Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Very Best

For MONTHS I have lusted after a tack trunk/locker/cabinet. My things have slowly sprawled across the tack room this past year as I've fought the battle with scratches and added various dietary supplements and topical treatments to my equine care arsenal.

I've fluctuated back and forth about what I wanted - primarily if I wanted something super travel-friendly, or something that was more stationary, or something that could potentially be both. Always in favor of supreme functionality, I settled for the latter - something that could go into a trailer or could sit in the tack room.

So then I Google image searched and Pinterested and looked high and low and sketched many ideas out. Finally though, I took my measuring tape to the barn one night and measured the area that encompassed the bulk of my shit to best ascertain what size "box" would fit everything.

What I wanted: a cabinet of sorts with many hooks so I could hang my myriad of halters, halter-bridles, bridles, breast plates, cruppers, lunge lines, and other various strappy things that encompass the horse world. I wanted to be able to store a saddle in there, but I didn't want to be held to that decision very firmly - something removable that would hold a saddle was preferable. And above all, I wanted an area of the cabinet to be devoted to containing all of the bottles and small containers of liquid and ointment and powder and other various equiid remedies and supplements.

With final sketch design in hand, I approached Mike - ever the handyman and craftsman - with my design idea and asked him if he could do it? Of course he could. Last weekend, he sketched out his version of my drawing, asking me random questions as he went along to better form a build-plan that was feasible and would meet my needs. He called up the two builder supply stores in the area and got cost estimates, too. It seemed that everything could be done to the tune of $100 (materials; cheap because we were able to use a lot of salvaged wood from a demo project at his house) and the labor would be free (a labor of love *cue cheesy music*).

The original plan was to construct it this weekend, but with a sudden change in his schedule on Tuesday, he quested out to buy materials and get started on the cabinet.

By Wednesday PM, it was completed! (Minus paint, which I may do later this month or next.)

Taking shape
Saddle rack piece on top

In the end, it was a foot and a half taller than I'd originally sketched. Mike put about 10 hours of labor into the process.

The Specs: It measures 30"d x 30" w x 48" h; compact enough to fit in the tack room or to sit in the corner of a trailer with a small tack room/dressing area.. It currently has 5 single hooks in the main body and two forked hooks (4 hanging areas) on the door. The door also has two dowel rod hanging bars for saddle pads or other things that hang. Mike added a (in red in photos) paracord leash on a snap that I can drape over all the hanging things on the door so they don't wave about if the cabinet is ever in motion (in a trailer). The shelf that sits inside is inset so that the things on the door don't interfere with it; the shelf is tall enough that milk crates and smaller and standard size buckets can fit beneath it. The saddle rack is completely removable - the diagonal board "leg" is hinged to the top part that the saddle would rest upon and the whole thing fits into custom notches in the back of the cabinet. It is a very ingenious design. Mike is SO crafty.


I'm totally and completely thrilled with it.

My BO was very impressed with it, as well, when we arrived at the barn last night. She and I tittered and oo'd and ahh'd at the cabinet and Mike's craftyness while her husband, true to his exceptionally snarky nature scoffed that I now had the Fort Knox of horse things. Non-horse folk, they just don't get it! ;-) (And I suppose, non-OCD-minded organizational fools probably don't understand either.)

Due to the larger product than original design, I had to do quite a bit of mind-tetris as I looked at the tack room last night in order to find a good place for the cabinet that wouldn't interfere with others. I was able to figure it out though - at least for now.

I was able to put all of my sprawling tack and accoutrements into the cabinet with success and extra space last night. Some rearranging is imminent, but I expected as much. All the same, once the cabinet was closed and latched I was absolutely THRILLED to see how clean and tidy the tack room was again. (In reality, the only person bothered by the mess originally was me. BO cares very little lol. She's awesome like that.)

Remaining outside the cabinet is an 18-gallon rubbermaid, a drawer from Smartpak, metal can with grain, pad hanging rack with pads, my two saddles, buckets and tubs (on top of cabinet), hoof trimming stand (on top of cabinet), and (currently) winter blankets/sheets. Minus the latter which will eventually go into the cabinet, all things outside are very well contained and otherwise hard to store away or contain better than they already are.

My organizational-obsessed mind is very, very pleased.

The horses don't understand.

Mike is The Very Best ever, too. It is rare to find a significant other who is so accepting (and an active participant) in the horse obsession. I'm very lucky. =)

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