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Boarding barns: How much storage is reasonable?

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  • Boarding barns: How much storage is reasonable?

    Hi everyone, I'm planning on doing some renovations and upgrades in our barn, and I'm considering how much storage space to put in for our boarders.

    Right now I'm considering a tackroom with plenty of saddle and bridle racks, and then a locker for each horse in the aisleway. The lockers might tentatively be about 3 1/2 ft tall by about 2 1/2 to 3 feet wide with shelves. These would be for grooming/bathing supplies, saddlepads, boots, extra tack, etc. Each stall will have a blanket rack for blanket storage during the winter season. I do not keep trunks in the aisle, and there would probably not be enough room in the tackroom for each person to keep a trunk there. We are considering putting in an upstairs room where people could put tack trunks and store a few out of season items. Is this enough?

    It seems like there is a wide variation as to what boarders expect. Some people seem to be happy to store the bare necessities and items that are currently in use, others expect that they can store ALL of their horsey possessions out at the barn at all times--mountains of blankets, six trunks, etc. I'm trying to come up with a happy, reasonable medium. I want to make life nice for my boarders while still having room to have stalls for the horses.

    What do you think? What does your barn allow? How much stuff do you expect to keep at the barn vs. at home? Do you expect to be able to keep your show trunks at the barn?

  • #2
    coming from a barn with almost NO room, i think you're idea is quite reasonable- a locker in the tack room, and room for 2 saddles and two bridles/horse plus an area for them to store trunks with non essentials.
    I have room for two saddles and two bridles, but I have to hang my cooler/fly sheet/ and no doubt winter blankets when the time comes over top of my saddles, which will cause a problem if they are wet... then I have a small shelf, just large enough to put my brush box on and that's it! There is no room for boots-for me or my horse or any supplies that don't fit in my brush box- which is just your basic plastic tote. I keep a few things in my trailer. I don't really mind though because I'm pretty much a minimalist and don't purchase things that I don't need. I think that you're on the right track!


    • #3
      Had the occasion to visit a barn not too long ago. Off the barn aisle was a door which led to a hall way that contained nothing but bi-fold doors. Being nosy, and since they weren't locked, I opened one or two. Inside was, for lack of a better description, was a small room - maybe 4 feet across the front, maybe 6 or 8 feet deep. They were for the boarders to keep all their stuff in. There was plenty of room for tack trunks, there were saddle racks mounted to the walls, bridle racks, etc. Was really, really cool and made the barn aisle look really neat since all the "stuff" was stored away.

      Edited to add that these storage rooms are bigger than the closets in my house!
      And nothing bad happened!


      • #4
        I'm one of these "has a million pounds of stuff" boarders. I am always up-front with future BO's about this fact.

        A big factor for me is whether you have trailer parking within a reasonable distance from the barn. If I can keep some/most of my stuff in the trailer and access it as needed, then I don't really care about the storage restrictions.

        I was at one barn that had roughly the setup you're describing, and it worked out fine. Between people putting stuff in their trailers and only a few of us having trunks/multiple pieces of horse clothing, everything was tidy in the barn. We had big hooks hung up high for the blankets, and all of a given horse's blankets were stored on the same hook. There were also blanket bars on each door.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


        • #5
          At the barn where azeventer boards, there are corner tack lockers in most of the stalls Where the stalls are too small, there are lockers in a separate room.

          It seems to be a handy set-up - everything's right there so that you can tack up your horse in the stall, and it's out of everyone's way. Doesn't seem to impinge on the usable space in the stall.

          Perhaps she'll show up and give her take on it.

          I have my horses at home now, and I keep the stuff that I use all the time in my trailer, because that's where I tack up the horses. Then I've got a couple tack lockers from a previous boarding situation that I use for overflow. Those are maybe 2 - 2 1/2 feet deep, 3 feet wide, and close to 6 feet tall. Mr. RAR put horizontal wooden boards in, and I padded them, and the lockers hold 2 saddles, a bunch of bridles, grooming supplies, boots... yada yada yada.

          At my last boarding barn, we had a common room for saddles, with all of them out of racks. Bridles hung on the walls, and we each had room for a tack trunk. I didn't like that as much - harder to dig stuff out of the trunk, and the kids (HS girls) kept shifting the saddles around, even after I asked them not to.

          I know a lot of places have common rooms for saddles, but the boarding barn would have to be pretty special for me to put up with that again.

          But you have to take into consideration the fact that I am old & crotchety and don't like it when someone messes with my stuff
          Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
          "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother


          • #6
            I seem to be the only one at my boarding barn who doesn't think the barn should provide space for every piece of horse equipment I own. We each have our own tack locker with a saddle rack, two bridle racks, and two shelves. Most people have added additional plastic tubs or drawers and pantry racks to the door to hold bottles. And almost everyone has at least one and some have multiple trunks or garbage cans of blankets and other stuff in a storage area upstairs over the feedroom. I bring my out of season/extra stuff home and store it in an Ikea wardrobe in my basement.


            • #7
              The barn provides large lockers in front of the paddocks/pipe corrals which is where most of the non-training horses are. My trainer provides lockers in two separate rooms. Saddles, bridles, supplies, etc. are supposed to go there. Those lockers are smaller than the paddock lockers. There are also a few lockers, like mine, that are outside but more the size of the paddock lockers. I don't think I could fit all my stuff in one of the smaller ones, but I probably (OK, definitely) have more stuff than anyone else. So much stuff that the trainer borrows from me.

              We are also allowed space for a trunk in the barn aisle. I try to segregate my stuff so it's mostly show stuff and long-term storage (like blankets) in the trunk. That way I'm not shuffling a bunch of stuff back and forth when I go to a show.

              The photo is of my locker which is probably about 3' across and deep and 6' tall.

              I wouldn't like to have my saddle and bridle out in most boarding situations.
              Attached Files
              The Evil Chem Prof


              • Original Poster

                Jaslyn, I love to keep stuff out of the aisle! IME, if people can leave anything in the aisle they keep adding to it and it gets junky. Plus it makes the aisle harder to clean, and we sometimes drive the tractor/spreader down the aisle when cleaning stalls.

                But, I also realize it is a PITA to get everything you need to groom and ride out of a tackroom. Also, the tackroom will be heated and air conditioned, so if people have to walk in and out of it fifty times to tack up, the door is going to end up open all the time. I figure if people just have their nice leather goods in a temperature/moisture controlled area, then the rest of the stuff can go in more conveniently located lockers.

                Risk-Averse Rider, I do agree, I like the idea of people keeping their valuable saddles and bridles individually locked up. But I can only install so many lockers, and I think it would be a bit much to have lockers both inside and outside the tackroom. I actually do have a pretty special group of boarders--everyone is super-considerate. Anyway, it's certainly a consideration.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you for the pic, Peggy!

                  Nothing wrong with having a lot of stuff, I've been known to collect a little (ahem) tack myself...


                  • #10
                    I have a few complaints about our space so hopefully this helps you.

                    I wish we had two saddle racks. I'm in the process of switching disciplines to dressage but I still plan to jump some for fun and would like to be able to keep both saddles in there but they would have to be stacked on top of each other.
                    I wish there were bridle hooks so I could hang up a few more things.
                    I wish the 2nd rack (for boots and such) was closer to the front. They put it all the way in the back and it's hard for me to reach. The other rack is on the door which is perfect.
                    Overall, it's small but it works. I keep mostly just the brushes and tack and such in the locker. I store the rest of the stuff either on blanket bars or in the tack room of our trailer.
                    It works out okay but I just wish for those few extra things.
                    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
                    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
                    www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


                    • #11
                      Would love to see photos of the lockers in the corner of the stalls!


                      • #12
                        Places I've boarded always had pretty small tack rooms. Each boarder got one saddle rack per horse (sometimes we stacked saddles!), and one trunk spot along the wall. Blanket rack on each stall.

                        We added one thing at current barn which is super handy - a little plastic basket on the front of each stall, which is great for stashing your flyspray or hoof oil, or any medications/ointments that need to be applied daily. I find that super useful. One woman also hangs a little cloth bag on her blanket rack, that she stores other miscellaneous stuff in. And we can keep bath supplies in the wash stall on the shelf, with our names on them.

                        I keep out-of-season and spare stuff at home in the basement (or in the trunk of the car! ) - including various tack I don't use, old stirrups, extra saddle pads, shipping boots, etc. Anything I don't need regularly.


                        • #13
                          I far prefer having regular access to my tack trunk to having my equipment in a locker or cubby, and have had both. Current barn's tack rooms have cubbies on one wall (about the size of a tall gym locker) with room for tack trunks under and between a row of saddle and bridle racks. I think it's a great setup, although could give or take the cubbies.
                          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                          Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                          Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                          • #14
                            My BO is fairly accommodating, as long as people make at least a little effort to keep things neat. I have a standing saddle rack which holds my western and dressage saddles, and a metal cabinet to hold nearly everything else. It's about 3 ft wide and 6 ft. tall. Shelves inside for vet supplies, supplements, extra blankets and saddle pads, towels, etc. Bridles, halters. etc. hang on hooks inside. The cabinet can be locked, if I choose.

                            Not many trunks at our place because people don't show. Most people have a standing saddle rack and a 3- or 4-shelf metal bookcase to hold their other supplies.

                            Tack rooms are just off the grooming area. Nothing is kept in or near the stalls, although each stall door has a blanket bar.


                            • #15
                              Personally I don't like the idea of shared tack rooms for saddles and bridles. I would not feel comfortable leaving my tack out where anyone could see or "borrow" it because it was right there, and I've read plently of the threads about people's stuff that someone else is using and claiming as theirs. I'd also be afraid of how easily someone could scratch up my saddle even if just by knocking it by accident or something.

                              At my barn we have a common tack room but everyone has their own lockers, which are just the right size for keeping your normal stuff plus the seasonal extras. I generally have 2 saddles, 2 bridles, my grooming kit, some treats, a cooler (in the winter), horse's boots, and my riding stuff (helmet, gloves, boots, and half chaps). this is all I need on a daily basis and it is conveniently there, and then we are all allowed one plastic tupperware above the lockers, which usually holds poultice, green cool, a set of wraps, extra saddle pads, and some basic medical supplies. This keeps the barn looking neat and presentable, and also makes people less likely to "borrow" things when they're shut away in their own place. (the lockers were also really well done, nice hardwood with nameplates of all the horses) so it looks really sharp. Everything else stays at home, which I prefer because it doesn't get used all the time to begin with so it just gets in the way.
                              Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson.


                              • #16
                                Here's a photo (a bit small, but that's what's on the web site) of the locker in the corner of the stall:

                                And here's one with nothing in it:
                                Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
                                "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother


                                • #17
                                  I wouldn't want to have one giant tackroom either. Whether on purpose or accident, things almost always go missing when left out.

                                  We have lockers that are about 3' wide, 4' tall and 3' deep. It's a good amount of room for a saddle/bridles/etc. I have some storage thingies from Lowe's on the inside of my door to keep bottles clean and organized. There is also room on top of your locker - I've got a large tupperware tub with all of my winter blankets in it.

                                  Almost everyone has a tack trunk outside their stall, myself included. I use it for things I need daily (grooming, polo wraps, etc).

                                  That's a fair amount of room for me, I still have two closets full of stuff at home, but those are items that are either back-ups, or things I very very seldom use (and need to sell!)
                                  Originally posted by barka.lounger
                                  u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

                                  we see u in gp ring in no time.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
                                    Here's a photo (a bit small, but that's what's on the web site) of the locker in the corner of the stall:

                                    And here's one with nothing in it:
                                    Thanks! They have a lot of room. A nice option if the stall is big enough, and other storage room is minimal.


                                    • #19
                                      I LOVE the corner of the stall lockers. Awesome little tidbit to stash away if I ever build a barn or renovate one.

                                      I personally am under the impression that a barn is under no obligation to store a boarder's things. Reasonable, daily stuff such as necessary brushes (curry, dandy, soft brush, hoof pick, fly spray), a spot for tack, and maybe a place to hang a blanket. Seriously, more than that??? Sheesh. Right now I keep my mare at my BF's place. It's an OLD barn and was not set up for much more than housing and feeding animals (ie no storage other than upstairs hay loft). I have a folding saddle rack for my second saddle (primary saddle doesn't live outside) with pads, girth, etc. Under that I store clipper box, full chaps folded, a towel and a dandy I use only for washing blankets, boots, etc. Bell boots are strapped to the saddle rack. I hung a four hook bridle hanger for my bridle, martingale, halter and lead, extra bit. My necessary daily brushes are in an 8-quart bucket by her stall and my helmet, gloves and net are set on top of the bucket. Fly spray is there as well. One blanket in a bag right now is stored in the loft. My two feed cans are on the landing to the loft, in a corner.
                                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                                      • #20
                                        My current barn has lockers about the size you describe. They were done by by a fancy cabinetmaker type and are very pretty.

                                        I have to say they are a real PITA to use, and I hate them. Ours have two bridle hooks and a saddle rack, with just enough room to stick a grooming box underneath the saddle, and a couple of adjustable shelves on the side for smaller stuff - tack cleaning supplies, helmet, gloves, a stick etc. It is a challenge to have to also store frequently used stuff like scrims, coolers, etc - they have to be piled on top of the saddle, which means you are constantly moving them around every time you take your saddle out to use it, or put it back. And don't even get me started about sweaty saddle pads in the warmer months....

                                        However, they do keep everyone's stuff fairly organized and there isn't much "borrowing" which is a plus, I guess.

                                        I am leaving that barn shortly and frankly one of the things I am really looking forward to is having access to my trunk again. I understand that not everyone has an aisle that is wide enough to accommodate trunks in front of the stalls, but to me... that's the ideal. And my favorite setup was in a closed shedrow barn... one wall of stalls, an aisle, and then just a regular wall opposite the stalls. All the trunks went on that wall opposite the horse's stall, grooming boxes were hung above them, and a blanket rack was on the wall next to the trunk. Everything you could possibly need was right there, and yet it was all neatly contained. Perfect!
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.