If your car is constantly full of boots, brushes and old dressage score sheets, you’ve got dirty bridles hanging from the fittings in your kitchen waiting to be cleaned, and you’ve finally found your new saddlecloth on top of your wardrobe — welcome to our (messy) world!
It’s really easy to let your horse gear take over, well, everything (especially if you have a slight addiction to internet shopping). Here’s how you can get on top of it.
1. It’s obvious — but have a big clear-out. Chuck out anything that’s totally beyond hope (clue — if it’s got black mould on it, or more masking tape than actual item, then it’s beyond saving) Sell all the gear you never use on eBay (and be honest with yourself — if you know you’re never going to ride cross-country again on your retired veteran, there’s really no point hanging onto his still-got-plenty-of-life-in-them cross-country boots…)
2. Invest in some storage systems. If you haven’t got a trunk outside your stable in which to store your rugs and grooming kit etc, then get one right now! A plastic garden box like this one from B&Q is waterproof, robust and good value at £50
3. Hang an old shower curtain over the bridle rack to keep bridles and helmets clean.
4. Transparent hanging shoe tidies like this one (£10 from John Lewis) are really useful for hanging in your trailer or tack room to store boots, bandages or brushes.
5. Keep a spare horse poop scoop, water bucket, water container, folding camping chair, horse treats/human snacks in your lorry or trailer to save time preparing for shows — and stop you forgetting anything important.
6. Those zip-up bags that most rugs come in these days are great for storing your competition gear and keeping it clean and ready to go on show days — white breeches, numnah etc.
7. If you’re into long hacks/endurance, a fishing vest like this one from New Forest Clothing (£15.99) will hold all your essential bits and pieces — snacks, phone, wallet, hoof pick etc. Plus they’re sleeveless and will fit over a body protector. Result!
8. Wash polo or stable bandages in a laundry bag or pillow case (inside out and tucked over at the top) to stop them turning into a tangled nest of snakes.
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9. Put dirty bits in a bucket of water, sprinkle on baking soda, add a splash of vinegar and leave to sit for five minutes. They’ll be sparkling! Give them a very good rinse afterwards though.