Someday I want to have my own barn where I can keep my own horses and board a couple others. It will have an indoor and outdoor arena and all the amenities that I look for in a barn.
There was a story over at Eventing-A-Gogo about a horse that died tragically at the barn she's working at and it was a horrible, horrible story and it got me to thinking about what I want my barn to be like with an emphasis on safety features. Especially in the aspect of stall fronts, aka after that story I never want to have bars. I'm going to go for the mesh/grid style, that way we have no freak accidents with footsies getting stuck.
This is going to be a multi-part topic, just because there's so much to cover. Feel free to chime in with what you like/dislike for the barn where your horses stay, and if you could build your own barn how you would make it.
The first thing I wanted to cover was watering. I have decided (at least for now) that I really want automatic waterers. But there are some requirements. First, it must be heated so that there is no possibility of it freezing in winter and I am going to insulate the pipes so we don't have bursting/flooding issues. Second, it has to show how much water the horse is drinking. I want to know if the horse isn't feeling well and is not drinking. And lastly, it must be easy to clean.
So why an automatic waterer? Well, partly because it's a lot easier than filling up a bunch of buckets several times a day, the horse will never run out of water, and because it's a bit cleaner than some bucket watering systems. Right now Jetta has a giant tub bucket in the corner of her stall, but she enjoys pooping in it and dragging her hay over into it and leaving it there. Gross. Then it ends up being full and disgustingly dirty and you have to drag this super heavy bucket outside to dump it out and clean it. This is done literally almost every other day.
The benefit of these are that because they're plastic they're sturdy and easy to clean, but pretty costly. I may end up making my own corner hay feeders just using wood screwed in across a corner. Not as easy to clean or as durable, but it gets the job done.
I would like to have mesh stall fronts, that way it's very unlikely that any horses can hurt themselves by getting anything stuck inbetween the bars of the front and it also promotes air flow. Here are two styles that I like and want to combine.
I want to be able to allow the horse to stick it's head out, but I would preferably like to be able to close the door if they're being naughty or just need some privacy. I want sliding doors, but they have to be well mounted because there's nothing worse than a sticky door that won't open unless you throw all your weight against it. I like the door on the left because I can close the top part, and there's a little bit of a buffer at the bottom so all the bedding doesn't get kicked out. The stall front on the left has all mesh, no bars, but you can't close the top part. Hopefully I'll be able to find the kind of door that I want, because I'm sure a custom design would cost mega-bucks. You can drool over more designs here at Lucas Equine.
This is of course my ideal dream barn situation. I'll probably spend the rest of my life saving up for it, but it can't hurt to dream right? Maybe I'll win the lottery some day... then again, I'd actually have to play to win!
The next installment in this series will include barn layout and tack room.