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Limiting how much stuff a boarder can keep in the barn.

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  • Limiting how much stuff a boarder can keep in the barn.

    We have limited storage space in our barn. We are currently 3/4 of the way through renovating our tack room and we've decided on tack lockers rather than open saddle racks. Am I out of line to ask my clients to only bring as much stuff as they can fit in the lockers?
    I really don't want tack boxes in the aisles. Horses get hung up on them, they collect dust and they limit free space. Most of the junk at the bottom of a tack box never sees the light of day.
    I offer free horse trailer parking so anyone with a trailer could have their own extras close at hand. I have shampoo/fly spray/saddle pads/towels/tack cleaning stuff available to my clients as part of their board and training packages. All they really need is tack, grooming kit and their own attire.
    Would you be disgruntled if your barn banned tack boxes and extra stuff?

  • #2
    I think this is a reasonable request as long as they have enough space for the essentials. To me that's tack, a spare saddle pad or two, a first aid kit, grooming kit, and some odds and ends like gloves and spurs. That being said I'm a bit of a hoarder and I love having a big locker that I can customize with hooks and baskets.
    I love my Econo-Nag!


    • #3
      Your barn, your rules. And you don't have to give reasons, just reasonable notice in advance.

      (I wouldn't be upset, but then I don't _have_ a tack trunk, I've always worked out of my trailer.)
      ... and Patrick


      • #4
        Not out of line at all.
        Every barn I boarded at had a limit to the space you could use. My dad built me an awesome trunk when I was in my early 20s. Then I moved to a barn that didn't have space for trunks, so it went to my parent's to sit until it could be used again.
        I also hate trunks in the aisle and do not allow it at my farm.

        IMO it is not a boarding barn's responsibility to provide storage for every single horse-related item a horse owner owns. When I boarded, I always kept my show stuff at home, anything that wasn't used on at least a weekly basis (other than medical/emergency supplies), as well as my blankets during non-blanketing season.
        Custom tack racks!


        • #5
          I would not appreciate it. I like to be able to have all my vet care things on hand. I also like to be able to store various boots, wraps, blankets, and other items that I may not know exactly when I may need but want them available. I have seen barns that ask that saddles and bridles only be stored in the tack room but another room for trunks and of cubbies/lockers has usually been provided. Having individual lockable areas is always preferable as a boarder. I have also seen barns ask that storage be limited to a saddle, bridle, and one tack box, sometimes located in its own room. I think this is reasonable. Another option is to have a separate charge for storage space which encourages people to double up on a locker and minimize stuff.


          • Original Poster

            The lockers will be big enough to hold 2 saddles, bridles, brush kit, helmet, boots and a little space left over.
            Tack room is has heat, AC and a fridge so stuff can all stay the right temp/humidity level.
            I anticipate a little push back from 2 clients who have jumbo personalized tack boxes.


            • Original Poster

              We have hangers for blankets and coolers in an area with no climate control. There's enough room for every horse to have a full wardrobe.
              As far as first aid, meds and bandages, I have quite the selection to get any horse started until the owner can provide their own at a later date.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Goforward View Post
                I anticipate a little push back from 2 clients who have jumbo personalized tack boxes.
                give them the address of the nearest self-storage place where they can rent whatever size they need


                • #9
                  We shared a fairly small tack room between six boarders: it was two saddle racks, four bridle hooks, and room for a modest trunk/bin each. Most of us also had a trailer parked on site, so most bulk storage was taken care of that way.

                  I fit my first aid kit in a file-sized box that fit in my Contico tool trunk (about 37” wide), along with my grooming box, everyday horse boots, helmet, and some daily incidentals. We did have cabinet space for a wash kit in the wash rack, as well as space in the laundry room for a tack cleaning kit. Out-of-season blankets had to be stored in a trailer or go home.

                  A former barn had tack lockers, and they had dimensions that reflected about the space I had in the more recent tack room. I also had my trailer there, but it was more of a hike from the barn so it made more sense to think ahead to schlep stuff in the car on the way in or out.
                  Leap, and the net will appear


                  • #10
                    What about blanket storage?

                    We have tack lockers, but then added a blanket stall (2 hooks for each boarder, plus room for a tote), but that still wasn't enough, so we made another stall into extra storage for western saddles and supplements/feed. You may want to consider a shed or something for blanket storage/extra items if there is not inside storage available, but I would still limit how much room each boarder can take up in the space.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                    • #11
                      My immediate reaction to the description of your lockers:
                      - If your clients are not eventers, two saddle racks is a waste of space. Can one be removed to maximize vertical storage?
                      - Most of the real estate in my tack trunk is taken up by supplement storage (I provide reusable containers and fill supplements every week.) Do you provide alternate storage for this?
                      - Do you want to attract clients who will want to go to multi-day competitions? Unpacking a tack locker into a trunk to go on the road is a pain in the neck.
                      - You're essentially locking yourself into providing your current set of services- first aid supplies, shampoo, saddle pads, bandages- for life if you're not providing clients with adequate space to store their own. You know your market and your business. Is this level of service sustainable in your market? (I can't stop thinking about the laundry. If you're providing pads and towels, and you have 10+ horses on the property, that's at least a load a day you're doing for clients, not counting horse clothing or bandages.)

                      Your barn, your rules, but since you asked: personally, I hate lockers. This would make me reconsider the rest of your services with a very critical eye because the inconvenience sounds substantial given what I keep in my trunk and the space you describe in your lockers. Maybe I'd just be a bad client for you.

                      (Our barn's rule is one trunk, saddle rack, and bridle rack per boarder, plus trailer parking. A blanket bar is provided per stall. Most trunks are stored in the tack room.)
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


                      • #12
                        Some places I have boarded allowed one or two bins to be stored in another not-terribly-convenient location (in the hay loft, etc). If you choose to offer this, experience suggests dictating a standard bin will be easiest for storage (stacking neatly, limited weight, etc).


                        • #13
                          I hate tack lockers, and won’t have boxes in the aisle, so when I designed my barn, I made two separate areas:

                          A “gear” room, where all boarders have one large shelf on a huge steel unit I bought at Home Depot. Eachshelf has room for a grooming tote, and at least two good-sized Rubbermaid storage boxes. Helmets hang on hooks on the opposite wall. There is no winter blanket storage at the barn, people can store them at home.

                          Tack goes in the tack room, which doubles as the observation room. There are tons of saddle and bridle hooks...enough for every stall filled to have two of everything.

                          each stall has a blanket bar opposite. Non-seasonal items are removed and placed on the boarders shelf so they can store as wished.

                          My facility is is not a storage area. Items that are not in regular use can be stored at home.


                          • #14
                            I don't mind a limit on the space: most stuff gets buried in the back/bottom of the box anyway. Tack lockers are nice: everyone gets the same amount of space.

                            My only "must" is a place to lock my gear. My saddles are expensive: no way am I leaving them in an area where anyone can take them.


                            • #15
                              Also consider your region. I used to significantly limit barn storage to non college students because almost everyone else had a garage/basement. So storage could be at home, and the barn was for “need daily” and “need in an emergency.”

                              However, when I moved, we provided a ton of hay loft storage at the new barn because a lot of people (including amateurs/families) live in apartments or condos with limited storage.

                              Just be aware that if you’re insisting on people using your supplies (vs offering it), you’re increasing your level of responsibility. You must ALWAYS have clean pads, towels, fly spray, etc. because your boarders won’t have back ups of their own.

                              Personally, your space sounds very limited to me. I would at least want somewhere to store a rubber made of things I might need unexpectedly (wraps, boots, meds, corrective saddle pads, etc.). I know you have supplies, but I don’t want to worry about paying for your bute because mine is sitting at home. If I had a trailer, your lockers would be sufficient. So if everyone had a trailer, I think you’re fine.
                              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                              • #16
                                As a boarder, I expect to store seasonal items at home when they are not in use. I don't expect the barn to provide storage for the entire lot of stuff I have accumulated over the years (and probably need to get rid of a lot of it). I expect that my allocated space will not expand, and I need to stay inside that space.

                                What I do need a small space for is not just my grooming box, but also a small collection of lotions & potions that are important to my horse's well-being. They can be stored efficiently and don't require more than about a 2' x 2' space, with height for bottles. That can be inside a tack trunk, or if there is not room for trunks, in another barn space like a shelf or a cubby.

                                Every horse has their own ongoing situations for the owner to battle, and I am all for owners wanting to keep their horse as comfortable as possible at the expense of an assortment of bottles and jars. Horses aren't toys that need only a mass-produced grooming kit, in pink or purple. My horse has ongoing hoof strength issues, plus some patches of tender skin that tends to itchy fungus, plus there is germ-defeating salve for all the little dings he picks up from arguments with herd-mates during turnout. Sometimes he's getting something prescription for something. And, of course, fly spray, which seems to be the most awkwardly sized container that tends to defeat efficient boarding space usage. (No, he would not last in the "wild" without all this stuff. )

                                I don't mind having a cap on the total space allowed, and I don't expect the barn to have space to store everything that piles up over time. I just need enough space to accommodate the things that make me and my horse comfortable, day to day.

                                Barn storage space doesn't have to be extravagant. But having enough space for the daily necessities is a decision point for some boarders.


                                • #17
                                  Boarded at one barn that had the saddles & bridles in the tack room, 2 saddle racks & 2 bridle racks per boarder, and then each boarder had a locker in the barn aisle in the cross-tie area. The built-in lockers were nested in the wall, so used barn space efficiently. Each locker held about as much as a tack trunk. It was handy to have everything stored vertically on shelves. It wasn't a large barn, and the boarders liked the lockers. Those that took a trunk to shows developed an efficient routine for loading what they wanted to take.


                                  • #18
                                    I have usually boarded at barns that offer two wall mounted saddle racks, room for a rubbermaid tote underneath (and grooming box can sit on that), plus shelf above saddle racks that can hold two small rubbermaid totes. Maybe it is a 3x4' column of space.

                                    I am a pretty neat boarder and keep most of my stuff at home -- but need more than can fit in a tack trunk.

                                    When there are no lockers, it is annoying for a fellow boarder to keep taking up more room and spreading into common areas. I like the barn owners to have discipline on space per boarder/horse, as most stuff I see from these over-achievers is dusty and unused.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Goforward View Post
                                      The lockers will be big enough to hold 2 saddles, bridles, brush kit, helmet, boots and a little space left over.
                                      Tack room is has heat, AC and a fridge so stuff can all stay the right temp/humidity level.
                                      I anticipate a little push back from 2 clients who have jumbo personalized tack boxes.

                                      We have hangers for blankets and coolers in an area with no climate control. There's enough room for every horse to have a full wardrobe.
                                      As far as first aid, meds and bandages, I have quite the selection to get any horse started until the owner can provide their own at a later date.
                                      Well that's pretty darn generous. The clients with tack boxes can take them home and enjoy them there.

                                      Your barn, your rules. I hate tack boxes (or anything) in aisles because a) dust and b) crap builds up behind them and then you have to move them to clean. Which is just one more job.

                                      There is always limited space. Unless you have your own barn, and then you have to clean everything yourself, and you wish you had a tack locker and someone else was in charge of all the rest.


                                      • #20
                                        Limited storage is fine. Boarders can bring clean stuff to the barn as needed.
                                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."