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Converting Stall to Tack Room -- Need Ideas

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  • Converting Stall to Tack Room -- Need Ideas

    First, thank you again to everyone for their support on the loss of our beloved King. DH and I have agreed that we simply cannot face his empty stall every night. And, since we don't have one, we've decided to convert it into a tack room. I'm looking for advice, ideas -- photos would be great -- on how best to do this.

    The stall is 10 x 12, it has electricity and lights already. We pulled off the entire front of the stall last spring, so that is a blank slate. It is a dirt floor now, but we can do whatever we like with that.

    There would be no running water, and this is not for feed storage as we already have a nice feed room. It would just be for tack, grooming and first aid supplies. We have five saddles now, and the attendant bridles, lead ropes, halters and "stuff." (Currently, we work out of a big tack box for each horse, but that is so not working for us!)

    Our first step is to strip the stall and clean everything out. So, while we do this work, I'd love to see ideas and your best advice about "be sure to do this," or "be sure to NOT do that."

  • #2
    So sorry about King.

    First, do you need that much room for your tackroom?
    You could consider enclosing only the back 1/2 or 3/2 for tackroom.
    That would leave you room in front of that, but not into the aisle, for trash can, wheelbarrows, pitchforks, shovels, etc.

    Pictures of that area and what the framing around there is would help.

    You could also buy a plastic rubbermaid closet/little shed, I think Deltawave posted pictures of hers and stand it in a corner, then use the rest of the stall for other supplies, a bench, etc.


    • #3
      I agree that 10x12 is very roomy for a tack room for people used to working out of boxes. But I don't know about enclosing the back and leaving the front for poop tools. How about building deep "lockers" (think multiple closets) along one side and leaving the opposite side for the poop tools?

      That way you aren't walking through the tools to get back to the tack.

      My tackroom is a triangle. But the mot important aspect has been heavy duty shelves to hold clear tubs for storage.
      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


      • Original Poster

        Well, I was thinking it seemed really small. Glad to know you guys think it's a big enough space. We have plenty of storage now for all of our tools and mucking supplies, and I really want to make this a nice, bright, clean space for our riding gear. We'll stencil King's name on the wall, and hang his stall sign over the door.

        I want to hang the saddles at about waist-height on the back wall, and bridles above. Then, I would like space to be able to clean tack, and maybe (if there's room) sit down and pull on boots. We're also looking at a tall, lockable cabinet to keep all of the first-aid and grooming supplies ... and all of those little things that currently get lost in the bottom of our tack trunks -- like gloves, bit wipes, etc.


        • #5
          So you want a tack room/lounge, where you can have a dedicated tack wall and the rest a tack cleaning stand, a small sofa, table and refrigerator, etc.

          That will be nice to have in the barn, maybe with a window or two, so you can watch what is going on, horses coming and going, etc.


          • #6
            I use a 12X12 space for feed and tack.
            Feed is kept in three (two 30gal, one 15gal) galvanized metal cans set on pallets along one wall, tack takes up the opposite wall and onto the back wall - front is left open.
            I have stacked pallets (I am Queen of Make-Do) to waist height on the back wall and have a mini-fridege there along with a "counter" for mixing feed.

            I have just 2 horses and if I had more this space would probably only work for tack alone.
            I have these portable saddle racks from Dover:


            Bridle hooks and some plain hooks hold surcingles, longlines, etc.
            I ran a 2" PVC pole from one wall to the other about 3" out from the wall supported on closet brackets to hold saddle pads.

            If I could add anything, it would be a roof of some sort to hold down the dust/bird droppings.
            Right now I cover the saddles (on the racks) with a piece of fabric stapled to the wall behind them.
            I've thought of putting a shelf above the saddle racks to clear up some clutter and act as a cover for the racks.
            But then I'd need to keep whatever was on that shelf clean...

            I have an open wire shelving unit with 3 wire baskets for miscellaneous "stuff" on the same wall as the feed bins.
            But this is a dustcatcher and is starting to rust so it needs to be replaced with a Rubbermaid unit like DW has.

            I also salvaged a base cabinet from a kitchen rehab and it holds meds, etc., it sits on the same wall as the saddle racks - elevated on a pallet.

            Hope some of this sounds useful, sorry I don't have pics.

            I don't know if this is something you'd want to do, but I have pics of the horses I've lost hung in this area too, along with the nameplates from their stalls.
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


            • #7
              Definetly put the saddles at waist-ish level. Maybe high wait-ish. Mine are at head level, and while that is no problem for me, it makes it absolutely necessary to have a seperate cleaning stand, even for daily tidying. But that does allow me to have my bridle and trunk below. I don't know if I would go over the saddles with the bridles though. Unless you space the saddles so you can easily get a hip in there while you're untangling things, and trust me, no matter how tidy minded you are, you will, at some point, be fighting with a bridle.

              Consider what you will do with your corners so they don't become clutter catchers or wasted space.

              I like clear tubs for storing blankets, towels, extra leather stuff. I print out what is in them (i.e. seasonal blankets, fly masks whatever) and slip the piece of paper down the front so it can be read through the plastic. I have smaller ones for shoeing misc, bits, clippers etc. But you don't want to stack those buggers, so if you go that route, build shelves to fit.
              Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


              • #8
                Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                If I could add anything, it would be a roof of some sort to hold down the dust/bird droppings.
                Me too. Mine has open rafters, with plywood above, but no ceiling as such. A ceiling would go a long ways towards keeping filtered dust out, even if it were just another layer of plywood.
                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                • #9
                  Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post
                  We're also looking at a tall, lockable cabinet to keep all of the first-aid and grooming supplies ... and all of those little things that currently get lost in the bottom of our tack trunks -- like gloves, bit wipes, etc.
                  One of my all-time favorite things is a tall metal cabinet we bought used from an office furniture place. It's a little over six feet tall and probably 42 inches wide. Lockable and sturdy.

                  We removed the second shelf. DH drilled holes in the bottom of the top shelf and bolted on double hooks. That's where I hung my bridles, spare halters, miscellaneous strap goods and a flashlight.

                  Next stop was a dollar store where I bought small plastic tubs, which we labeled, and slid onto the top shelf for grooming supplies, small medical supplies, etc.

                  Larger tubs - medicine, supplements, whatever - went onto the next shelf.

                  Spare saddle pads went onto the bottom shelf. Blankets were stored on top of the cabinet.

                  It held plenty of stuff, kept it neat, kept it away from the covetous eyes of other boarders.

                  Total cost was less than $100.


                  • Original Poster

                    Great ideas so far, please keep them coming.

                    We are definitely putting in a ceiling to keep the dust down.

                    Ideas for the floor? We are thinking of digging out the stall down to bare earth, then filling back to level with sand, tamp that down, and put rubber stall mats on top. Is that a terrible idea?


                    • #11
                      I would place tack on one wall, an area for rider prep on the opposite wall. Saddles at or just above waist height works well, but I agree with Smart Alex, hanging the bridles above will someday result in a tangle you don't want. I would rather hang the bridles separately, or just below the saddle. You could then build a long, low storage locker to run along the wall below the saddles (strong enough to step on) and a shelf above the saddles for storing blankets, spray bottles, etc.

                      (I hope this stick art works!):

                      __________ ----shelf

                      / \ / \ / \ -----saddle racks
                      0 0 0 -----bridle racks

                      [_______] ---storage bench

                      On you rider prep side, you can have hooks for coats/clothing, a bench to sit on, storage bins beneath the bench and room for that little fridge/microwave combination.

                      And that leaves you with one blank wall in between to hang your pictures of and tributes to King


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post
                        Ideas for the floor? We are thinking of digging out the stall down to bare earth, then filling back to level with sand, tamp that down, and put rubber stall mats on top. Is that a terrible idea?
                        Not a terrible idea. My ideal would probably be prefinished wood floor over whatever it takes... cement probably. It's so much easier to clean than either cement, linoleum or tile. But, a firmly tamped base with properly fitted mats wouldn't bother me. Be sure to rent a power tamper.
                        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                        • #13
                          I'll try to remember to take a picture this afternoon, but my barn owner converted a stall everyone hated (because of where it was located) into a tack room for boarders. It is level and well matted. Bridle hooks on the back wall and saddle drums along each wall. Obviously you won't need that many, but it works great. And there's a full shelf that runs along the top of the saddle racks. I think the idea is to eventually turn it into lockers, but 3 years later this still works great.


                          • Original Poster

                            Oh yes, Tee, I would LOVE to see a photo! Thank you!


                            • #15
                              We are right in the middle of making a 10x12 stall into a tackroom...it's been quite a project, but it's turning out great. We started by cleaning 30 years worth of manure stains and fly dirt off the walls.

                              Then the husbands put up plywood sheets on one side and the back wall, then covered the plywood with white composite beadboard. White might seem like a bad color choice for a barn, but it really brightened up the space.

                              Clean white walls!

                              Then we hung bridle racks on one side.

                              Bridle racks

                              And two rows of saddle racks on the back wall.

                              Saddle racks

                              The other side has shelving, a large cabinet, and our mini fridge. (We have to have a place to chill the apres lesson box wine! )

                              Cabinets & shelving

                              The floor is rubber matting that we covered with a low pile area rug, and we're planning to add the door and plexiglass window to cover the stall bars this weekend. I want to add a small table and two chairs, curtains, and a house plant, but I've been told it's not practical...


                              • #16
                                Our tack room is 12' x 12'.
                                We prefer totally portable saddle racks, so we can move them as needed and is less to hang on the walls.
                                With western saddles, you need a more substantial, heavier duty saddle rack than with English ones.
                                There are more bridle hangers on the other side of the window, then the door:



                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post
                                  Great ideas so far, please keep them coming.

                                  We are definitely putting in a ceiling to keep the dust down.

                                  Ideas for the floor? We are thinking of digging out the stall down to bare earth, then filling back to level with sand, tamp that down, and put rubber stall mats on top. Is that a terrible idea?
                                  I have a tack/feed room that is a stall, and for the floor I bought those pre-poured concrete pavers. Very sturdy, they don't shift, water will seep through the cracks, and easy to sweep clean.
                                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Chezzie & Bluey -- thank you for the photos!

                                    Chezzie -- your set up looks almost IDENTICAL to mine. What kind of door are you going to put in? I have stall bars like that, would like to see how it turns out when you cover with the plexiglass.

                                    Our stall is almost EXACTLY like Chezzie's, except we no longer have a stall front. We had to take out the front wall and replaced it with a gate so we could get total access to the front. We still have the post, like you see in Chezzie's, but we took out all of the horizontal boards. So - I can put a door on either side of the post. I was thinking of having a sliding door made, so it wouldn't open out into the aisle or into the tack room.

                                    Similar to the door here: http://www.keystonebarns.com/horse-barn-interior-10.htm


                                    • #19
                                      I agree with a solid ceiling, and some kind of solid floor, so nothing can get in and eat the saddles, or scare you silly (see possum, skunk, and other creatures in barn/tack room threads). And I would definitely put a solid door of some type, with a solid lock, because for security reasons. Maybe for the floor either the mats over tamped material, or if you want to go a little more upscale trex boards (or other artificial products) because they are easy to work with, don't deteriorate or warp, and would never need to be replaced. They also make artificial trex-type stringers, and other building materials for floor supports or whatever you do. Maybe some type of block patio pavers in 1'x1' or 2'x2' size very close together over tamped earth or sand, the type Munchkin's Mom suggested-and they come in a few different colors also. That should be solid, level with good preparation, and easy to remove if you decide to reconfigure someday.

                                      And if you want something for sitting on and pulling on boots, I would avoid anything with stuffing or upholstery, because that could attract dampness or even be invaded by vermin.
                                      Last edited by JanM; Aug. 9, 2012, 05:19 PM.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                      • #20
                                        I like the idea of bridle racks on a wall adjacent to saddle racks. I think that makes everything easily accessible. Otherwise, I like when the bridle racks hang right next to saddle racks.

                                        Of course thats not how my tack room is set up. We have 4 saddle racks on one wall, then a few on the floor saddle racks, with the bridles hung above there. On the other walls, we have blanket racks, and then a large table with plastic drawers and misc. We store large plastic "tack trunks" under the table and under the saddle racks. We do not have a "rider prep" area at all, but we could easily set up some chairs around the table. A mini fridge would also work well under the table.

                                        If you wanna get ghetto like us, you can take soup cans and nail them to a 2X4 for bridle racks. Darn cheap, and they work well. Although I recently found a GORGEOUS bridle rack at an estate sale and had to scoop that up, so we're getting a little classier!
                                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.