Harness Storage for Barn
Does anyone have any photos of clever harness storage in the barn?
We are building a new barn, and will have a drive through hitch and harness area, with one wall, 24 ft, common with the office/ feed room. I would like to have it all accessible, not a separate room.
I have working harness for 4, show harness for pair, plus show collars, a draft harness, then the miscellaneous training, worn out Zilcos.
I would first ask what you drive most of the time? Unless you are a Training barn, you might want to just keep the harness you use most out on the "wall" hooks. It just collects a lot of dirt stored out of the harness room, synthetic or leather, so you need to clean it off before using it or keep it looking nice.
I would absolutely keep any show item put away to save getting dirty or marked up. Also easier to keep the metals clean if harness is stored, for show preparations. Harness stored correctly on proper racks or in trunks, will not have the full weight pulling down on it, which can enlarge holes, puts stress on stitching and leather over time. Especially hard on bridles with the extra weight of bits pulling down.
There are inexpensive harness racks, sets of racks, for hanging your harnesses on when they are off the equines. You may want to make your own racks. I want a harness rack for collars that has a gentle radius, so the entire inside of a upside-down collar is supported, not just where a narrow hook passes thru it. A skinny hook can pull the curve into a sharp point on the collar leather. Same thing with a breastcollar or breeching, both made to curve around the chest and rump, no sharp folds. Harness saddle needs a bit of an A-frame, so tree inside is following the same shape it is made with. My bridles that are hung, also need a bracket or device that gives the crown the needed curve that a horse head has.
I don't want any of my harness reins, traces, pieces/parts to have a sharp fold in them. So they are often GENTLY curved in being hung up, using the same bracket as the breastcollar or bridles. We usually hang the traces from one end, no bend or fold in them at all. We have different singletree attachments on various vehicles, so having the extra traces hung at hand, saves time when we need to change them out.
We have the Zilco harness hung out for daily work most of the time. This would be 4 sides, could be used for a Pair or the Four. Takes up most of our only vacant wall space. Getting any other harness used, requires us to haul it in and out while getting the horses comfortable wearing it, fitted right, before competitions.
Ideal Harness sells brackets:
Driving Essentials has those same brackets and the Zilco Harness bracket with all the hangers on one piece, that a lot of folks have said good stuff about.
Other folks have other bracket designs that can work well too, you just have to shop around to see them. Rounds cut from fence posts or small tree trunks, could give you that good radius for curves needed to hold breeching and breastcollars, bridles. You could paint or stain them to keep the wood dry and go with your barn decor. Making those rounds deeper, front to back, could let you put a couple harnesses on the same holder, save some wall space for you.
We harness in the aisle, hitch the vehicle there too. Nice not to have to carry things far. You are protected from the wind or weather. Our aisle is a straight length, front to back, so we can drive on out, back inside to unhitch.
In my previous barn, I harnessed in the aisle. It was only a 10 ft aisle, so I had to hitch outside. My horses are generally good at standing as a result, lol. My harness never made it back to the tackroom; it always hung in the aisle.
The new barn has a 24' X 18' area plus a 16' aisle for hitching, and the synthetic harness will be on the wall of this area, enclosed somehow. I am hoping to have sliding doors. I was hoping someone had the perfect system!!
My show harness will go in the office. I already have all the harness hangars that were in the closet at the old house.
Wow, you could have PARTIES in a 16ft aisle!
Ours is 12ft wide, but kept free of obstructions at all times, because we DO drive thru the barn daily. Nothing hanging on the stall doors to snag or get caught on. Could be the tractor and spreader or some hitch of horses using that aisle, so we keep it cleaned out. We do hitch in the aisle, but with our 12ft width there is plenty of room, even with our larger Sporthorses.
I recently purchased Ideal Harness racks, but I really loved their rolling trolley- not in my price rance, but seems like it might be a nice option for you- they also sell a cover for it. I wouldn't want my show harness in the aisle... if I had show harness.
Not much help here, but reminds me of a story - back in my driving days, my show harness hung in my (dry) basement on hooks that came down from some pipes. One day Electric Guy came to change my meter - when he saw all those leather straps etc hanging in the basement, he changed that meter in about 30 seconds and BOLTED. :eek: HA HA HA
How about a spinning wall like this http://www.classic-equine.com/barn-a...s/tack-systems. I don't know if you can really see it in the top picture, but part of the wall spins around into the aisle.
I saw that spinning wall on a show years ago! I am pretty sure it costs more than my ENTIRE barn. But I appreciate the link, and the wire organizer may work for saddle storage.
There are several late 1800s stables in our area that have harness cases built into the wall similar to these (but deeper).
They work rather well at having things well organized, clean and handy, but you will have to arrange them in areas the horses aren't likely to get too near. I'll look and see if I have any pictures of the local places.
You might be surprised at the cost from a local contractor. It just doesn't look that difficult to make, but I know looks can be deceiving.
Not sure if this is fancy enough, but I just use a hose hanger. It's the perfect size for a harness, and the breast collar, traces, bridle, etc hang neatly on the piece that sticks up.
This is the one I have.
Cheap and easy.
Drive NJ, DH would love that. We are trying to put a kitchenette in the office,(that means I have no idea if we can afford it, once the important things are done) and he had this island idea, with glass front cabinets under the bar, complete with stools, where we could kick these lovely glass cabinets! I told him the maid (me) would charge a LOT to keep those clean.....
This barn is trying to be the barn, office, trophy room, carriage storage,guest house, neighborhood social spot, driving ring viewing area, and other things I am sure. That's a lot to ask of a barn!!
Tiffani B, that's a pretty neat idea! Thanks!
TMR, do you think that is specialized hardware?
It doesn't appear to be anything specialized. In their product catalog on pages 57-59, it shows the swinging wall better. It looks like it is just framed with angle iron and held with a rod that it swings around. You wouldn't have to make it be the whole wall, just have them frame it in like an oversized window. On page 58, they also show a corner tack room that you could make work as well. Just some ideas that I have seen that I would have in my new barn, if I ever build a new barn and of course attached to an indoor arena. If I'm gonna dream I'm dreaming big. LOL
TMR- I'm imagining the "iron man dressing room" sort of a new high tech version of the old firehouse harness dropping pulleys..
Could you do built in tall cupboards that open from both sides? We had them in an old farmhouse we owned - they opened from the kitchen and the dining room. You could spec plexi on the horsey side for safety reasons. If your tackroom has windows, it would bring in light, too.
We were recently talking about this guy's work on another thread. He made me some beautiful bridle racks, as well as harness hooks that I use for my surcingles and lungeing equipment.
PVC works well over any kind of hook to keep harness parts in the correct curve. I have a piece of PVC my husband cut for me that is just about the size of my pony's poll, and I keep my bridle on that. I was amazed at the size range you can find.
DancingFoal...WOW, is that work beautiful!!
I can just imagine some harness racks made by him, installed on my disappearing, spinning wall, my 4 getting hitched whilst I straighten the feathers on my hat and pull on my gloves.....(screeching brake sound here) reality check....I only have $10.00 left in the barn budget, 24" depth for harness storage, and I do ALL the hitching by myself, so I may have to go to Dollar General to buy plastic shower curtains if I want the harness covered, LOL!!
Thanks for the great ideas, everyone! I will post pics when I get done, if it comes out photo-worthy!