If your tack room looks more like a bomb site rather than a temple of tidiness, then take solace in the fact you aren’t alone

As all owners know, having a horse means having a LOT of associated kit and equipment too. And as the years pass by and our much-loved equine partners come and go, it just seems to multiply (or perhaps we are just hoarders).

While a small number of us may be sufficiently well organised to keep our tack rooms looking spick and span like they do in the ‘at home’ photo shoots with top riders seen in Horse & Hound magazine, far more of us have too much stuff squashed into too small a space and often find ourselves wondering “where is that x or y? I know I’ve got one somewhere” while being unable to locate the aforementioned item.

So if you are of the latter persuasion and need inspiring to get your tack room organised before the clocks change later this month, we invite you to play a quick game of tack room bingo. See how many of these common items found in overflowing tack rooms around the country you are prepared to own up to.

What’s in your tack room?

1. A bucket tucked in the corner full to overflowing of bits, most of which are the wrong size or type for your current horse with many going a little bit rusty in places. There may be the odd stirrup iron in there too.

2. Old stirrup leathers that you thought might come in useful as a neck strap, but they really need the stitching at the buckle attending to before you use them in any context.

3. A pile of dusty and heavily worn saddle cloths or numnahs that you’ve kept as ‘spares’, but you can’t remember when you last used any of them.

4. A pair of broken (probably rubber) reins that you’ve been intending to take to your local saddler to get fixed for the past 18 months. Maybe this week…

5. At least three partly assembled bridles, most of which are missing at least one important part.

6. A much-loved saddle from a former horse that you can’t bear to part with even though you know in your heart you’re more likely to ride a unicorn than find another horse it will fit.

Continued below…

7. A container filled with tack cleaning stuff including lots of broken off pieces of glycerine saddle soap bars. You intended to melt them down to make one new bar, but they are so covered in dust and horse hair that they really are only fit for the bin.

8. Piles of stable bandages in various states of unrolling, most of which are still covered in shavings or straw from the last time they were used.

9. A plastic part-used syringe of what might once have been wormer or equally might have been calming paste. It’s been there so long that the label has worn off so you really don’t have any idea what’s in it.

10. Another bucket (you can never have too many buckets!) full of odd protective horse boots, mostly heavily worn and having been replaced with newer models, but kept ‘just in case’ you need a spare. Good luck finding any matching pairs in there!

11. A plastic tub packed full of ‘first aid’ kit with a cracked plastic lid (or in some cases no lid at all). You can be confident that when you need something in an emergency, you used the last vetwrap/roll of gamgee/splash of hibiscrub last time your horse hurt itself and failed to replace it.

Time to get organised

If you’ve recognised some familiar examples above, then why not take advantage of the light you have still have before the clocks go back to get your tack room organised? By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to relax knowing what you’ve got and where everything is.

  • Bin things that aren’t fit for use
  • Repair items that are broken
  • Clean things you have a use for and pack them away in labelled boxes so you can find them
  • Recycle, sell or donate items that are usable, but you don’t need
  • Replace important items that are missing, such as items in your first aid kit

Good luck!

PS: We’d love to see your before and after photos. Please send them to madeleine.pitt@timeinc.com