A disorganized tack room can be a huge pain. I recently went riding with a very kind and horse-loving person, but if I’m honest, their tack room organization left me stressed out! It took almost an hour to find all of the bridles, saddles, saddle pads, over-reach boots, and riding helmets we needed before we could ride out—and we were only three riders!
A tack room should be organized, with everything in its place, so you can find what you need without having to look for it. It can save you time and frustration, while giving you a more enjoyable riding experience overall. So before you start throwing things into empty feed bags and shoe boxes, it’s time to design a tack room organization plan!
Your tack room is about to get a revamp, and you might never be able to live with a disorganized tack room again! Time to roll up your sleeves and get started with these great tack room ideas.
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).
The Purpose of a Tack Room
If you’re a non-horsey person or are brand new to riding, you might wonder what tack is and why you need a whole room for it. Riders know that a tack room is a rider’s sanctuary, where you keep all your horse riding equipment and other horse-related items.
A tack room is a term that refers to any space where riding equipment and other horse-related paraphernalia are kept. So, while we call it a tack room, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a room! Tack rooms can be a locked trunk, the back of your car, an old closet, and even a recycled fridge.
No matter the type of tack room you have come up with, a tack room is there to keep your horse-related things neat and clean and where you can find them quickly when you need to.
The Tack Room Plan
Before you start organizing, you first have to decide what you want to put in your tack room. Do you have riding equipment such as saddles, bridles, helmets, and safety gear? Perhaps you also need a space where you can store medication you may need in case your horse is sick or injured? Other things to think about include boots, winter blankets, rugs, grooming supplies, boots, and maybe even training books you might want to keep at the barn to reference as you improve your riding skills.
Different Tack Room Sections & Areas
Once you know what will actually go into your tack room, you can create different areas where you can store tack. If your tack room is small, you can use different containers, specific baskets, and even an old closet to make the most of the space available to you. (See more small tack room ideas here.)
Labels Make Things A Lot Easier!
Part of making an organized tack room is to label every storage area or container so you instantly know where your items are and can access them easily. Labeling also helps you know where to put things back.
Additionally, if you have some friends over for a ride, you can help them pack things away neatly and easily when they are labeled. This can help you protect your tack investments by not losing anything… After all, the costs of all of that riding gear adds up and you want it to last as long as possible!
Tack Room Staples for Neatness
A few basic things can really make your life so much easier when it comes to your tack room. Ensure you have all the items you use regularly, such as your bridle and saddle, in an easy-to-access area of your tack room.
Smaller items such as spare bits, shoes, boots, etc., can be stored in closed containers to make it easier to keep them clean and in their place. Having plastic containers for smaller items is a great way to keep things neat and orderly.
How to Store Different Tack Items
Different horse-related paraphernalia require different storage tactics to keep them neat, clean, and in their place. Here are a few ways to store the basic items you should have in your tack room.
A saddle should be stored in its saddle bag on a saddle rack or suitable saddle trunk. If you ride frequently, you may choose not to place your saddle back in its bag. But even then, it’s a good idea to cover the saddle with a bag to prevent accidental spills and damage.
Use a stirrup iron pouch to prevent the stirrups rubbing at the saddle’s panels. Tie stirrups up against the saddle to prevent bruised knees when a stirrup swings free from a saddle as you take the saddle down from the rack.
Use a saddle rack like this English Wall Mount Saddle Rack to keep your English saddle neat, or you can also create your own unique saddle mounting system using a few different DIY methods:
- Bucket Saddle Holders
By using several large buckets and attaching these to the wall, you can mount a saddle over each, while the inside of the bucket can be used to keep saddle pads and other riding equipment contained for each horse or rider. This is a great idea for shared tack rooms where each rider can then have their own area for their tack.
- Rustic Barn-Style Saddle Poles
Simple wood posts can be put to good use to make your own saddle poles, like this great idea. You could as easily use a couple of 2 x 4 inch timbers to make a similar construction. For heavier Western saddles, simply screw a few of the 2 x 4 inch sections together to get the required strength.
- Saddle Horse Stand
If you have the floor space, you can opt for a wooden saddle horse or even a metal frame that is sturdy enough to hold a saddle. Alternatively, if you share your tack room with other riders, you can go for a compact saddle trunk that has space for the saddle on top and multiple drawers to keep your other bits and pieces in.
- Saddle Hangers
Another interesting way to store a saddle is by using a flexible saddle hanger where the saddle hangs from a nylon strap that hooks to the wall. The benefit of this design is that you can take the whole saddle strap with you when you travel, simply transferring the hook to your vehicle’s headrests.
Saddle pads can be stored in any number of ways, but it’s best to keep them in a flat vertical or horizontal position as rolling them will cause curling and a poor fit. Here are some great ideas to store them neatly.
Psst: I discovered a large flat plastic “suitcase” at my local thrift store that I can fit all my extra saddle pads in. It’s great as I can keep my saddle pads flat, clean, and dry. Plus, when I need to go to shows, I can simply grab the suitcase and go.
- Saddle Pad Racks
A simple rack system can help you organize your collection of saddle pads. A swinging system like the Equi Racks 5 Arm Wall Mount Blanket Pad Rack is ideal, as you can select any saddle pad without first having to remove others. If you are an avid DIY-er, you can also make one with PVC conduit tubes.
- Saddle Pad Bags
If you want to ensure your saddle pads are clean as a whistle, then try some PVC bags like these 10 Pack Large PVC Poster Storage Bags. While you probably won’t want to store your daily-use saddle pad like this, you can store your fancy ones and show saddle pads to ensure they stay clean and neat.
To keep your horse blankets organized during summer, you can use a couple of these Clear Zippered Storage Bags (3-Pack), and to save space, vacuum the air out before sealing.
- Puzzle Carrier
For another idea that will keep your saddle pads clean and secure, try out a puzzle carrier like this one, which zips closed and has handles for easier traveling.
There are two basic ways to store bridles: on a hook or in a bridle bag. Bridle bags can be purchased from most online tack stores, so I’m not going to dive into that in too much detail in this article. However, bridle hooks can be bought, made, and repurposed, so let’s talk briefly about that.
Here are some unusual and very useful ways to store your bridles neatly.
- Home-Made Hooks
There are many different homemade bridle hooks that you can create. I love this funky design using old horseshoes. Leftover bits of log can also be repurposed into great bridle racks that can safely hold several bridles.
For a special touch, you can buy a few cheap plastic toy horses, some spray paint, and a bit of pallet wood to create a masterful horse-shaped bridle hook. How beautiful is that?!
- Utility Hooks
You can also buy some utility hooks for your tack room. Not only can you hang bridles from them, but you can also use them to hang halters, rope, helmets, and anything else you need to get up off the floor. This 10-pack of Garage Hooks is great value for the money and these hooks are ideal to use around the barn and tack room.
- Specialized Bridle Hooks
Bridle hooks are also sold specifically for the purpose of holding bridles. Whether you want a single bridle hook or a bridle hook that can hold multiple bridles if you have several horses or share a tack room with other riders, there’s a hook out there for you.
A tack room isn’t just for riding equipment. If you’re a horse rider and owner, you know that horses often get injured while out in the paddock. Dealing with injuries requires that you can get your hands on the right medicine in a flash. Bandages and wraps also need to be clean and ready to use, which requires some planning and organizing.
I love to have my medical supplies in clear PVC containers that I can instantly see into, but I also need to get to these containers quickly (and not search for them behind some hay or under a stack of feed bags).
Here are some great storage ideas for your medical supplies:
- Cubicle-Style Shelves
I love the Puroma Cube Storage Organizer shelves, which are super easy to assemble. I can easily create a system where bandages go in one cubicle, topical medications in another, disinfectants in one cube, and muscle treatments in another.
I’d recommend buying more than one set for a super organized tack room. It’s a lot easier than searching for your stuff, and you can simply assemble the shelves on the floor.
- Repurposed PVC Containers
I use some of these Clear Makeup Cosmetic Bags, which are ideal for medication. You could easily repurpose large plastic tubs and bins instead, depending on how much you have to store. The PVC tubs that my horses’ supplements come in are ideal for storing bandages and cotton wool. I simply mark each and I know exactly what’s in each tub (even if the tub isn’t see-through).
- Hanging Baskets
Baskets are also ideal for storing all sorts of odds and ends that you need to keep neat and organized. This set of 4 hanging wall baskets works well to pop onto the inside of your tack room cabinet, or you can slide them onto a metal rail on the wall.
- PVC Shoe Hangers
At home, you might organize your shoes with a low price clear pocket-style organizer, so why not use the same to organize your medicine, boots, bandages, and more? Hang these behind the tack room door to save space.
As a bonus, these over-the-door hangers are ideal for traveling, too. Simply hang one or two of these in the front of your horse trailer and you can take your supplies with you.
Storing your grooming supplies can take the form of a grooming tote bag, a plastic tools tote, or even a utility tote bag like this teacher’s bag. Even a collapsible bucket like this one can work like a charm.
Feed and Supplements
When you have horses, you will have feed, supplements, and other additives that you use daily. While it’s not ideal to store this in the same area as your tack room, you may simply not have extra space to store it separately. In this case, you need containers and storage ideas that are rodent-proof, mold resistant, and easy to move.
After rats chewed through my fifth plastic drum(!!), I decided to look for alternatives. Here are a few that may work surprisingly well in your tack room:
- An Old Freezer
It’s an oldie but a goodie: storing your sweet feed in an old freezer. No need to plug this in as you will only need the “box” to keep the feed in. Use a sturdy hasp latch to keep rats out as they are great at figuring out how to lift lids.
- A Steel Bin
A trash can can also work well if it’s made of steel and closes tightly. I love this Amazon Basics 50 Liter / 13.2 Gallon Soft-Close Trash Can, as I can lift the lid with my foot while I scoop up dinner for my horses. As long as I don’t spill feed on the floor, the rats are none the wiser that there’s feed inside.
- A Steel Drum
If you’re lucky, you can buy a cleaned out oil drum with a locking lid from a co-op or a local farmer’s market. This is a handy way to store your horse’s feed without letting rats or industrious horses into the drum when you’re not around. You can drop a whole bag of sweet feed or a square bale of hay into a drum, making an oil drum a handy storage hack around the yard.
You can also purchase a steel drum that hasn’t been used with any chemicals or oils online, like this one. You would have to buy a drum lid closure or have a handyman create a good quality hinged lid with a sturdy latch.
Organize Your Tack Room in 4 Steps
Okay, your head might be bursting with ideas, and then you turn around to look at the dust-covered, chaotic mess that’s your tack room at the moment. It’s okay! You’re not alone, so I created these steps to help you focus and get the job done of organizing your tack room. (You don’t have to do everything all at once!)
Step 1: List It
A pen and several sheets of paper in hand, list all the different things you have in your tack room. You don’t have to include each 18 gauge needle or hoof pick, but it’s helpful to list the different types of things you need to store. My list looked like this:
- Saddles x 3
- Bridles x 5
- Training gear
- Riding crops x 3
- Saddle pads x 8
- Horse blankets x 5 (seasonal)
- Fly sheets and masks
- Feed containers
- Supplements and feed
- Grooming equipment
- Medicines and spray bottles
- Safety gear
Step 2: Find Commonality
Examining your list over a cup of coffee, consider which items you use frequently, which are seasonal or only used in case of emergencies, and what items go with other items. The purpose of this step is to identify patterns so you can organize the tack room contents into related areas that will give you easy access to everything you need in a perfect way.
In my organization strategy, I combine feed, supplements, and feed containers into one corner of the room, with grooming equipment, medicines, spray bottles, fly sheets and masks, and horse blankets into another area. Front and center are my saddle racks, bridle hooks, and safety equipment. Next to that is a large bin with all my training gear and riding crops.
Step 3: Clean Up and Move In
Now that you know what you need to put where, it’s time to clean up thoroughly. If you have enough space to do so, move everything out of the room. If you don’t, then place matching items close together and clean them in sections.
Then begin organizing items into different storage containers and areas.
Depending on how much space you have, you may also need to be disciplined and throw out anything unnecessary (have you used it in the past year?). For items of value that you’re not using, you may consider moving those to a different long-term storage area (like your garage or shed at home) to save space in the tack room.
I find it helpful to place a trash can near the door to throw out anything I don’t need to keep.
Step 4: Keep It This Way
Now that you’ve organized everything, try to keep it that way! At the end of each ride or barn visit, try to give yourself the time to put things back where you found them and do some light cleaning.
Tack Room Etiquette
When you have your own tack room, you can do as you please and use as much space as you like. However, if you share a communal tack room, you need to be aware of some general tack room etiquette that you and the other riders should follow.
Tip: If there’s uncertainty about what the rules of etiquette are, have an open meeting with all the parties involved and make some suggestions to ensure that everyone respects everyone else’s gear and space.
- What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is mine. (Unless, of course, both parties have already agreed to share!)
- Don’t use space not allocated to you.
- If you see a bridle or saddle has fallen, pick it up and place it where it belongs.
- Take smelly and sweaty rugs home to wash; don’t leave them to stink up the tack room.
- No open feed or other food stuff that can attract rats or insects.
- If you are using any sort of poison (such as for pest control), tell the other riders, and use it wisely so you don’t contaminate gear or feed.
The Final Organization Tips
Your tack room is a space where you should feel ordered so your mind will be settled when you saddle and ride.
You can use racks, storage containers, and specialized hooks to keep everything where it belongs. Place as much as you can against the walls, saving floor space and making everything more easily accessible. When your gear and horse equipment is organized, the rest will fall into place much more easily.
But remember that once your tack room is organized, try to keep it that way! You can learn more about horse tack in our comprehensive guide and consider how to store these items too.