Thursday, October 1, 2009

How do you...

put your tack away? Are you particular about where and how its stored or do you dump it in a tangled heap wherever there's a convenient space? Small tack room, large tack room, no tack room... for some people it doesn't seem to matter. I've seen gorgeous tack rooms with stuff just dumped everywhere and anyway. I've seen people with virtually NO storage and their stuff is all very neatly placed.

We all have our own ways for how we store our tack. I am VERY fortunate to share a fairly large tack room with Kimfer and her dad. Not only do I have a place to store my stuff but I also can put it away the way I want to. (a lesson Pie has learned, another reason to be grateful for a non-horsey husband... I train him my way! lol)
Halters and bridles hanging neatly:

(no those are NOT all mine!)

I like to keep a lead attached to each halter. I hang my halters done up (on the loosest hole) with the lead draped over. When I go to catch my horse I just grab the halter and lead and place them over my shoulder, everything is ready with no untangling needed.

I have to say I am more particular about how I put my saddles away than almost anything else. I like everything neatly done up so I'm less likely to trip (I AM a klutz) or drag my latigo through mud, or manure.
It may seem silly but, to me, it seems faster to tack up when I know everything was left how I want it.
My latigo is always run back through itself and tied:

nothing to drag through the mud here!

Most of the people I know hook the loop of their breastcollar tug over their horn. I have tripped myself up sooo many times that way! Or it works itself loose in the trailer and gets tangled with the other saddle. I was very happy to see a new way of doing it (in Western Horseman I believe). Now I toss my breastcollar over the seat of my saddle and do the tug up through the stirrup. Its quick, easy and best of all secure. I have not tripped myself or had my breastcollar tangle with other tack since I started storing it this way:
simple, secure and no tripping!
On the off side I neatly gather my cinches together. I put the buckle of the back cinch through the buckle of the front cinch and hang them on the keeper on the saddle. Now they are neat and tidy. When I saddle I let down one buckle and (usually) both cinches fall right into place:

Thank you Applejack for being such a patient model and letting me snap pics before getting you your after ride cookies :)


  1. I love organized tack rooms! I have to use my garage for a tack room, but I like to have a spot for everything. Like you, I also tie up my latigo, but not quite like you. I hate it when people leave it down, nothing worse than dragging it through mud and poo! My cinch is always up, I don't use a breast collar on Brandy, but Fritzy's breast collar I take off the saddle completely. For some reason, last winter I left it over the seat of the saddle, and it got discolored. My halters are always hung with leads attached. Grab and go, the way I like it too!
    My horse trailer tack room is also very organized. I can't function with stuff thrown all over. I like to be able to find something when and if I need it. Plus I hate stuff thrown on the floor, do not like tripping hazzard either.
    Your tack room is so neat and organized! Love it!

  2. 99% of the time my stuff is put neatly away. I always put my cinches up and loop my latigo, but don't tie it. I'll have to try that breast collar trick.

    My halters are all done up and hung with the leadrope attached.

    I try not to put my saddle pads over my saddles anymore. At least not the ones I just got done using. I don't think the moisture seeping down is good for the saddles. So now I hang my damp pads on a different rack.

    My bridles and reins are what I am really particular about. I don't like the reins looped together. Instead, I loop each rein over the headstall in opposite directions. I think it helps the reins lay better on the horse's neck. I could be crazy, but I started doing that years ago and now it is just a habit.

    One thing about it-when everything has a can tell is something is missing in a glance.;)

  3. I don't have a tack room per se. My halters and bridles hang on a rack over the laundry room door. I keep a lead rope attached to each one so I can grab everything I need at once. I don't hook them. I hang them by the nose band so I can grab them and loop them on my forearm. The lead ropes are doubled and get tossed over my shoulder.

    My saddles are on racks in what used to be by son's BR, but is now Mr. Fry's office. I use fleece girths and It's A Cinch Pros that just get tossed over the top. I have been unhooking the breast collar altogether. Although my way has worked for me, I like your tips and may see if I can apply them some of them.

    I don't have much room and only 2 racks. I pull the pad and saddle off at the same time and just put them on the rack like that. If the pad seems really wet, I separate them and lay it upside down to dry.

    I'm low tech and low budget, what can I say? I covet your tack room.

  4. Hey I put my saddle away the same way :D (Except I just take the breast collar off and hang it with my bridle)
    Are those halters and bridles yours?
    THey almost look like they are color coded :D

  5. I have two really nice old Hamley saddles. During the summer when the horses are down below the saddles are in the tack room down there. I do up my latigo and cinches like you do. I had an old cowboy yell at me when I was a kid about disrespecting my tack and that's a habit I've had since then.

    I don't have a heated tack room so in the winter, those two saddles hang on their racks in the living room. They are polished and conditioned. Hamley saddles are art as far as I'm concerned.

  6. I use rope halters, with tied on leads,(no parts to break, important when dealing with babies) and hang them up by the noseband. I do up my latigo a little different than you, because when I put my saddle on Beamer I like to be able to hold the cinch with one hand and undo the latigo with the other hand; I feed the strap through the D from behind, pull the loop down so it's nice and even like yours, then take the tail and feed it from front to back and through itself, that way I just grab it at the front and pull and the latigo comes down. Clear as mud? I'll post a picture of it on my blog for you. This was taught to me by an old cowboy, and works very well especially if you are saddling up without tying your horse. With the lead rope over the crook of your elbow, and your cinches done this way, you can be ready for any sudden moves or surprises from your horse.

  7. BECG - I hang my bridles that way too! And I agree, it seems to help with how the reins drape.

    N.DUN - the centre section of halters/bridles is mine. (the ones to the left are Kimfer's and her dad's, to the right is misc. tack) and yes they are kinda colour coded. lol Each horse has a different halter and their regular bridles hang right below their halters.

    AKPG - I'm going to have to look up Hamley saddles.

    Shirley - I usually untie the latigo as soon as I set the saddle on. I just like it tied when I carry it. I used to just loop it through and leave it untied but it worked loose and tripped me up a few times. lol

  8. I have a small locker at the stable for my tack. But it works for everything I need. I have to have it organized. I know where everything is in there. And I always put it back in the same spot. Only mess in there is the mouse I can't seem to get rid of. Might have to purchase a trap. Didn't want to kill the little guy, but I am tired of cleaning up his messes. I do things pretty much the same way as you. but I do have to store my blanket on my saddle, but I flip the damp side up.

  9. That's a huge tack room. Mine is tiny and all my tack takes up maybe 4 feet total. I like it all hung up neat and tidy, too.

    Looking good!


  10. Wow. You all impress me! I trail ride & trailer out a lot. So most of the time during ride season, my tack is in my trailer small trailer. The kids and hubby don't go on my day rides much, so their stuff is usually in the LQ trailer. I have a couple extra saddles that I use at home & have a tack room in the barn. It's not as neat as these pictures, but functional. Most of the stuff gets moved there in the winter except my saddle. I usually keep it in the house so it is warm when I need it!

  11. We moved not too long ago and the tack room isn't set up yet (teeny room off the garage). It's not heated, so the saddles are inside for the winter, spread out between the 3 floors of my house. There was a serious mouse problem in the garage, but my kitties seem to have calmed it. Now, I'll happily clean up the mouse mess and get organized in the next week or so.

    My tack (what isn't at the training barn where Casey still is) is in heaps in both the living room and the master bedroom. But, I just got it brought in from the garage. (I found a nest of baby mice in my barely used, extra lofty Rambo pad and it wigged me a bit), so everything got moved.

    I hang my halters up by the noseband with the lead draped over the top, doubled. I'll be trying some of the other tips as soon as I get the tackroom set up.

  12. Er...I confess to being a bit messy. I'd like not to be, but the only tack room I've got is the one in my horse trailer, and it is not nearly large enough. Stuff is...well...stuffed!

  13. Love it! That's exactly how I put my saddle away. I can't handle stuff flopping around. lol

    On the other hand I like to hang my halters up by the nose, unlatched for easy access.

    I also have rubber maid tubs full of blankets and supplies.

    And my tack lives in the house - I don't have a mouse proof tack area.

  14. I put my saddle away the same as you. Once you get in the habit of having everything buckled up just so it is hard to use a saddle where things are hanging out higgly wiggly! lol

    I am also fussy about my reins being straigh when hung, I hate a kinked rein that has set up in the cold.

    All of my tack is stored in my garage right now...*pout* I go down sometimes and look at my saddle and brush brush box is the only thing I've always had trouble keeping clean and organized. Some how that thing always ends up a sticky mess. lol

  15. I definitely vote for neat and organized - helps keep your tack in better shape and it is easier to find stuff. I put my saddle away the same way, minus the breastplate...

    I have a decent sized locker at the barn and it is tidy, the only thing that is hard to deal with are damp saddle pads. I don't really have anywhere to hang them that isn't on the saddle. I often bring them home to dry.

    I rode at this barn a couple of years ago and all of the tack was totally jumbled. They had this big hook with about 50 halters/leads all jumbled and it took 15 minutes to untangle a halter and then there was a good chance it was too big/small for the horse you had to catch. Same deal with their leather tack - it made me cringe...

  16. I tend toward neatness as well. I don't have much space in my barn's tack room, but I try to have everything organized so it's easy to grab and stays neat. I always like a halter/rope hung on each horse's door so if I need to grab one quickly it's right there. I store the saddle pretty much like you do, except I don't tie up the latigo, I just loop it through. Leg wraps are stored rolled and in a bin. Blankets are as well. Supplies are on a shelf, grouped together (bathing products, grooming products, first aid, etc).

  17. I always hang my halters by the noseband with the lead attached and hung about the 1/2 way point.
    I see no point in removing a halter, doing it up to hang by the crown then undoing it again to halter a horse, from my training days when I could easily halter and unhalter a dozen horses a day.

    I hang my flank cinch and cinch together like you do on the off keeper.

    I hang my breast collar on the off dee as well, only un hooking the near tug and cinch clip. Makes everything neat and compact for swinging over a horses back in one swing. Everything flies over neatly and falls into proper place to do up.

    I dont do up and tie the latgio when un saddling, there again making for too many steps to saddle and unsaddle, just run the latigo thru the keeper about 1/2 way, that way its ready to pull down and through the cinch ring.

    I want to share a pet peeve safety issue too. Either cinch with the tongue on the cinch and properly use the holes in the latigo, or if you prefer to tie the latigo (I don't know why anyone would...., its too hard to adjust ) then CUT OFF the tongue from the cinch, I've seen 3 injuries from riders getting stabbed in the calf from the cinch tongue not thru the latigo.

    I also cross my reins over the head stall, ready to slip right over the horses head before bridling, heavy harness reins are prone to be stiff and I find it helps keep them hanging neat.

    I always put damp pads upside down on the saddle to air.

    I much prefer efficiency when tacking up, than exactly how it looks in the tackroom, routine makes it neat for me. Same thing same place, no thinking.


Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!