Let’s talk about tack trunks

Through most of my life, my tack trunk has been a hunter green-veneered plywood footlocker that’s original purpose was to hold my belongings during the two weeks of Girl Scout camp I attended every summer. In high school, I started to cover it in bumper stickers: slogans like “Pony Club Is Great, Ask Us About It!” and “Don’t Take Your Organs To Heaven, Heaven Knows We Need Them Here!” are stuck alongside oval-shaped stickers from places like the Dismal Swamp Canal and Virginia Beach. The trunk has lasted much longer than I ever expected it to, but it’s slowly dying. The lock is rusty. The bottom of the trunk appears to be disintegrating. Pieces of the frame have come unglued.

You can see the trunk hiding under my saddle pads.

I’d like to replace the trunk, but I don’t know what sort of replacement to buy. The new trunk will need to hold wraps of all kinds, extra horse boots, and a few pieces of infrequently used tack (like my running martingale attachment, extra girths, extra halters, etc). The trunk will live in my tack room, which doesn’t have a ton of floor space thanks to the bizarrely giant bathroom door. The trunk doesn’t need to be especially mobile or double as a mounting block or anything- I don’t plan on taking it to shows with me.

What kind of tack trunk to do you use? Any recommendations?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

24 thoughts on “Let’s talk about tack trunks”

  1. I have one of the big Stanley tool boxes. It may be too big for what you need, but I literally stuff all the things in it during winter (bc mice). It also rolls, which is A++ if you ever plan to take it somewhere. If I were going to a show I’d definitely pack all my things in it for the weekend and take it since it rolls and it higher off the ground and can be used to sit on haha

    1. ^^^This. Super affordable and super durable. I have a fancy one from my hunter days and it stays at home while the Stanley box goes to shows with me.

  2. I second looking to the construction industry for trunks, but since you said your floor space is limited you should check out the “rolling mobile work stations” (lots of different names for them). They’re basically vertical versions of the Stanley trunks. I started using one for shows this year. They’re vertical when stored, but slide out for easy access to your stuff. It has a very small footprint compared to the trunks. Here’s some examples:




  3. I have some fancy ones from Oakcroft that I really love. Not sure if you want something expensive, but if you do, I recommend them. The wood on them is gorgeous and they’ve held up nicely for me. I keep a medium sized one in the trailer that I use for shows, and have two of the large ones in my tack room that stay at home. They have tons of options like wrap holders in the lid. Or you can get a corkboard with a mirror and white board, brush box, tray. Whatever you want!
    If you just want something nice to do the job, Stanley makes a sturdy plastic one with wheels. My trainer uses them for shows, and they’re pretty great, but definitely less pretty. jet.com has them for $70

    1. I have the Husky version of this, ever so slightly cheaper at $65, and like it for its big size and wheelability. I sometimes daydream about making myself a really nice wooden one, but then I think about how little I’d want to move it around and become very satisfied with my Husky again!

  4. I have a few of those rusty old footlockers stashed in my barn, along with a large lockable plywood “tack box” (that holds a saddle) that my husband built during one of my brief forays in a public boarding barn a few years ago. Honestly though for your situation, I’d check out the plastic footlockers you can get at Walmart now! Probably a similar size (so shouldn’t in your available space), and the plastic should hold up for years 🙂

  5. Having been raised in h/j land I had a big wooden trunk for most of my riding career, because you HAD to have either that or the fancy custom vinyl ones. It was pretty, but heavy as balls, even empty. Then I returned to eventing, got a $70 Stanley, and love my life a whole lot more. It’s rugged, it’s big, it has a tray inside, water can’t get in it, it’s easy to hose down when it gets dirty, and it has a handle and wheels. I can move it around by myself easily, and to transport it I just roll it up the ramp of my trailer and it sits in the unoccupied horse stall. I mean really, you cannot beat that shit with a stick. Also doubles as a mounting block at shows.

    Not as pretty as wood or vinyl, but it’s SO ridiculously practical.

  6. Another Stanley trunk fan here. I have another brand one as well for Houston but can’t remember what brand. Then I splurged a few years ago got my saddle locker but that wouldn’t be what you are looking for since you have saddle racks etc.

    Stanley is the way to go imo. Best bang for your buck.

  7. A third Stanley fan here! You can’t beat $70 from Lowes/Home Depot, it’s water/critter proof, locks, rolls, is lightweight and sturdy as hell. My favorite feature is the inner organizer tray that sits in the handle when the handle is fully pulled out, leaving unrestricted access to the inside of the trunk. The Stanleys literally hold EVERYTHING. To quote Amanda, “you cannot beat that shit with a stick.” #teamStanley

  8. Mine is a heavy duty Dewalt 38in tool box that I love! Not only does it have wheels, but you have the option to lock it with a padlock, it seals completely shut and is waterproof, but it has the retractable handle that is perfect for hanging saddles pads or blankets on. I have some small containers to not only layer all my stuff in there (it holds a ton!) but also to keep everything organized.


  9. I’d vote for a Stanley of some size, as well – you don’t have to go for the full sized ones that a lot of eventers use, but they are sturdy, long lasting and don’t weigh a million pounds. I have three (ok, one is Husky brand or whatever) of various ages and they don’t die – mine had stuff stacked on them, have been stood on, have slid around in the back of a truck, been backed into by a spooking horse, etc. The trays are a bit more delicate but otherwise they’re generally a great investment.

  10. I have the small size Stanley trunk from when I had minimal space at a barn I took lessons. It now lives in my trailer. My every day trunk is one of the Horseman’s Pride ones. It’s not extremely deep, but it’s long and I’m able to fit a lot of stuff in it. I like the tray a lot and the space under the tray is great for things I don’t use a ton. Out of sight out of mind I suppose.

  11. Those Stanley tool boxes are the shit, but they are marginally less useful if you don’t ever need to travel somewhere with it.

    If your floor space is at a premium, how are you for wall space? You might build up something more like a tack locker, with vertical hanging pieces. That might make things more accessible, too.

  12. i have a husky from home depot. it was about $60 if i am remembering correctly. has an extendable handle off one end, and two wheels on the other end for easy rolling. it’s lockable (tho i never lock it), sturdy, and has a removeable grooming-style tote with a handle that rests on the inner ledge of the trunk. it’s quite spacious too – for a while i was storing my dressage saddle in it plus tons of other stuff (like small buckets and my actual grooming tote in addition to the tote that comes with the husky), and it all fits.

    actually i keep meaning to do a review of it complete with lots of pictures, so maybe i’ll get on that haha. all said tho: i would definitely recommend it and am likely to buy a second at some point or another.

    1. Yes! Another Husky user! I went to Home Depot to get a Stanley, but, at the time, the Husky was cheaper and the same damn thing. I’ve had it for about four years now, no complaints. It doesn’t go anywhere and is a bear when I’m trying to find something small, but totally worth it. You can also sticker it up and not feel like you’re ruining something valuable.

  13. I too have a Stanley and love it. But if it never leaves the tack room I’d consider a drawer unit of some sort instead. I have an old dresser in mine and I love using it to store extra boots, wraps and even sheets. If I just stuffed them in a trunk or tote I think I’d end up with more mess and less organization.

  14. Because we don’t have to take the trunk itself anywhere, we have a metal cabinet full of shelves (like you’d keep office supplies in) and we use that for holding stuff like bandages, medical supplies, etc. There’s a picture of it on my blog under tack room tour. It’s so much easier than a trunk because you don’t have to lean down to rummage through it, stuff is up for you to see. If you need a trunk you can move, make your own! You can do it. Or buy a big Stanley trunk. I wouldn’t spend the $ on the fancy wooden trunks.

  15. Hahaha yet another on the stanley bandwagon. $70 and I’ve had it 5+ years with zero problems. Mine is pretty much permanently parked in the tack room and it holds all my shit and is a perfect bench to change boots on. Maybe not super attractive, but I’m well beyond caring about that. It ain’t the ritz but I’m not in the ritz price bracket.

  16. Oh yeah, Stanley for sure. Cheap, can take a beating (I am not kind to mine) and I feel like it has the storage capacity of Mary Poppins’s purse. I don’t know when I will see the bottom of mine…..

  17. This, I can help you with! I see ALL SORTS of tack trunks come through my barn from cheapie plastic tubs to fancy schmancy wooden trunks complete with coordinated (of course monogrammed) padded cover. I totally agree with all the Stanley lovers-they are great options and last forever! My favorite, though, is the kind I keep in my trailer. It’s similar to the SporTote brand, sold by Dover. I love that it has a padded seat on top! Perfect for putting boots on, etc. It also has those nifty trays when you lift the lid. I keep show bills and records in there along with little things that you hate to lose, but always seem to: bobby pins, safety pins, band aids, etc. I would stay away from wooden trunks, because they can get damaged in our humidity changes too easily. And they don’t always seal properly.

  18. So I came here to tell you that I’m old school and still kind of love the wooden heavy as a 100 bricks ones…but…

    Now I want a stanley/husky one. Your comment section is very persuasive.

  19. For those using husky or Stanley boxes any tips on something to hold the saddle within the box and how to secure it inside the box?

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