What do you think of when you hear the term “She Shed”?
I picture a shed full of tack, bridles and halters hung perfectly, saddle pads organized by color, the smell of new leather, and ribbons neatly hung all around. I mean that’s every Shameless Equestrian’s dream she shed right?
Last Fall I put up my very own DIY Tack Shed at the barn and I absolutely love it so I wanted to share how I built it, the pros and cons, and some neat storage on a budget ideas.
Prior to this tack shed I had a tack box that my boyfriend built for my birthday a few years and it was beautiful, I absolutely love it. But once I got Fiona I quickly realized horse owners collect A LOT of stuff!! So not long into horse ownership my tack box became Mary Poppins bag…but it took me way longer than Ms. Poppins to pull out what I was looking for. Not to mention my tack box was taking up valuable space in one of our tack rooms which could be used by someone else.
I was looking into alternate tack box designs to better fit all of my stuff and ultimately figured a shed would probably be better. With my trainer’s permission, the research for a tack shed began. What material should I use? What size? How will I organize it? Where will it go?
Wood vs. Resin vs. Metal
This is what I spent the majority of my time researching. Last Fall we were in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. That being said the prices of lumber were outrageous, a simple 2×4 cost roughly $3 pre-covid and around $8 during Covid! This was one of the primary driving factors in why I opted for plastic resin.
|– Durable||– Limited mobility|
|– Insect, rust resistant||– Prone to rotting if not properly built and maintained|
|– Customizable (design, color, etc)||– Usually more expensive|
|– Lightweight, easy to move||– Lightweight, easy to move|
|– Rot, insect, rust resistant||– Limited custom options|
|– Usually inexpensive|
|– Durable||– Limited mobility|
|– Rot, insect resistant||– Prone to rust and leaks|
|– Usually inexpensive||– Limited custom options|
Looking at all these factors I decided a resin shed would work best for my needs. My primary concern with a resin shed was it’s structural soundness which we remedied by framing the interior with wood. This helps create a sturdy structure and it allows me the freedom to hang items on the “walls”.
Next thing I looked at was size. I opted for a 7×7 shed which is just enough room for everything to have a home without being overkill. This also fits perfectly between the two stall windows where it will sit.
The Building Process
First off, you’ll need level ground to build your shed on. My trainer’s husband was super helpful with bringing dirt to the “build site” and packing it down with a tractor to make sure the final shed doesn’t sink over time.
We created a base from 2x6s, concrete blocks, and treated plywood. The concrete blocks were placed at each corner, the middle of each side and the center, then dug into the ground and leveled. Each 2×6 was placed equal distances apart and nailed together. Finally, the treated plywood was placed on top and nailed into the base frame to establish the floor.
Then we were onto the fun part…assembling the shed. You would think this would be a cake walk, directions are given, pieces are labeled, the whole nine yards. All I’m going to say is make sure you allot time for the assembly LOL.
After the shed was assembled we framed the interior with wood to make the overall structure sturdier. While I’m sure everything in my shed provides a lot of weight to keep it from blowing away framing the interior helps with that too. I like to be safe rather than sorry.
When all the structure building is done the fun part begins…organizing!
Organization & Storage
I had a vision in my mind and now it was a matter of bringing it to life. I tried to do all of my storage and organization on a budget.
All of my hooks for bridles, halters, and girths were purchased on Amazon. These cost me a fraction of what bridle hooks would cost from Dover or Smartpak. I also got these double prong coat hooks which are PERFECT for hanging girths.
Hangers for saddle pads were bought from Walmart and this nifty helmet display rack and crop holder were purchased on Amazon. These were an absolute must for me from the get go. I wanted a way to display all those beautiful pads and air them out when they’re sweaty and smelly, so this was a win-win.
The helmet rack essentially does the same thing, airs out my sweaty helmet (because let’s be honest helmet sweat is real) and it puts it on display!
The crop holder – I think we’ve all seen these in our local tack stores, they’re just awesome and it helps keep all those crops from growing legs like they do so often.
Shelving was from an old storage unit. This is where all Fiona’s grooming items, treats, blankets, coolers, quarter sheets, scrim sheets, show pads, and all the miscellaneous things live. I also put a battery powered light on the top shelf.
This cabinet from my childhood bedroom is perfect for storing equine first aid items, medicine, and smaller things like hairnets, riding gloves, leather cleaner/conditioner and spurs.
For horse boots and bonnets I use a regular plastic three drawer container you can get at any Walmart or Target type of store. I also have a Smartpak supplement drawer underneath because Fiona’s supplements are already in the grain containers. And to answer your next question, yes that is a small shop vac on the floor which I use on Fiona and it’s AMAZING. Cheaper than a horse vacuum and it get’s the job done.
If hanging a saddle rack on the wall of a resin shed is what you want to do, my suggestion is to attach a piece of plywood to the interior wood frame you built. Since I knew I wouldn’t be hanging a saddle rack on a wall I skipped this step. Instead I have a rolling saddle cart with two shelves built underneath it. My dad and I built this for me back when I was riding in New York for me to keep my saddle on at home in our garage. I was always thinking about it and disappointed I couldn’t really find a good use for it until now!
For boots and half chaps I use a small craftsman tool box-like thing. This used to live in the trunk of my car but now has a permanent home in my shed. Paddock boots and half chaps go inside and tall boots on top. It’s super easy to clean out when it eventually gets filled with dirt and I think it looks clean and tidy for boot storage.
One long chapter book later, I think that covers it! I hope this helps inspire your own she shed equestrian style. If you have your own tack shed I want to know your must haves and storage/organization ideas! Share them with me on Instagram, @ShamelessEquestrian, or send me an email, Shameless.Eq@gmail.com.
Lastly, if you have any questions about my tack shed, how to’s, storage ideas, or anything feel free to reach out!