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Your perfect barn?

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  • #21
    If you will have both a boarding and lesson business consider a separate "boarder" tack room. Newbies don't know the difference between my new $200 saddle pad and the ones for the schoolies (or worse, a $$$ Antares vs a schoolie saddle!) and your boarding clients will thank you.

    Also, if possible consider a viewing area along the long side of athe ring or arena. Most at at the "ends" but the long side offers better sightlines. If you eventually host shows they make a better place for the judge to sit too.

    I like tack lockers as horsey folk have TONS of stuff. I visited a friend's barn and it had lockers built into the corner of each stall. It was nice that her stuff was all there, from her saddle to her hairnet, right where her horse was. (No walking back to the tack box while Dobbin is saddled, to get the crop she forgot in her tack box around the corner!)

    I love the idea of a nice bathroom/changing area and a gathering place other than the BO/BM office. Riding is a social sport for many of us and if the only "sit and chat" spot is in or near the office it can provide for awkward moments.

    I'm up north where 'tis cold and I love heated indoor bathing stalls and hot running water and a heated grooming stall where my just bathed horse can dry while my barnmate who is also showing tomorrow bathes her horse. In Orlando this may be far less of a concern.

    Water spigots in each stall is a huge timesaver and allow hoses to be used ony for outdoor bathing/watering.
    F O.B
    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


    • #22
      Well, since you asked This is what I think about at night in bed when I cant sleep (i.e., something I will never actually have unless I win the Powerball lol).

      (Private 6-10 stall barn):

      - European stalls, 12x16, matted, with additional exterior Dutch windows/doors to the outside with an overhang. All stalls located at one end of the barn and adjacent to each other, to make cleaning, feeding, t/o easy and time saving.

      -Aisles 14 ft wide and graded concrete, with a few cover-able (so not to stop up with shavings, etc.) drains to make hosing them down now and then easy and quick. Big ceiling fans over the aisles for each set of adjacent stalls to keep the barn cool in the summer and reduce flies. Outlets at each stall and great lighting. Multiple centrally located hydrants and hoses to easily water. (Not a fan of auto waterers in stalls b/c of possible flooding, etc.)

      - Wash stall, at least 12x12, with hot/cold water, heat lamps, and an indended, built-in counter and sink with above cabinets for plenty of storage, maybe even a small fridge/freezer for quick access to iceboots and/or meds and treats. Great lighting and access from the outside, via sliding door of the barn for vet truck to back up next to.

      - Grooming stall(s), 12x12, matted, level, and directly next to/across from the tack room, also with indented storage place, great lighting, and a portable vacuum, that can be stashed away if needed. Access to the outside via a backdoor for farrier's truck.

      -Feedroom, centrally located to stalls, temp controlled, well sealed, with counter space, fridge, and rolling feed bins below counters for easy access to grain and easy to keep clean. Wash basin sink with hot/cold water, storage shelves, and pallets for grain bag storage, and a people door (lockable) to the outside for easy grain delivery.

      -Storage area, at least 12x12, attached to or across from the feedroom for weekly hay and shavings storage. wall space to hang pitchforks, brooms, rakes etc., and to prop wheelbarrows. also sliding door to the outside to easily restock new hay/shavings, think FIFO (first in/first out).

      - Tackroom, at least 12x24, temp controlled, with counter and sink and cabinets with a tack cleaning area (standing saddle rack, hanging bridle racks). Matching saddle racks and bridle racks, one wall for each, separate shelves for saddle pads and wraps and boots. Space for storage trunks for extra equipment, horse clothes, etc. A nice couch (for nights when you have to do colic/baby watch, etc.) and a coffee table.

      - Laundry room, at least 12x14, with large W/D, and sink and counter space with "clean" and "dirty" laundry bins stored under counter. Cabinets and open shelves for storage. Hanging blanket and saddle pad racks/bars. Maybe a corner with a hose, a drain and a hanging bar to wash the initial blanket grunge/mud before putting in the washer. Attached "utility room" for water heater, breakers, etc.

      -Bathroom, with enough room to move around/change clothes, etc.

      - Indoor arena, at least 90x180, attached to barn by a 16ft long by 14ft wide breezeway to increase air circulation, but prevent tracking in too much dirt/footing, while still avoiding the elements. A few big ass fans for air circulation and large windows that can be easily open and closed. Attached, closed-off, jump storage. Viewing room/lounge and an office, both temp controlled and furnished.

      - Large outdoor jumping arena, 100x200+, lighted, with a gazebo for chllin’ out of the sun

      - Outdoor, 20x40 meter flatting, dressage ring.

      - At least three, all-weather 30x30 paddocks, near the barn.

      - Six to eight grass pastures with close access to the barn for easy t/o, at lease an acre each, auto waterers, and a few with large run-ins. More fields than horses to facilitate pasture rotation/management.

      - Separate hay and shavings storage/equipment barn, with an apartment overheard for the awesome caretaker(s) I’m going to have to keep my property looking amazing year-round

      - Large concrete pad for storing trailers.

      -Manure compost system.

      - Perimeter fencing around the whole property that can also double as a grass exercise/conditioning track.

      Two gated entrances, for easy in-out access of the farm.

      -oh, and a treadmill!

      Phew! Well I think that about covers it! No wonder I cant sleep
      Last edited by wcporter; Jan. 13, 2013, 08:53 PM.
      Barn rat for life


      • #23
        wcporter, I also dream about building the "lottery barn" to get to sleep
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


        • #24
          I KNOW I'm not the only one who thinks they'd make an amazing architect based on the barns they design

          and/or have multiple barn plans stashed away in a drawer or two
          Barn rat for life


          • #25
            I just remembered: if I had unlimited resources, I'd have two barns. Private one for DH and me, or maybe just me, maybe six stalls plus tack room and washrack. It can be close to the "big barn" we dream about, but off limits to clients. Not being snarky to my clients, but it would be such a relief to not have my fly spray etc wandering off. And DH wants to have a few broodies, so these stalls would be biiiiig .
            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


            • #26
              Well I think people have covered a lot of important stuff. Here are some things I would love to have.

              1. Feed horses from slow feeders. Can fill these once a day or less if you have big ones. Keeps horses happy, closer to their natural state of grazing all the time, never worry about horse missing meal time for you to ride. Also less wasted hay.
              2. Wood pellets make very economical bedding, are easy to clean, and make excellent compost.
              3. I would love a place that had a shower.
              4. I would love a place that had a gym with work out equipment. Weight machines, free weights, resistance bands, aerobic machines (treadmill, exercise bike, rower).
              5. Galloping track
              6. Lots of places to hack out.
              7. Good lighting both indoors and out
              8. A swimming pool!
              9. A nice lounge area with a library of horse books, DVDs, and computer.
              10. A masseuse for me and my pony.


              • Original Poster

                Omg, so many ideas my brain can't handle it!! I think we are definitely going to do two barns and I know we will do multiple tack rooms. I want to make a screen room for socializing. I like the idea of turnouts coming off of the stalls, but now wonder about it getting mucky, manure disposal and whatnot. Property already has a huge building for hay storage.

                As far as x-country course, would it be better to do around three sides of the back of the property or just a section? It also borders a state park with miles of horse trails


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Mukluk View Post
                  Well I think people have covered a lot of important stuff. Here are some things I would love to have.

                  1. Feed horses from slow feeders. Can fill these once a day or less if you have big ones. Keeps horses happy, closer to their natural state of grazing all the time, never worry about horse missing meal time for you to ride. Also less wasted hay.
                  2. Wood pellets make very economical bedding, are easy to clean, and make excellent compost.
                  3. I would love a place that had a shower.
                  4. I would love a place that had a gym with work out equipment. Weight machines, free weights, resistance bands, aerobic machines (treadmill, exercise bike, rower).
                  5. Galloping track
                  6. Lots of places to hack out.
                  7. Good lighting both indoors and out
                  8. A swimming pool!
                  9. A nice lounge area with a library of horse books, DVDs, and computer.
                  10. A masseuse for me and my pony.
                  ...and a Starbucks kiosk in the viewing room, with a full-time barista?
                  Barn rat for life


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by RoyalTRider View Post
                    My two must-haves for safety reasons: Stall doors that open to the outside, and the bulk of the hay supply stored in a separate structure.
                    YES!!!! Very much, and both are indeed for safety reasons. Maximum airflow will also help allergic/heavy horses.
                    I would also be extremely careful about how the electricity is done to reduce the possibility of fire.
                    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                    • #30
                      With a big enough operation, you might want to do a pony barn and a horse barn or other differentiation between regular boarders and camp space. We had this in the past and all the camp kids and other minors weren't allowed to congregate in the "adult" area.
                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                      • #31
                        Separate boarder/lesson tack rooms are definitely must - easier on everyone and far less opportunity for drama.

                        Has anyone mentioned a heated viewing room that looks out onto the indoor arena? My non-horsey family has always appreciated that amenity when they want to come see what I'm up to!


                        • #32
                          wcporter, you've actually just described my barn almost to a "T". It's not fancy in that it doesn't look like a mansion, but it was built with efficiency (100+ horses on the property in the summer) in mind, which considering it's a BNT barn/one of best H/J sales operations in the country, it makes sense.

                          Our hay supply is stored in a loft above the barn BUT the convenient thing about that is that each stall has a little cutout in the corner that goes directly into the stall, so the guys can throw hay from above. Saves so much time!

                          Our separate laundry room is directly across from our grooming stalls—it has tall shelves where all the clean pads and stuff are folded, so you can duck in to grab your pad or to use the sink and rinse off your bit afterward. This room also has shelves of standing wraps and quilts and racks of leather halters for shipping. Nice to keep these things out of the tack room, for clutter's sake.


                          • #33
                            In Orlando, a covered arena would definitely be really nice for heavy summer storms. Having the mesh on the sides or half walls will help with rain spray and the sun if riding in the evening. I know a couple of covereds that get terrible shadows and you can't see if turning into the sun as it's setting. Also, make sure that most of the areas where you'll be having people drive, tractors moving through for mucking, feeding, etc have exceptional drainage. My barn as a kid didn't have good drainage around the barn and it was AWFUL.

                            Also, make sure you check out the winds and see which way you get the best breezes. That'll cut down on having as many fans. I like big fans in the barns either overhead or at either end but these can be problematic for horses with allergies.

                            Additionally, have a hurricane idea sketched out in your head. Would you turn everybody loose on the large acreage, evacuate, etc? Make sure you can get everybody out quickly in an emergency or evacuation situation.

                            I loved the barns that had the feed dishes that spun out of the wall with a touch. Not sure how durable they are but make it really easy to move down the line and feed without having to go in the stalls. Half doors also make this easier. I would also want sliding doors just so they aren't left open in barn aisles. It's so easy to get those doors banged up and the hinges destroyed.

                            Air conditioned bathrooms/locker room/lounge spaces would be amazing. Probably don't need heat but it may be nice for those couple of mornings Having a fridge and water fountain or sink is always really nice for waters and snacks.


                            • #34
                              I would have "pony" turnout and stalls, that are easily accessible so the kids won't have trouble getting them. Have a in-barn treadmill, since I use in the winter the most.
                              -Good Instaltion in the Indoor. Plus, as someone else mentioned, Big Ass fans (It's a brand) in there too, so riding in the summer will be better
                              - Lighted Outdoor arenas that will actually make it bright enough to ride whe it gets dark
                              - Multiple ways to exit the bran in an emergency, I wouldn't want to be running with a dull horse all the way down the isle. An emergency exit route should be posted in the lounge and in the grooming stalls. Could really help the newbies.
                              - Snacks and Coffe table in the lounge
                              - A sorta Pavilion-ish platform by the outdoor. I guess I mean a platform that's covered. Would be like the Lounge, but outside.

                              I understand that having a separate tack for boarders is helpful. Although, having a separate barn and ring for the lesson students would be a relief to everyone else in the barn, when I was a kid, it killed me. I remember watching my only friend at the barn walk off with all the other girls my age to the outdoor on that hot summer day, while I sighed and watched them. Lesson students want to get to know the boarders.

                              I did not mean to go off topic there haha.

                              One more thing! A round pen for lounging and a round pen for super short turnout
                              Last edited by ChocolateHooves; Jan. 14, 2013, 01:03 PM.


                              • #35
                                Google "Twin Swans Farm auction" and you will get lovely photos of one of the nicest FL horse properties ever built... so many wonderful ideas!!! I particularly love their covered ring, and the way it is connected to the stabling complex. The breezeway style aisles are deep enough to protect you from the elements while still offering nice views for the horses and, presumably, better fresh air than you'd otherwise have. Really a gorgeous set up (and now only $4m, apparently...!)

                                It is lovely to have a comfortable place for parents to watch students' lessons, or to have some auditors sit in comfort if you hold clinics or other events - or prospective customers to watch sales horses go. I think a screened in area sounds terrific for that.

                                If you have lighted outdoor riding areas, it is a huge benefit to be able to turn the lights on/off from the barn (and if necessary, to light the path to the ring if it is some distance from the barn.)

                                I agree with those who have suggested separate tack rooms for boarders (and if possible, children and adults, LOL.) I personally prefer to have my trunk outside my horse's stall for the sake of convenience (and because I like the look of beautiful matching trunks adorning a properly kept aisle) but you need wide aisles for that; probably 14-16' ideally. Having somewhere to hang turnouts and/or rain sheets is a nice plus, particularly this time of year when the rains are frequent. The european style blanket hangers (which fold back against the wall when not in use) are great for that purpose without taking up tons of space.

                                Climate controlled tack and feed rooms would be on my must have list for a FL facility, for sure, along with a decent restroom and possibly a laundry room. The number of grooming stalls and wash racks required will depend a lot on the ratio of boarder horses to sales/lesson horses and how busy the facility is, but it's hard to have too many, and if one or two can be located conveniently for the farrier and vet to be able to work without people constantly coming and going by them, so much the better.
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                • #36
                                  I'd also like to see not only the BM have an office but the Head Trainer and smaller new for the AT's


                                  • #37
                                    A storage room with individual lockers somewhere out of the way for off season items. I have multiple sizes of blankets and such that I don't use on this horse, but don't want to get rid of.... and, I don't want to have to run back to the house if I do need them.
                                    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                                    • #38
                                      I have boarded at a few places, as well as had my own barn, that had paddocks coming straight off of the stalls...hated it. If I ever get my own barn built again I will not do it. Drainage is always and an issue and the horses always want to hang out at the barn, even with the stall doors closed.

                                      Someone mentioned tack lockers...the large facilty I grew up riding at had these and they were wonderful!! As part of full board you got one and could pay for an extra if you needed it. It kept the clutter to a minumm and kept everyone stuff out of the way and locked up...no "borrowing" of stuff.

                                      Are you going to want to host shows or anything like that? If so, keep in mind parking and ease of trainer loading/unloading. The last two barns I was at had NO trailer parking (even for boarders) and just getting a rig (even a small one) in and out was a nightmare. Sometimes even just getting your car out was a PITA depending on how many people were there.

                                      Ive always wanted an indoor that was some how connected to the main barn...like by a covered isleway...so that if it was really nasty outisde you were still sheltered.
                                      Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                                      Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                                      Green Alligator "Captain"


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                        Google "Twin Swans Farm auction" and you will get lovely photos of one of the nicest FL horse properties ever built... so many wonderful ideas!!! I particularly love their covered ring, and the way it is connected to the stabling complex. The breezeway style aisles are deep enough to protect you from the elements while still offering nice views for the horses and, presumably, better fresh air than you'd otherwise have. Really a gorgeous set up (and now only $4m, apparently...!).

                                        Barn rat for life


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by wcporter View Post

                                          Yeah really. I think I need to revise my lottery plan. Thanks for sharing, that's gaga gorgeous!
                                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"