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"Shared" tack rooms? How do you feel about them?

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    "Shared" tack rooms? How do you feel about them?

    Hey all,

    How do you feel about the 'communal' tack room - that is the kind of tack room where everyone's stuff is out, saddles and bridles on racks, trunks on floors, no lockers kind of tack room?

    This is the first barn that I will be at that doesn't have boarder lockers and I'm a little worried about my stuff walking away. Maybe I'm just paranoid

    I am going to label everything, and have a huge trunk to put most of it in, but I'm not sure how happy I am that I don't have somewhere to lock up my saddle and bridle.

    Just looking for input/suggestions/ideas/reassurance thanks

    I have faced this in most boarding situations I have been in and have never had a problem with my saddle or bridle. I keep most everything else in my trunk which is unlocked.

    Over 40 years I have had stuff stolen twice. Once when my horses lived at home and someone broke into the tack room and took the saddles - was in the 60s. The other time was at a show when someone broke into several tack rooms - my barn lost 8 saddles, other barns lost other stuff.

    My homeowners insurance covered the cost of the equipment that was stolen both times - insured for full value so I just made a list of what was taken and quickly got the money for replacement. So know what you have and have it insured under your homeowners or renters policy.


      That was the norm when I was growing up and I never thought anything about it. I think now I would probably not care for that set up though, my tack is all very expensive and I wouldn't want it left out where it would be exposed to anyone in the barn.


        Lock your trunk. Put your bridle in it. If you pack it right, you can put your saddle in there, too.

        On the whole, though, a locked trunk and a saddle on a rack is pretty standard. I would think it unlikely that your saddle would walk off, but you can keep it in your car or in your trunk if you're really worried.
        Originally posted by tidy rabbit
        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


          We have a communal tack room and trunks in front of stalls. We have no problem with stuff walking away. BTW - if you have one of those nice Stanley trunks and want to lock it - get a separate lock. The keyed lock that comes with it - they are all keyed alike - LOL.
          I don't care who borrows some of my stuff - the only thing I have a problem keeping is scissors - so I have lots of them hidden.
          And nothing bad happened!


            I've only been at one barn that had lockers. I've had a couple of things walk off at the barns with communal tack rooms, but fortunately I was able to track it down. I would keep your trunk locked, but other than that I wouldn't worry too much.


              We have a communal tack room where I board and in fact I have never been at a barn with locked trunks. Sometimes a brush or fly spray will be borrowed but I have not had a problem with things being stolen.

              I think they are fine if you have a group of reasonable people in your barn.,


                This has always been the set up at barns I've been a part of. People just keep their show stuff either at home or locked in their trunks. All other stuff is kept in the open.

                Also, everyone at my current barn are pretty generous when it comes to lending stuff out. People just request that tack is put back the way it was found, and 99% of the time is it. I do have my/my horse's name on all my stuff though, just in case.


                  All the barns Ive boarded at have this same set up and I've never had a problem with anything disappearing. Now I have had things misplaced either by me (usually) or borrowed but they have always turned back up again. Some places you will find that people might help themselves to stuff like fly spray or show sheen if it's left out in the open... Also depends on the size of the barn. I've always been at a smaller barn with about 10-15 boarders.


                    My barn has a small, communal tack room where saddles, bridles, and grooming boxes are left out. As the only jumper at a polo barn, I'm lucky in the sense that no one has the need to take any of my stuff. Brushes occasionally land in a different box and I'm forever loosing hoof picks, but that's no big deal. There are lockers in the viewing room for boots and helmets.
                    Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.



                      Assuming that the tack room is locked when people aren't around, you should be OK. I was in a similar situation for a number of years and the only stuff that tended to disappear and/or get borrowed was the smaller items. However, there weren't a lot of smaller items as many people used the barn's brushes and grooming supplies and polo wraps. And that wouldn't apply in the OP's situation since she has a trunk for that stuff. No saddles or bridles disappeared. I had a set of draw reins hanging with my bridle that kept getting borrowed by the staff who then let some random horse chew them. I had them repaired, decided my horse didn't need them, and locked them in my trunk.

                      My barn has lockers for the clients and then an open tack room with bridles and some saddles that the trainers use. We had a saddle disappear out of an unlocked locker so the trainers now lock their saddles in their lockers.

                      It is a classic and prettier look, IMHO and if people keep stuff neat, to have the bridles and saddles out in the tack room. Also handier if a given horse has to go in a specific bridle/bit.
                      The Evil Chem Prof


                        I've always been in barns with communal tack rooms and never had anything stolen. I used to lock my trunk and now I don't even feel the need to. My bigger complaint in a barn without lockers is how sloppy some people are! There is an owner at our barn that for two horses literally takes up 6 bridle hooks and 3 saddle racks, has 2 trunks in the aisle plus a portable storage drawer set, some other kind of storage contraption hanging from the wall, and about 8 different turnout sheets and blankets laying around or half-way hanging from the 4 barn provided blanket racks on her stalls. It looks very sloppy and makes the tackroom feel too crowded. I'm a neat freak so I keep everything I need for a particular season neatly organized in my trunk, folded on a blanket rack, or on my assigned saddle and bridle rack, with spares and off-season tack & blankets at home in bins in the attic or garage. With lockers I think people are more likely to pare down what they NEED to have at the barn everyday.


                          Most of the places I've boarded at have shared tack rooms. The only time I ever had a problem was actually at the fanciest place (and it was the TRAINER who "borrowed" my nice tack!)

                          He actually had the stones to take one of my bridles to FLORIDA ... I went down there to visit, was asked to hack one of the horses, and when I went to tack it up... was pretty surprised to see MY bridle on the horse, complete with nameplate. After the ride, of course I went to him saying, WTF? (My horse was not doing WEF and was 1000 miles away at home.) Trainer's response? "I needed a really nice show bridle down here and your horse is lame so you aren't using it."

                          (No, didn't stay there very long!)

                          But generally speaking, it's not usually an issue. I would personally never board somewhere where I thought other customers would help themselves to my saddle or other tack, although I'm generally happy to lend things out once in a while if someone asks nicely. Have never had any problems getting the stuff returned, at least so far. There are a *couple* of items I don't leave or lend out... a bridle that could not now be replaced, and which has sentimental value, for example, and it lives at home. Otherwise, my regular saddle and work bridles just hang in the tack room next to all the other customers' stuff. Has never been a problem.
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                            Had this situation my entire life - I would recommend locking your trunk and label EVERYTHING, including brushes, fly spray, etc. People usually do not intentionally steal, but will 'borrow' a fly spray, horse treat, brush, etc - until you come out to the barn and have an empty bottle of fly spray! That kind of thing happens a lot. So, I would recommend keeping everything usable locked in your trunk and you should be fine.

                            I've also had good luck with buying mini tack branding irons - you can brand your initials or a symbol into your leather, just so you know its yours. Good for saddles, girths, martingales, bridles, reins, stirrup leathers, breast plates, etc. Will also at least 'mark' plastic products lightly - bell boots, jumping boots, stuff like that.
                            Rural Property Specialist
                            Keller Williams Realtors

                            Email Me for Horse Property!


                              I definitely prefer my own locker, but have also shared tack rooms and it has worked out okay. I haven't had anything stolen, but borrowed and used -- which was annoying because I take good care of my tack and having someone use it unasked then return it dirty irritated the heck out of me. Or showing up to ride and having to go retrieve something from whoever picked it up...annoying!

                              Last barn I was at with a communal tack room, I mostly locked my bridles in a tack trunk and actually took my saddle with me in my car. It was a weird situation, with BMs changing frequently and lots of different people in and out and I just had the feeling one of the times the BM left, they'd clean out the tack room too.

                              You can get a locking saddle rack, if you want and they will allow you to put it up.


                                I've been at several places with shared tackrooms like what you describe. I've never had any serious problems. Sure, the occasional item will be borrowed or go missing, but usually pretty minor stuff, like masking tape or a "borrowed" glob of poultice.

                                Buy a regular black sharpie, a silver sharpie (for marking on black items), and a sharpie for marking on fabric (more resistant to washing). Plaster your last name on everything you own. Works great. Won't necessarily keep things from walking off, but works like a charm for helping those items find their way home again. If you are very clever, you will be able to mark most items prominently but in places where they are not visible when in use (inside of elastic for girths, for example). For liquids and other consumables, I emblazon my last name VERY prominently so that it will be obvious to me and everyone else nearby if someone is using my stuff without permission.

                                Well, you know, use name plates for your tack instead...sharpies are a tiny bit tacky for using on bridles and saddles...


                                  That is all that I grew up with also, where I am at now, it is like that, but my tack box won't fit in the tack room, so it is in the isle way with a few others. I leave it unlocked, the only thing that has gone missing is a dressage whip, and I think it was just mistaken by my sisters trainer as his (whom I later saw carrying it at his own place.) It's not a big deal.

                                  If something were to come up, I would just lock my box, it has everything in it, saddle, bridles everything!


                                    I boarded at a barn like this. I didn't have too much trouble with stuff getting stolen.
                                    I had a LARGE trunk which I kept locked when I wasn't there. All my grooming/first aid stuff was kept in there along with my helmet, horse boots/polos, etc. I also kept any expensive saddle pads I had in my box. I left my bridle and saddle out. They both had metal nameplates on them. Nobody borrowed my stuff without asking first. Or if they did it was a close friend and they knew I wouldn't care.
                                    Once and a while bridles and saddles and grooming stuff would go missing but usually it was from people that never came out to the barn, and didn't notice until months later.
                                    come what may

                                    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                                      For marking tack discreetly but so you can ID it later if you see it on another rack (is that mine?), I have an electric branding iron. I use it to put my initials on all my leather stuff.


                                        Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                                        Buy a regular black sharpie, a silver sharpie (for marking on black items), and a sharpie for marking on fabric (more resistant to washing).
                                        Yep. That's what I do. Never had a problem. My trunk/area is on the end nearest the door to the tack room, so rather than having problems with stuff walking off, I tend to end up with extra stuff, as when someone leaves something in the aisle and it doesn't have a name on it, it gets put with my stuff.