Organizing tack for lesson programs?
I'm just curious how other barns organize their tack and grooming supplies for their lesson programs. How do students know what saddle, saddle pad, riser, bridle to use for their lesson?
When I was teaching, the tack was numbered and depending on the experience level of the student, they either tacked up or learned how to with supervision. The numbering was because the tack was predetermined to the lesson.
Our lesson tack is on saddle racks attached to the walls with the horses name above it. We tell them if the horse needs a riser or not. Since we just use plain saddle pads they can choose one on their own. The bridles are labeled similary, hanging on bridle racks with the horses names above them. Hope that helps. Our lessons rarely have more four students.
Best method: clear labling and designated storage.
As a student of probably 8 different barns over the past 25 years, I can tell you that the best method in my experience is when there was one of each piece of equipment per horse, all clearly labled with the horse's name, and each having a storage place that was also clearly labled with the horse's name.
The most frustrating thing was not being able to find a saddle or girth that fit, or having to try 3 different girths (because the size lable always wore off or the saddle was different so I needed a different size girth) because mutliple horses/students shared the same exact tack.
And then I would have to hunt down the instructor and often would have to disrupt him/her during the lesson to ask about the tack.
While it is possible for two or more horses to share one piece of tack, inevitably both horses will end up being used at the same time at some point. It is frustrating to arrive on time for a lesson, only to end up running late because the owner/manager's lack of organization.
I only give private lessons and do a once a month "open ride" for all of my students to practice working traffic, but most of my students who participate in those trailer in their own horse. Each horse I use for lessons has a saddle rack in the tack room and a locker with bridle, boots (if applicable), halter/lead, their own brushes & hoof pick. The lockers I picked up at an auction, it was a middle school that was being consolidated and closed, they are perfect height for hanging bridles, they have the shelf at the top and best of all were a steal!
Where I started taking lessons they have saddle and bridle racks per horse and are clearly labeled. The saddle pads are laid over the saddles so it's pretty clear.
For grooming supplies, they're just in a bucket on the floor and I grab the brushes I like best.
Interestingly enough, my trainer helps me tack up. Not because I don't know how or am too slow, but just because she wants to. I try to do it myself but usually as I'm finishing picking out the hooves, she's there with the saddle! LOL
Individual equipment for each horse kept on well labelled racks. Tack should also have a tag so when left out it is obvious whose tack it is.
I like individual grooming supplies too. In baskets or bags hanging on the horse's stall.
I agree with Alwaysbehind, although I think sharing grooming tools is OK. At the large barn I went to the horse's stall number was also used for its tack. In the tack room there was a whiteboard with an alphabetical list of names to look up your horse's number. Besides numbered racks each saddle/bridle had a metal keychain-type tag on it.
All our bridles are labeled by name of the horse.
Saddle racks aren't labeled but each horses' tack has a specific stand that the student learns and if they have trouble there's always someone there to help.
Saddles are on one wall with duct tape (yes really) used as labels above/beside it. Bridles are on the opposite wall, again with a duct tape label above it.
Girths are left over top of the saddle, and saddle pad. Students are not to change saddle pads (some kids would use a new one for their multiple lessons each week).
Horses that need a gel pad have it under the saddle to help keep the shape.
Grooming boxes are under the saddles, and are divided back up each week, so all the boxes have relatively the same brushes in it. -1 shed blade, 1 rubber curry, 1 face brush, 1 soft, 1 med and 1 hard brush, and a hoofpick. Extras get thrown in randomly.
Boots are in a cupboard. If horse NEEDS boots, its noted on the bridle name label.
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