Recently, I had to move to a different property with my horses, and when I realized there was no tack room, I had a wobble. How was I going to make sense of my horse tack and the 1,001 different things that I usually keep in my tack room?!
When you work with small spaces for a tack room, you need to be creative and innovative. I scoured the web, looking for the best ideas on how to manage a small tack room, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Here are some of the best ideas and organizing tips for keeping a small scale tack room tip-top.
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you). All recommendations are honest ones!
Getting Organized and Making the Most of Small Spaces
Whichever form your tack room takes—a large trunk, old closet, small garden shed, or closed rack on a wall—you need to be super organized if you want that small space to make sense and serve as your perfect horsey storage area.
The first step is to take stock of everything you have and what you want to store there. Let’s start with the essentials that you have to keep under lock and key or protected.
Essentials Stored in a Tack Space
I want to store a lot of things in my tack space, but I had to cut down severely when I realized I would no longer have a tack room (at least, until I build one!). Therefore, I had to make a few selective cut backs. Here are the essentials you need to store in your tack room:
- Riding equipment (saddles, bridles, helmets, crops, and saddle pads)
- Medicines (bandages, ointments, pills, etc.)
- Grooming equipment (brushes, hoof picks, wash bucket, soap, sprays, etc.)
Nice-to-Haves in a Tack Space
Next, I considered the things I would really like to have in my tack space, but that I may not have space for. These are items that I don’t use every day, but that I’d like to keep safe.
- Horse blankets
- Fly sheets
- Training equipment
- Extra tack (bits, masks, ropes, cords, etc.)
- Show equipment
Assessing Available Space and Subdividing
When you know how you can utilize the available space, you can start making innovative decisions on how to store things. If you have a corner in your garage, you may be able to use a few shelves, a couple of utility boxes, and some hooks to hang items.
For years, I only had the back of my car and the trunk to store stuff, which meant I often had to be able to remove tack when I headed out with passengers or when I needed to pick up a lot of groceries. Having separate storage boxes that contained my horsey life was a good call.
In my new situation, I had to make the most of a shared barn, so I ended up buying a large double-door wardrobe from a yard sale. It was lockable, which I wanted since I was sharing the barn with hired hands, riders, and the general public.
In my wardrobe-tack space, I could hang stuff, stack stuff (there are about five shelves), and I could also use the back of the wardrobe doors. Larger stuff that I didn’t need daily (and that wasn’t irreplaceable) I could place on top of the wardrobe.
Since I wasn’t precious about the outside of the wardrobe, I could also add a few temporary hooks to hold my bridle and helmet while I saddled.
What can you do in your tack space? How can you use the space to store things related to your horses?
6 Small Tack Room Ideas
1. Closet Tack Room/Space
In this riding closet, the space is neatly organized with different storage containers to keep the riding gear, sprays, grooming equipment, and blankets stored. By using different racks and storage methods, you can keep things where they belong, and it makes cleaning up and repacking a breeze.
What to Get:
- Saddle rack
- Bridle hook
- Towel rails
- Tack cleaning hook
- Utility baskets
- Broom holders (to keep lunging whips and crops organized)
- A corner shower caddy (for ointments and medicine)
2. Tack Room Cubicles
If you share space with other riders, you may be allocated a cubicle or locker-room space. Keeping things neat with appropriate hooks, crates, etc. is essential.
To keep things where they belong, having a lock per storage container is a good idea. Ensure you bolt these into the walls or pack smaller containers into a larger tack box that can be locked and easily hauled with you to shows.
What to Get:
- Bridle hooks
- Saddle racks
- Large heavy duty PVC crate, or you can get two crates to keep things even more organized
- Utility hooks to keep things hanging and organized
- Battery operated emergency light to help you find stuff
3. Shelved Tack Room Idea
If you do have a little bit more space, then using multiple storage bins and boxes can really help you organize things beautifully. I simply love this neat and tidy tack room idea.
For multiple saddles, you can save on cost and buy some hairpin table legs online, mount these to a wall, add a stopper to the front, and hang four saddles for a steal!
What to Get:
- A couple of PVC shelving units
- A shelf enclosure or cover kit to keep things dust-free
- Bridle hooks
- Saddle horses or trestles
- Labels to identify the crates’ contents if the crates are not clear view
4. Mobile Tack Stand
When you have no space where you can actually drill to put up hooks or shelves, a mobile tack stand is a great choice. The pain point here is that you can only store what you need right now. Any extra bits and accessories will have to be stored elsewhere.
What to Get:
- A tack trunk or large wooden tool box and utility trolley
- Wooden shelves
- PVC storage tubs
5. Off the Floor Tack Space
A system of shelves, hooks, and not a thing on the floor—every rider’s dream. When everything is off the floor, you can clean easily and keep things neat.
In a shared space, you may want to go for a lockable saddle rack like the HORZE Lockable Saddle Rack. To keep your bridle, halter, and lead ropes clean, adding a bridle bag with hooks to the shelving system is a great idea.
What to Get:
- A shelf mounting system
- Wooden or wire shelves
- Grid hook system
- A low-footprint saddle blanket or horse blanket rack
- A whip holder
6. The Tack Room Car!
For many of us, our car becomes our tack room. We travel to and from barns and horse show venues, and the back of our cars become tack rooms on wheels. If you plan things neatly, you can have a very respectable space.
A car is a very small space in which to unpack your saddle, bridle, grooming kit, feed, medicines, show equipment, safety equipment, and more. Yet, it is totally doable.
What to Get:
- A saddle hanger (like the Intrepid International Portable Wooden Saddle Rack, which can be modified to work in a car with a bit of bungee cord). Or if you have a minivan, you can use a saddle horse (like this Winsome Wood Eleanor Storage unit)
- A bridle bag with external hooks to secure it
- A utility crate to store all the loose bits and pieces of tack
- Alternatively, you could get a car trunk organizer
- A car trunk mat (preferably a non-slip one) can help keep things where they belong and make cleaning up a breeze
Last Minute Tack Hack for Storage
Finally, the last tip I’d like to share is to label your containers thoroughly. I made my own color coded system to help me instantly know whether a particular container is for medicine, brushing boots, or something else.
Extra bits and tack items are stored in a black flat container that goes right at the bottom of my tack closet. Grooming accessories go into a green shopping tote bag, which I can easily get my hands on.
When I mark these containers, I start with a general category, such as boots and bandages, followed by a more detailed description. This also helps me know what I’ve run out of when I compare what’s actually inside with what should be inside.
I like to use marker pens to write directly on the containers, then I can simply wipe this off with rubbing alcohol. However, you can go with printed labels, sticky labels, and even a photo of what’s in your containers on the outside.
The Final Space
No matter the size of your tack room, you can and should keep it neat and tidy. When it’s organized, you will use the maximum space, and you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in a flash.
Remember to make the most of the space by deciding on what you have to store (essentials) and what you’d like to store (but may not fit). Try to get things off the floor if you can. Shelves, containers, and storage bags are your friend!
Read my full guide on how to organize a tack room while decluttering it and keeping it clean (but user-friendly too). If you’re feeling really inspired and create a magnificent tack room organized scheme, I’d love to see it—so please share!