Monday, September 5, 2016

Barn Tour!

I've been blogging about the ponies since forever, but I haven't given you all a proper tour of the barn. I figure it's time. The photo above is my favorite from when the building was first going up. That red barn would actually be moved soon after the photo was taken. I use that to store my hay far away from the barn. Enough babble, let's tour!
*disclaimer: these photos were taken on a normal day, so you will see things not folded perfectly, potentially a little dirty, and just generally being a farm in use.

View from the doorway:
I must preface all discussion with some important facts. My father funded this entire project for me. I realize I'm incredibly lucky to have this happen for me. I'm so grateful and thankful every single day to have the family I have and this incredible little farm.
So this all came about because there aren't a ton of great places to board in my area. The nicer show barns with indoors are incredibly pricey and have an insane amount of rules that I don't entirely agree with. (Such as not being able to come hand walk my own horse on a Monday for example.) So I decided maybe it was time to have my own place. And then all of a sudden I was buying a house. A year later we were talking to an architect. Next we hired a builder. And then we waited. And we waited some more. And a little longer.  I guess the previous project our builder was working on was taking much much (several months in fact) longer than anticipated. While we were waiting a contractor who actually lives just around the corner from me stopped in at our work to speak with my dad. He was available immediately. And his work was incredible. We let builder #1 go, and hired the neighbor that day. You just never know how things will work out, you know? Because of all that waiting, my ponies wound up with a palace! Lucky them! I will try from here on out to talk less and show more photos...
When you first step through the doorway from the driveway, you will see a normal door on the left with a bench next to it.
Fun fact, a year after the barn was built, my dad had the contractor build me this bench as a Chanukah gift. It's gorgeous and matches my barn exactly.
They're a little tough to see, but there are horses etched into the back of it. It's filled with poly so the surface is smooth to the touch. There's storage under the seat.
Inside that door is the utility room- home of the laundry machines, a utility sink, and a toilet. Important place!

On the right hand side when you walk into the barn are two sliding doors.

Inside the first is the feed room. Admittedly, it's time for a little cleaning out and tidying up in there. But I'll let you see anyway.
On the left side of the room are the supplement drawers, feed bins, and various floor cleaning apparatus (blowers and vacuums). I also have lists of emergency numbers, chores that need doing each day, what each horse eats, wears for turnout, and a chart of what they should be wearing when and where. (Clearly I have control issues.)

Under the window is unopened feed, and a box of stuff... including but not limited to filters for the furnace, extra turnout boots, and spare helmets. Above the box of stuff is the furnace.
That bad boy keeps my barn at a mostly steady 45 degrees throughout the winter. I love him. Also on this wall is a whole mess of stuff like tool boxes, extra buckets, spare brushes, etc. It's a mess and needs some work. I'd like to maybe have a cabinet built there to neaten things up. The wall that the door slides on holds all of the horses stuff. The top shelf is where I leave the horse's breakfast each evening. (I like to make the grain up myself. I have a helper who does morning chores and turnouts, but I prefer to have the grain prepared for him.) The next shelf down holds each horse's bath bucket. Under that is each horse's grooming box. On the floor are buckets holding their turnout boots. All of their things are in line, so all the items on the left are Badger's (for if and when he ever moves in), followed by Rio's things, then Jamp's, and finally Romey's. All containers are labeled with the horse's name. I like to keep things organized and easy to find.

Inside the second door is the tack room. I wish I had taken the time to refold all the blankets before taking photos, but let's be real. This is what it looks like 99% of the time.
This view above is straight in. Along this wall I have all of Romey's clothes. The bar on the left are his indoor clothes, and the bar on the right is turnout attire. Under his blankets are three trunks. The one on the left is a bit box. Half of it is bits, the other half is extra tack and lead ropes. The middle one has gloves, saddle soap, and under random stuff in it. The one on the right belongs to my stepmom. It has her helmet and half chaps in it.

The left side has all the bridles. There are so many... feel free to judge. Under the bridles are two trunks. The one on the left is filled almost entirely with wraps. My horses are old. We wrap a lot. The other has saddle pads, spare boots, my lunge line, and I'm not even sure what else is in there.

The right side has all of Rio and Jamp's blankets. Top row is indoor blankets and bottom is turnout clothes. Under the blankets are MORE TRUNKS! These were from my boarding days. I keep saying I'll get covers made for them, but well... I haven't yet. The first one has horse boots, polo wraps, mane pulling stuff... that sort of thing. The middle one is all meds and shampoos and what not. The little guy on the end is where I keep my half chaps and boots. I take it to shows too, so there are sometimes some bits and spare tack in there.
On the wall facing out are saddles, girths, and some extra half pads. The top saddle is my step mom's. The two under it are mine. There's one on the right in the middle too. It's also mine but I need to sell it. It was from the medium pony I had here.
I also keep a mini-fridge in the tack room but unfortunately this one doesn't work anymore. Another thing that needs attention! My helper brought that microwave in recently. I was so confused when there was a microwave all of a sudden! Haha! Also in here is the fuse box.

Across the aisle from the tack room is the wash stall. I use it as a grooming stall also, so this is where we tack up and down, as well as have baths, cold hose, whatever. I have hot and cold water in here.
On the floor of all the rooms we just saw as well as the entire aisle are rubber pavers. They are made from recycled tires.
I love and hate them. They are a real pain to keep clean. I spend more time sweeping and blowing this aisle than I do riding most days. But it's doesn't get slippery if it's wet, it's nice and soft to walk on, and it's attractive. If I had it to do over, I'd probably still get them again.
The rest of the barn is stalls.

Rio, Romey, and an empty are on the left side. On the right is Jampy, someday Badger, and the hay/shavings stall.
I try to never have more than 6 bales in here at a time, though sometimes my helper gets a little overzealous. The shavings pile varies... I get a discount if I get 25 or more at a time though. So there's usually a bunch in there.
All of the stalls have the super stall system in them. I decided to keep my floors stonedust in the stalls, but you could do concrete under here if you wanted. On top of the stonedust is a layer of foam. That foam is then covered by a sheet of rubber. It's affixed to the walls to prevent any moisture from getting through to the foam. I'm able to save a little on shavings because the floors are soft. The horses really like the soft bed too.
I have a hose at each stall, so no one has to drag a garden hose all over the floor. I don't really like automatic waterers because it's hard to keep track of what their drinking. I think this is a nice alternative because it's easy to fill buckets, and you can completely monitor what they drink. I keep two water buckets in every stall.
I also have a fire extinguisher at each end of the barn. Probably the most important thing to have!
Since the ceiling is open, having lighting down the center would have been awkward. Instead we put lights on either side of the aisle. This actually provides better lighting than a single center strip. As a braider I've noticed that, but also my farrier has commented on it a few times. (He likes it a lot!) These lights are like the ones you might see over a bed in a hospital. They have bulbs pointing down, but they also have a bulb that lights upward like a nightlight. It looks pretty at night, but also, I like it for those awful nights when you have to check on a horse all night long. It's like having a dimmer, so it's not so bright for the other horses.

One of my most favorite little touches on the barn is having the barn name etched (in hunter green) on the beams in the ceiling:
It's done on the second set of trusses on both sides of the barn so it's visible from either door. It's one of those silly, unnecessary things, but I absolutely love it.

Ok, let's head outside!
My turnout situation is probably the biggest negative at my place. I have a paddock down behind the ring, but the horses hate it so I don't use it much. Then I had a tree crush the fence, and the guy taking that down hasn't finished yet, so it's off limits for the season. My horses each get an hour in the ring for turnout. They do not go out together.
That red barn in the distance is the one we had moved. I keep all my hay in there. Next to it, on the right, is a dumpster where I store the manure until it gets hauled away. On the left is the paddock.

While waiting their turn in the ring, they hang out in the walkouts behind their stalls though. So at least they get fresh air.
On Rio and Romey's side there are two walkouts. They are about the size of a stall and a half.
Jamp's side used to have the same size walkouts as the other side, but I decided to make it just one and also made it bigger. It's nice for a horse that's rehabbing from an injury and isn't allowed in the ring. I like having the variety in sizes too. I wish I could have covered this side, but it's too close to a right of way. Bummer.
My dream is that someday my neighbor next door will want to sell his property... then I could knock his house down and build actual paddocks with grass in them. It's nice to have dreams though, right?

So that's my place! Thanks for taking the tour! Is there anything you think I forgot when I built my farm? Have any questions about why I did certain things? Let's chat in the comments!


  1. I am REALLY jealous of your barn. I hope to someday get land and build a barn. Probably wth an apartment and then eventually we would build a house too.

    1. That's a great plan! I got lucky, there was a house AND an apartment here already. So I just had to build the barn.

  2. Super jealous of your barn! Anthony and I have started talking about buying a little farmette in the future. I'm going to have to send him this to see :)

    1. DO IT! But make sure you know helpers. It takes like 3 people to watch the horses when I go away.

  3. Ah, I've been waiting for this post!! Thank you so much for sharing your little piece of paradise with us :D

    Do all the beams in your barn make for lots of cobwebs? That's one of my pet peeves (probably because spiders creep me out) and I feel like I would spend SO MUCH TIME dusting.

    1. I don't think any more than any other barn. I have a REALLY long pole with a duster on the end so they're easily knocked down. My poor helper gets reminded daily about cobwebs though... (I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm crazy!)

  4. Your barn is gorgeous. I like the flooring set up you have in your stalls. I will seriously consider that when we finally buy our own property though I am hoping not to have to build from scratch. I'm curious if you have a full-time or part-time stable-hand?

    1. Thank you! You can do those floors in an existing barn, so you could get them either way!
      I have part time help. He does all the morning stuff: feed, turnout, clean stalls, scrub buckets, turn back in.
      I do lunch and evening stuff. I pay my helper for about 4 hours of work per day, but truthfully I'm pretty sure he skips out in about 2 and half. Great help is hard to find. I've settled for decent and reliable.

  5. Hi Stacie!! Your barn is gorgeous:) I love the stall floor construction. Thanks for the tour.

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad I did those stall floors. My old guy really appreciates them.

  6. I so love all that wood! There really is something absolutely beautiful about these wooden country barns and yours is professional stable quality. Good of you for undertaking such a worthwhile and rewarding project. Something about these barns reminds me of a simpler and more innocent time. So thank you for giving us a look into your wonderful barn.

    Levi Eslinger @ Capital Plumbing

    1. Thank you so much! I agree completely. Our local newspaper actually did a story on it and titled it the Lost Art of Barn Building.