02/14/12

QUATER HORSE DREAM BARN

DREAM QUATER  HORSE BARN

 

All horsemen dream of their perfect horse barn or stable.  Through my 55+ years of owning quater horses, I have built no less than 7 horse barns, to each one was added some improvements over the last.  Following are things that I have found to be important in my horse operations, some larger than others. 

 My dad did not believe in wasting much money on the care or housing of a horse.  So, I actually did not have one of my horses in a barn until I was 17 years old and my first employer, who was a well known horseman, let me keep my horse in his stable.  My dream barn began to evolve.

As I began to move in the world of real horsemen, some world famous, I got the opportunity to see what beautiful, working stables looked like.  I asked a lot of questions and listened intently as the pros and cons of the good horse barn were discussed.  Some were just functional and others were functional, very beautiful and expensive.  I decided then that my dream barn would be, first safe for the horse, then functional and probably expensive.  I had no idea that I would ever get that ultimate barn, but as I was dreaming I decided to go for the gold.

Years came and went; I got better horses; began to show cutting horses and finally found my niche with American Quater Horses in halter classes and western pleasure classes.  As I became competitive, people began to bring me horses to train and show.  Within a short time, I was realizing my dream of showing and winning in Quater Horse shows.  With each show season, I won more and soon I was traveling 70,000+ miles a year between April and September and an average of 70 horse shows a year all over the United States.  I became recognized as a force to be reckoned with in my field.  At one time, I had 28 horses in my barn that I was training, conditioning and showing for other people.  In the paddocks and pastures of one of my facilities, there were an additional 35 head of horses.  Some broodmares and foals, some that were turned out for rest, some yearlings too young to ride and some that I needed to sell.  I needed a barn that was attractive for my outside owners, very safe for the horses and me, and efficient to work in.  In each barn that I built, or acquired and made modifications to, I would discover something more that I wanted to change or add.

It was another 25 or 30 years, after my emphasis changed to raising baby racehorses, that I finally got my dream barn.  My husband and I bought 40 beautiful acres 100 miles from a big city and began to build our mutual dream home and horse farm.  I decided I wanted a swimming pool and he really didn’t want one, so one day he asked if I would trade my proposed swimming pool for a horse barn.  A dealer in modular barns was selling her entire display lot, comprised of a 34’ x 42’, 6 stall barn, and one 50’ diameter round pen, a palpation chute and a two stall 24’ shed row barn at a very good price.  When I saw it, we bought the whole kit and caboodle.  The barns and round pen were dismantled, loaded on a truck and a crew arrived, poured the cement footings and alleyway. The entire barn and supporting facilities was up and ready for use in less than a week.  It was so stress free as to be nothing short of amazing.  I began to make it my own. 

The things about this barn that made it my dream barn were:

  • ·         Design complimented our house. 
  • ·         Monitor roof with sliding windows to open for ventilation in summer
  • ·         Stalls were 12’x12’ providing plenty of room for hoses.
  • ·         Two stalls were 12’x16’ foaling stalls.
  • ·         Stall walls were 12 gauge galvanized steel with ¾” ply wood sandwiched between and seated in 1” galvanized channel which completed surrounded the 12’ section.  All corners were mitered and welded.  The stall walls were heavy enough that a horse could not kick through them and flexible enough to minimize injury that can occur when a horse kicks a rigid wall.
  • ·         Sliding stall door hangers and hardware were heavy duty and opened and closed easily.  Blanket bars the width of the doors was welded on each door.
  • ·         Interior stall walls and walls facing alleyway were topped with 1 ¼ “galvanized tubing and spaced so that a small foal’s hoof could not slip between them.
  • ·         All inner surfaces of stall walls were metal covered so that a horse had no wood to chew on.·         Exterior sliding windows of stalls were same construction as the stall doors with 1 ¼” galvanized tubing in the opening.·         Entire barn sat on 4” concrete curb with concrete alleyway.·         Feed compartment door opened to a galvanized corner feed trough with galvanized hay rack above for easy feeding. 
  • ·         Auto fill corner water trough.