Have you every walked around different shows and taken notice of all the beautiful stable set ups and thought to yourself how neat, tidy and "put together" they were? Have you ever wondered how you might be able to do the same? You'll be relieved to learn that it's an easy process and completely achievable for every stable. It just takes some knowledge, a little thought, and a touch of creativity.
Where do you start?
The first step is to think about the overall feel that you'd like to achieve with your setup. It really is an opportunity for you to showcase your style and personality to your co-workers, co-competitors, and clients, not to mention possibly attracting some new clientele as well.
Many stables not only design a set up stall, but also carry the theme throughout the isles of stalls with items such as matching trunks, trunk covers and stall guards. Some also add items like bandage loops, everyday storage bags, and mesh bags, for functionality with cohesive style.
We will continue to outline what we feel are "essentials" for a show set up to keep it simple yet functional, and for your brand to stand out and look its best.
The Set Up Stall
The set up stall is designed to provide a comfortable place to sit during down time at competitions while also offering the opportunity to show off your brand in a decorative fashion.
To get started, you should know that every well-planned set up stall has a few basic components with options for consideration:
- Stable drapes
- A valance and/or banner
- Seating (decorative or functional)
A stable drape system is made up of panels that will cover the walls of your set up stall. They are the main focal point and will be the first thing that people notice, so it's important to have your brand stand out in a professional and cohesive way. The standard sizes for drapes are 10' or 12' widths. What size is best? Consider the size of the stalls at the shows you primarily attend.
Drapes are custom designed with your brand in mind using a high quality, durable fabric. They can also be embroidered to include additional brands/sponsors that you represent. Don't want to embroider the drapes? add a Sponsor Panel (a smaller panel used to showcase sponsors).
At the end of the day, custom stall drapes offer an attractive, professional presence that enhances your stable's image at a horse show and a set of custom stall drapes embroidered with your name or logo represents your investment in branding.
A valance and/or banner is another key component to making your set up stall professional, polished and identifiable. A valance is essentially signage on fabric (the same as your drapes) where you can add your name, logo, and home location to market your successful business. They are a custom designed addition mounted over your drapes to enhance your brand.
Banners are very similar to a valance but they are usually mounted between two poles or brackets and placed on the ground in front of a set up stall. Banners typically carry the same information as a valance but can also be used to market anything you see fit.
The next step is to choose your seating. We mentioned before that it can be decorative or functional, but we believe in both! And what better way to marry the two than with classic, show stopping director’s chairs! You can go with matching seating to your drapes or choose a contrasting look with a coordinating fabric. Either way, director’s chairs will bring a traditional feel to your show set up without having to sacrifice comfort and functionality. They are also durable and packable which we all know regular competition barns can't be without.
The final (and some would say the most fun) step in designing your show stall set up is decoration. What is decoration? Well, it could be anything from mirrors to personal pictures or photographs. Some use memorabilia such as award coolers or collarettes to display their achievements and emphasize their brand.
Custom Pillows are the latest craze, and an easy add-on to any set up stall. Some choose to incorporate lighting with string lights or decorative lamps. Some even go as far as to add small, decorative touches such as plants and bird feeders to bring a bit of nature into the mix. The point is to have fun and accentuate your brand in a creative way that is meaningful to you.
In summary, when designing your set up be realistic and have a plan - How long are you stabling at the show? Do you have help setting up? When purchasing a set up most people start small and there are great ways to create an amazing design on a budget.
Check out our video, Sarah from G&G Sporthorses shows us how they put together their stable set up.