Posted by Gabby Gufler, Wed, Apr 15, 2015
Whether you have a barn of two or 20 horses, those horses (and you) can have lots of “stuff!” How do you keep everything in order? Getting organized is step one; STAYING organized is step 2. Here are some simple tips to help keep you and your barn organized:
- Reduce Clutter. First things first—sort through ALL of your existing equipment and weed out items you no longer use. We all know how easy it can be to collect things, so be firm in your decision to rid yourself of old tack and horse clothing that you most likely will never use again. Did you know that you should throw out any helmets which are more than five years old? CLICK HERE for helmet storage and safety tips. Keep only horse grooming supplies that are in good working order and used regularly. Donate items in good working condition to your local riding school or rescue organization, such as Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. Nonprofit organizations will either put the items to good use or sell them to raise funds.
- Make a To-Do List. Take a look around your barn and create a physical to-do list. Making lists will actually help make the cleaning process easier and more time efficient. Plus, it feels really good to check items off your list!
- Buy Organizers. Everyday household organizers can be extremely handy in your barn!
Bathroom organizers come in handy in the wash rack! It seems every horse requires a few bottles of horse shampoo, detanglers, curry combs and brushes. We have found that the most sturdy type of organizer is a large wire wall-mounted unit with several shelves. Buckets can be clipped to it, spray bottles can hang from it, and it is a great place to hang up towels and sponges to dry.
Rubbermaid boxes may not be the most innovative organizing tool, but boy are they useful! Rubbermaid plastic bins come in all shapes and sizes, and some are even clear to help you see what is in the boxes before opening them. Be sure to keep your label maker or permanent marker handy to label all your boxes!
Over-the-door organizers are excellent for storing brushes, spray bottles, polo wraps and virtually any horse grooming accessory you can think of! They are also great at staying out of the way and can be thrown into the washing machine (on the gentle cycle) for a quick cleaning. These are also great to hang in your horse trailer or your grooming stall at a horse show.
Bulletin boards or whiteboards are a great tool for hanging calendars, show schedules, feeding charts, photos or reminders. They are a must in everyone’s barn for staying organized and on schedule, and can be used to display the phone numbers of your veterinarian, farrier, or neighbor in case of an emergency.
Pegboards are a great place to hang helmets, girths, bits, wraps, small tools, sunglasses or your car keys! They are easy to install and extremely affordable. Try not to place them in high-traffic areas or places that a horse could easily reach. Always keep in mind that hanging items can easily fall onto the floor.
Horseshoe hooks are an excellent way to repurpose old horseshoes! Ask your farrier to help you reshape your horse’s old horseshoes and then nail them to a wall. They are great for hanging buckets, lead ropes, spray bottles or even your sweatshirt on a warm day. Make sure that the horseshoes contain no sharp edges or rusty nails and are securely fastened to the wall to avoid injuring you or your horse.
Laundry bags or collapsible bins are great tools for storing dirty towels or horse clothing items in your tack room or aisleway. Be sure the laundry items are dry and not damp before tossing them in the bag, as damp clothing can encourage mold growth.
Purchase Blanket Racks. Blankets are renowned for taking up space in your tack room and can often end up on the floor collecting dust. Racks can hang more blankets using less space in your tack room, can help make finding your horse’s sheet or blanket a quick process, and are great for air-drying wet sheets or blankets. Racks are the secret to keeping your tack room tidy and organized.
Create a Horse Tack Cleaning Station. Leather tack cleaning is more apt to be done on a regular basis if the process is easy and convenient. Inspecting and cleaning your leather tack is extremely important for not only keeping up its appearance, but also ensuring the safety of you and your horse.
Tips for creating your leather care station:
- Hang a tack cleaning hook from the ceiling to make cleaning bridles and straps easy. You can generally find one at your local tack shop!
- Store a collapsible saddle rack against a wall near your tack cleaning hook to make cleaning your saddle leather easy, too! Helpful tip: Avoid storing your tack by a window to prevent sun damage.
- Place all of your tack cleaning supplies in a small bucket hung or placed near your tack cleaning station to help you stay organized. For quick cleaning, consider using Lexol® Quick Wipes to thoroughly clean and condition your tack in two easy steps. With these simple steps, spring cleaning in your barn should be a snap! Manna Pro® has the products to help YOU clean like a PRO. Lexol leather care products and Corona® horse grooming supplies are a perfect match for dirty tack and horses!
- Step 1: Lexol Leather Cleaner - pH balanced to clean safely, unlike traditional saddle soaps which can cause deterioration. Leaves behind no scum or residue.
- Step 2: Lexol Leather Conditioner - Prolongs the life of your tack, protecting your investment * Softens leather and helps prevent cracking
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