tack room, door or no door

With Midwest Horse Fair rapidly approaching, my mind is gearing up to look and learn more about everything related to barn interiors. The big & little stuff. We've gathered plenty of experience on our own to know how we prefer horse care routine to flow. But there are a lot of improvements that have come out over the years. I love learning and am always open to whatever makes sense. I've always said, you only know what you know. 

With the barn shell up, we have a real need to think through interior details. How will we use XYZ? How will things flow best? We've picked out and quoted the fans we plan to get. Will have to look more into stalls. Airflow & safety is SO important to us. Many vendors will be at Fair, it will be fun to see the products and talk in person again. 

There are other undecided barn and horse care aspects to ponder. Indoor water options, and outdoor waterers (once pastures are designated). Another unanswered question that has been on my mind lately - do we put a door on the tack room - or not? Doors keep out dust, but you also have to maneuver through them with full hands.

If you have a tack room, does it have a door on it? 

Most of the barns I've been in have no door. They all have open tack areas, where every thing is dusty. Boarding barns have more activity, and are different then personal barns. Do we really want to deal with yet another a door? Do we really want to deal with the dust? What's the worst of two evils? We may start without a door, and add it if needed. 

I found a good general article on the perfect tack room. That's what I want, an organized tack room that is functional and as close to "perfect" as we can get. Whatever that is. Do we group all the saddles together? Brads are used by more then one horse. All the bridles together? All the pads? Probably. Some of these could be organized by horse. After all, that is how we use them. Each horse has there own pad, halter, bridle, wraps, brush etc. Might sound picky. Besides unique fit, if you had to deal with Nemo's super fine white hair - you would understand!! Trust me. What is the best storage method? Hmmm. I am not a big fan of storing stuff all over the stall fronts. Hangers yes, permanent hanging tack no. 

Right now we have a nice oversized Cedar Storage cabinet that Brad built. Tack is by group, overflowing, and barely gets used. The tack we use regularly lives outside the storage cabinet for easy access, covered in carrying bags. Maybe that's the system we should stick with. Enclose less used tack & leave the regularly used with easy access. We will likely have three adult riders tack, and four horses. However, it's always wise to think out storage space with potential expansion in mind. Doubtful we will add more regular riders with tack, but another horse or two is a real possibility. 

Brad & I haven't really talked much about the wash stall. I'd love to have one of those rotating hanging wands, but a simple hose with a hanger works too. I've found some interesting ideas on Pinterest, like a corner shelf with a bucket hook. 

Sooo many options when you are starting from scratch.

back of the barn
horse side is still completely empty

Do tell if there is something unique about your tack storage/wash stall/barn system that you love and recommend?


Shirley said...

I think a tack door is a must if you don't like cleaning your tack often. Dust is really hard on leather and you will get plenty of dust using an arena or just riding. You could go with a sliding barn door style that is easy to open and doesn't take up space in the aisle or in the tack room.

Mrs Shoes said...

Wouldn't be without a door myself; even the door has a door (cat door). We keep our saddles on stands, covered, & each horse has their own bridle hook, with a couple of extra hooks for miscellaneous. We keep halters & leads on hooks out in the barn, hanging from the straw storage wall so they're handy to grab on the way outside.
It's all to your individual preference - your barn is WAAAAYY bigger than ours (yet, when we built it, 48 X 36 seemed enormous) and is meant to serve cattle & other stuff too so you have a lot more to think about.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I guess you'll have to decide what works best for you and your needs. We have a tack room with a door. It's not a problem going in and out with saddles because when we're going to ride we leave it open. It keep the dust out and we have baseboard heat and a wall air conditioner in it and in the summer a dehumidifier. We have saddle racks on the wall along with bridle holders. The thing I really like that my daughter thought of for the saddle pads are these metal racks that look like hangers and they swing left to right to give access to the pad you want. It also is good for letting them dry while hanging. They're hard to explain but I could send you a picture if you're interested. We also have a double sink with hot and cold water and a few cabinets and counter top. There is a cut out space where we have a small fridge too. Like the ones they use in college. It's great for carrots, apples and meds that need refrigeration. We also bought a free standing cabinet for medications. I know this is getting to be a book. The only thing I can think of not recommending is a tile floor because ours gets slippery when wet.

In the wash stall the one thing we invested in that I like is ceiling heaters. There are two long ones on either side of the wash stall and it's handy if you need to use the wash stall in cold weather. For the shampoos and other washing needs we have a rubber wall box that doesn't matter if you get it wet. The walls are also done in stone which I like better than wood. We also have automatic heated waterers inside the stalls and outside in the paddocks. It's a big help. I hope some of these ideas help you decide what you want to use or what you don't.

aurora said...

You guys are awesome, and gave me much to think about ~ this is so helpful!! My concern with another door comes from years of endless multiple trips hauling tack in/out of a human door that has to be kept shut due to pets/weather each and every trip. Indoor doors have to be kept shut too. Thank goodness we don't haul through those too, but some do.

Shirley, Agreed. I don't like cleaning but I dislike dirty tack even more. It's amazing how long leather can last when taken care of.

Mrs. Shoes, handy is the key word!! I think it might be easier to figure out placement once interior walls are up and space is defined.

Arliene, you have such a well thought out barn system! You mentioned things I hadn't even considered, like heaters & rubber storage in wash stalls. I don't know much about indoor wash stalls. The swinging saddle pad rack sure seems convenient. I could see how a larger sink would be better utilized in a tack room, then a front office type room (needs a better name). Thanks for the details!

It's so interesting to hear how others organize & use barn space!!

Mrs Shoes said...

One other thing I remembered that I wanted to mention - a revolving wall.
If you key in revolving tack wall, you'll see a lot of images. Since you have such a big operation, I thought you might like the idea. I found out about this AFTER we built our barn; better believe if I'd seen it first I'd have put it on my 'Please Mr Shoes, PLEEEAAASEE" list!

aurora said...

A revolving tack wall?? I will have to Google that, never heard of it. Thanks for stopping back Mrs. Shoes!

Side note; I had to edit my post. We no longer have stalls picked out...in the end, I plan to post about less then desirable occurrences.