Paige Merrill of Royal Wire explains how she has developed innovative solutions for tack stalls. Pictured here are Paige, Gail Peshina (mom) and Morgan (daughter).
Staying organized can be a challenge, especially at horse shows when multiple people are sharing space. The best way to combat clutter is to utilize stable organization tools to keep your tack room neat and tidy. When it comes to stable organization, Royal Wire has been a leader in the industry for over 40 years. Paige Merrill of Royal Wire explains how she has developed innovative solutions for tack stalls and shares her favorite insider tips.
Paige’s grandfather, William J. Peshina started Royal Wire in 1953 and it was later led by her father, William F. Peshina (Bill). The company focused on the use of wire for industrial purposes, which it continues to produce successfully today.
“When I first started showing horses, during the ‘hurry up and wait’ times, my dad and I would draw up design ideas to organize the horse trailer and then he would make the pieces. Pretty soon, people took notice, asking to buy them,” recalled Merrill. From this ingenuity, the Equine Division of Royal Wire was born.
“It’s so important to take good care of tack. The easiest thing to do to prevent accidents is to inspect your tack for wear and tear and general condition,” Merrill explained.
With the cost of tack and show clothes, it makes sense to invest in items to keep everything in order and accounted for. Merrill provided some great tips for tack room set-ups at horse shows:
Set up the tack stall the same way each time – this way, everyone can get familiar with the set up from show to show and it becomes easier to know where things will be and where to put them back.
Know what your space allowance is – If you know how much space you get to work with, it’s easier to get the right products to utilize space and help keep the peace with barn-mates.
Mark your items – Duct-tape comes in so many colors and patterns, it’s easy to find one that will uniquely mark your goods.
Two tack stalls? Set up one for tack only and the other as a changing area – this helps with traffic. Use plenty of hooks to keep things off the floor.
Multitask – The Rolling Dolly can be used for more than just moving saddles. Use it to load/unload items like hay or grain bags. Cement block hooks can be flipped to hang hoses.
When it comes to Royal Wire pieces, Merrill recommends, “The hands-down MVP is the Main Frame (pictured right). Having a customizable, collapsible, multiple tier wire saddle rack system can be a life-changer. Keep a few extra single wire hooks on hand, just in case they got left at the last horse show.”
“A Three Tier Groom Cart in the aisleway is also a must-have. Keep it right by the cross ties for easy access to brushes, bell boots, and wraps when tacking up,” Merrill suggested. Her favorite product is the free-standing shelf, “It’s universal, I have it in my barn, basement, garage and always in my tack stall.”
How does a product come to life? “It’s all about utility,” Merrill advised, “If I need a product, I’m sure that someone else has the same need.” For example, “Hat cans are awkward and take up so much room, bouncing around in the horse trailer.” So, she created a hat can holder that hangs the hat cans securely by the handles and makes for easier access.
Merrill tests her products in her barn until she feels they are ready to share. “We know wire and horses.” When asked what gives their products a top-of-the-line reputation, she explained, “We sell what we manufacture here in the USA. Being hands-on in the process helps with design, quality, and pride in workmanship. I couldn’t do it without the exceptional Royal Wire team, which make it possible.”
Merrill has hauled with professional trainer Hank Clason and his crew for years. She rides Details Of Willy, “He is the best horse I have ever been blessed to own,” she remarked fondly. Among other successes, most recently, the duo was Reserve Champion at the 2018 Congress in Novice Amateur HUS, then Reserve AQHA World Champions in Senior HUS with Liz Baker riding.
Horses have been a family affair since 1974, but now Merrill gets to share her passion with the next generation, “Being able to spend time with my daughter,
Morgan and my mom, Gail, is priceless. We laugh, cry, and have a lot of fun with our horse show family.” She concluded, “We don’t focus on being the biggest out there, we focus on being the best and doing the right thing. Horses are our family’s passion; we believe in each other and push each other to be better every day.”