Create a Private Locker in a Horse Stable

When you're a boarder it is difficult finding a place to store your personal belongings. Learn how to create your own private locker in a horse stable when space and materials are limited.

If you’re a boarder, and you’re lucky enough to have a private locker in the stable to store all of your horse gear. Learn how you can make the best use of the limited space within a horse stable, keeping in mind the basic rules for all organization 1) keep like items together, 2) fill dead spaces, and 3) consider usage.

First, take measurements, and inspect it for any places that rodents can come in. If there are gaps, buy heavy metal screening from a home improvement store, cover edges with duct tape (to keep it from scratching your leather) and staple-gun the screen in place. Warning: window screen is not nearly heavy enough to keep the little varmints out!

Next, assuming the locker is only a few inches wider than your saddle, mount saddle racks off center, to maximize the room to one side. Take old bath mats, and staple those to the wall closest to the saddle, and to the ceiling, to avoid rubs and scratches as you put the saddle in and out. Mount your first saddle rack as close to the top as possible, while still being able to get the saddle in and out. If you need a second rack, mount it as far up as possible, while still being able to get your second saddle in easily.

Next, stack a series of plastic underbed drawers underneath the saddles, as deep as you have room for. If you can find them, ones that are 28.5″ long (deep) x 17″ wide x 7″ tall seem particularly suited to maximizing the space in a saddle locker. They’ll fit boots laying on their sides – even tall English boots – chaps, spurs, gloves, ear muffs, and other small bits of apparel. (Unless you have wide or bulky boots, in which case the 7″ tall won’t be enough.) Usually lockers have room for one or two of these under your saddles, leaving a perfect triangular spot on top. Use this to slide your plastic grooming tote – complete with tall spray bottles, brushes, hoofpick, etc – under your saddles. Next, hook your helmet to the underside of the top saddle rack. If you do have a second saddle, the helmet will nestle into the dead space between saddles nicely.

Because the racks are off center, there are usually six or so inches left unused on one side of the locker, going from floor to ceiling. On the floor, next the side of the drawer units, put a long skinny plastic basket and fill it with all those jars and bottles of substances that you don’t use daily (but when you need it, you need it) such as bute, poultice, braiding spray, shampoo, and so on. Now you can slide the basket out towards you to easily access the back items. In the front of this basket, put an old cup for a pen, pencil, thermometer, etc.

Over these bottles, at the top of the side wall, mount a sturdy rack of hooks. Hang things you don’t use often at the back (extra bosal or noseband, lunging equipment) and things you use frequently at the front (halter and lead).

Last but not least, there is usually a plane of unused space right behind the door, extending four inches or so into the locker. Mount a whip holder and two bridle racks on the top inside of the door, being careful to check that the door can still open and close easily. Now you have a protected and easily accessible place for bridles, without squishing the browbands.

As a final touch, mount a combination dry-erase and bulletin board on the front of your door, so friends can leave notes or pictures for you.

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