicaplines, so in stead of swoppping bits all the time i have seperate bridles. So i like all my bridles and headcollars hung up together seperate from the saddles. That way i can easily mix and match the equipment depending on what im doing that day in my riding. I also like them seperate from the saddles because i like to hang my brisles at eye heigh and then get a shelf above for tack cleaning kit and spare bits, as well as my hats. That way if im lunging or hand walking i have all that kit to hand, and i dont need to go near the saddle racks.
Doorways – make sure these are clear with moving room either side of the entryway. Take into account things like being able to fully open the door and prop it back if needed, getting in tack trolleys and trunks as well as lockers and tack packs. You dont want to start packing to go away and find out you can’t get your luggage into your tack room.
Lights – make sure you have easy access to lights for changing the bulbs etc, plus make sure there is clearance for things like fliniging a saddlecloth over a saddle or rack, it might seem inconsiquential but if you wack a tube light they do tend to shatter and you and everythign else gets showered with glass – this is not only dangerous, but also an absolute pain to tidy up, and ther is a large chance of saddles etc getting scratched by the glass.
Heaters and dehumidifiers – if you are using plug in equipment makes sure there is space around a socket and also the equipment itself when in use. Direct heat is really bad for leather and drys it out – leading to cracks and breakages, so make sure any heat source is away from tack and other leather items.
Windows – make sure materials items such as saddlecloths and rugs, hat silks and back protectors are stored away from direct sunlight. As overtime sunlight can break down the waterproofing on rugs as well as cause faded patches on materials. Also in summer direct sunlight coming in through glass can get extremely hot and cause things like glues and adhesives to melt, this can lead to safety equipment such as riding hats and back protectors being compromised.
Shelving and cupboards – The biggest thing with these is making sure you have enough surrounding space to fully open doors and also pull things off of shelves. Make sure you put the shelving in first before hanging or adding in any saddle racks or other fixtures, there is nothing worse than having a shelf that is blocked in and you can’t get the kit off it. Remember to allow yourself room to be able to stand in front of the shelves or cupboards too. Depending on your set up you will need to consider if you want built in fixed storage or movable free standing storage. If you are going for the fixed type, make sure you measure and measure again, also tape out the area on the floor before committing and make sure you have the space in your tack room, as finding out too late leads to a very expensive way of getting things sorted out. With free standing storage you have the ability to change and move your tack room as you need to.
Seasonal items – i love to have a place that is out of the way to store seasonal items. My go to choice is shelving up high, that way i can pack away all of my winter rugs and pop them up on a shelf out of the way, until next winter. It is the same for all those summer items such as fly rugs and hoods, fly sprays turnout boots etc. This is a great way to maximise your space in the tack room and not be constantly sifting through things you don’t need, to find the things you do need.
Don’t forget to sign up to the email list to be kept up to date with more tack room storage and organisational ideas and products.