Junk In The Trunk? Peek into a Top Young Rider’s Tack Trunk

From wooden to plastic, tack trunks often line the walls of every barn’s tack room. They are a rider’s best friend to hold all of their barn necessities whether that be mismatched bell boots, beloved tack, or dirty blankets. But what do those at the top of the sport keep inside? Are they just as messy as us or are their trunks as spotless as their horses? We lifted the lid on Boston, MA, native Zoe Crawford’s trunk and took a peek inside.

Photo: JJ Silman/Courtesy of Zoe Crawford

According to Crawford, who placed fourth in the CICYO** at the 2016 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and was recently named to the United States Equestrian Federation’s Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 list, her tack trunk isn’t super fancy. In fact, you can get your own at a nearby home improvement store! “I have a black Husky brand trunk that I got at Home Depot,” she says. “All I have on it is a piece of red duct tape with my name on it!” And she likes it that way—no need for a heavy wooden trunk, especially if you are just going to fill it with stuff, making it heavier. “I like that it is really lightweight since it is made out of plastic. When it is empty it barely weighs anything,” she adds. “Though, with all my stuff in it is another story.” Good thing it has wheels.

Speaking of stuff, Crawford has a lot of it to keep contained, so she has some back up. In addition to her large Husky trunk, she has a smaller one for other items that she may not be using or won’t need when she travels for a show. “I usually leave extra tack and equipment that I don’t use very often in my little trunk. It is sort of there for overflow,” she explains.

As for what is inside, Crawford says that her five most used things are also what she thinks everyone should have inside their own tack trunk—towels, scissors, duct tape, boot polish, and some standing wraps. “Duct tape, bailing twine, and scissors can help you fix almost anything,” she explains. “And I go through a lot of hand towels. They are great for dusting off boots, cleaning faces, and cleaning tack.” What is her most important piece of equipment inside? Her standing wraps. “I think one of the most important things to keep in a tack trunk is basic leg care supplies for every day stall wrapping and wrapping for an injury. These are especially important when going to away shows as you won’t have all the barn supplies at your fingertips.” When asked what she has stashed away that she hardly uses, her answer was simple, “I always have bell boots but never use them!”

There are more than just horse related items inside Crawford’s Husky trunk; she has some household items as well. “I have accumulated some silver wear that I  just leave in there. It has come in handy a few times,” she laughs. “I also usually have a few mugs from bringing coffee to the barn in the morning and then leaving them in my trunk.”

When it comes to keeping everything organized, Crawford is just like us—her trunk flops between clean and unkempt. “My trunk bounces back and forth between really messy and very organized,” she says, adding that she often lets it get disorganized and then cleans it up. “It usually gets incredibly chaotic and then I will go crazy organizing it.” Because of her travels to events, she finds herself rearranging and reorganizing often. “I rearrange them all the time, especially for shows,” she says. “I am lucky that I’m based in Ocala, so many of the shows that we go to are very close. For away shows I usually just pack my big trunk with everything I need.”

But does one really need a tack trunk? “Yes! Especially since I don’t have a trailer where I can store my equipment,” Crawford says, noting that she wouldn’t have any other place to keep her barn items. “It’s also nice to be able to just throw my stuff in after riding, so the barn looks nice and tidy even though the inside
of my trunk may not be!”

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