The barn where I board doesn’t have much in the way of amenities. I absolutely adore my barn and I’m not complaining, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to keep all of my horse tack so that it stays dry and out of the elements. The actual barn structure was built before the Civil War and was originally a corn crib. General William Tecumseh Sherman (who is no one’s favorite here in the South) marched right through this area of Georgia looting and pillaging and burning, so it’s quite miraculous that the old barn is still standing.
Since the war, the barn has been added on to with stalls and a run in shed where the horses hang out to escape the summer sun and the rain. The main barn area is partially-open air so a lot of dust gets in, as well as moisture from the humidity in the summer. I end up keeping a lot of things in my horse trailer and just tacking up there before I go for a ride. I don’t mind that at all, because it makes it really convenient when I want to go camping with my horses. All their stuff is pretty much already packed. The only problem is, I’m running out of room!
My trailer is a bit small and the tack compartment is even smaller. I’ve been considering getting a larger trailer with a walk in tack room so that I have better storage for my stuff, but when I started shopping, everything that was nice was out of my budget and I didn’t want a big project. Then it occurred to me that I could just buy a little shed, the Rubbermaid kind that can stay outside in the elements without getting damaged. I started looking on Craigslist and the Facebook marketplace page and I found one that same day! I got a deal too, only $240 for a shed that retails for at least $500.
When I went to pick it up, the man had already disassembled it and we put the pieces in the back of my truck and tied them down. I drove very very slowly to the barn to begin putting it together. It was basically a giant Lego set. With the exception of six screws, every part of it just clicked together, even the roof. I was able to put it together with a little bit of help from my 10 year old daughter. So instead of buying a $3000 horse trailer, I bought a $200 shed and solved the problem of where to put all my tack.
I’ve got a thing for campers and tiny houses. I love seeing the clever ways that people organize all of their stuff into a tiny space. I was pretty excited to organize my shed because it was like a tiny house for horse tack!
The first thing I did was go to Lowe’s and buy S hooks for about a dollar each. The inside of the shed has little holes in the plastic and the S hooks fit in, and they’re perfect for hanging halters, bridles and helmets.
I have found the big plastic tubs from Wal-Mart to be indispensable around the barn. I have saddle pads, blankets and even saddles in them. If you buy a big enough tub, you can put a saddle, girth and pad all in one tub so everything you need for that set is stored together. I am a bit of a saddle hoarder. I have kids’ saddles, western saddles, jumping saddles, and a dressage saddle. I never get rid of them because what if someday I have a horse that fits one of them?!?
In my shed I have one tub with things that I use infrequently but I do use, like my high line kit and hoof boots, and doubles of things that might break on a camping trip, such as a halter and lead rope. When I go camping, the tub of doubles goes in the trailer and I know that I have a spare of everything.
I keep a trash bag in there, mostly for all the plastic wrappers from my mule’s peppermints, her favorite treat. I also have a camp chair for sitting, although I rarely sit at the barn. Maybe I’ll get a little cooler and keep some cocktails in it so I can sit in my camp chair and have a drink once the work is done! When you have a shed, the world is full of possibilities!
The barn where I board is very inexpensive and it allows me to have two horses, something I could never afford at a more high end barn.Because of that, you will never hear me complain about the amenities. I have a place to keep my horses and that’s all I really need. Now, I also have a handy shed!