Me & my horses.

- the trails of my life

Heather's Blog

Vertical Pivot Gate

Posted by Heather on October 25, 2011 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Just a quick blurb about gates. I was thinking this type would be great for winter! No gate trying to shove through the snow!

Color Scheme & Dura-Barn

Posted by Heather on May 30, 2011 at 5:24 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm not entirely sure what color scheme I'd like for the barn at this point but there are some colors I like and that call to me. Aaron likes traditional colors and stained wood. I don't know if a stained wood barn will last very long in Michigan weather and I for one, don't like the idea of redoing it all the time. Depending on the final building materials, I guess we'll see.

This company is the place I'm interested in contacting about a building quote when the time gets closer. I like a lot of their materials and options, especially the Dura-Barn

The Look of Wood and Durability of Plastic.

DuraBarn™ is virtually maintenance-free with boards that are guaranteed to last 50 years. Consider these advantages:

• No sanding, painting, sealing or staining required. Pays for itself in just a few years.

• Impervious to moisture, insects, and acids contained in animal waste.

• Safer for your horses: Resists splintering, chipping, rotting and requires no toxic paint or stains.

• Environmentally responsible: DuraBarn™ walls are made from recycled resources

• DuraBarn™ boards are stronger. Others use hollow profile boards that are weak and can harbor bacteria, mold, and mildew. DuraBarn boards are solid plastic and do not use fiber fillers like competitive composite boards.

• 100% Plastic with no fiber fillers that can rot, peel, weather or blister. Composite fiber boards common to competitive offerings can also fade dramatically.

It seems to fit in very well with my needs and with my feelings on using recycled materials and eco friendly sources as much as I can. They only show white and tan/brown for colors though. Not sure how much I like that.

Here are a few palettes that I personally like for barns - 


Floor Plan revision #2 & the bathroom under the stairs!

Posted by Heather on May 21, 2011 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

After yesterday's entry, I got to thinking about where the tack lockers would live. I don't want them sticking out into the aisles so the only logical thing to do would be to integrate them into part of another space. Aaron and I don't need a HUGE tack room for ourselves. At most he and I will have 2 saddles a piece (me maybe 4) and the other various accoutrements. 

So, I did this to the floor plan - 

I bumped back the private tack room wall and made space for the lockers. I think that looks good, and they face the stalls that I imagine belong to boarders. 

The door to the bathroom will be on that side as well. Doesn't this look cute and useable? I mean, it's a barn, I hope nobody expects a luxury bathroom suite. ha!

A couple more photos, this is how it will be situated, and I like the small sinks. I think I'd go with a lighter color like in the first photo? Make it seem bigger. 

I do like this style of sink a lot, those rounded corners make me feel less like I'm going to bust a hip going in or out. No window in mine though, definitely need to think about lights & heat too. 

I am still fussing over where things like tools will live as well as bedding and that week's hay. Perhaps I can divide what's left of the big tack room and create a bit of a utility area? I want a bedding sifter and we need a place to keep brooms etc. The feed room seems like it might have some space for bedding as well. 

I am also concerned with the access to the 'office'. So far, it seems like it's going to end up in the center upstairs area. I am okay with that, but I don't know how it will flow and be useable. Maybe I need to just wait and hire a barn planner through one of the companies I like. 

Eh, I like to fuss, who am I kidding. Maybe the next thing should be a comprehensive list/wish list instead. 

Private Tack Lockers

Posted by Heather on May 20, 2011 at 6:06 AM Comments comments (6)

For my first post having to do with the interior of the barn, I wanted to talk about the private tack lockers. I think one of the worst things about boarding was never knowing who was touching my stuff or going through my belongings. Most people who have ever boarded have, at the very least, had things get borrowed without permission or get lost. 

I found these photos in my search and with a few modifications, they could be really awesome. I think a row of 4 side by side each with a corresponding stall number would look quite smart. Maybe a slot for a name plate? 

For 10$ I think details like that really make a boarder feel special.

Here are the lockers - 

The dimensions listed are 84” x 42” x 30”

Of course I don't necessarily like ALL the components. I'd rather have bridle hooks like these for instance: 

The brass horse heads are A. cheesey B. expensive and C. bend the hell out of the crown of your bridle. I'll go with a matching wood half round, thanks. 

I'd also add a mirror to the inside of one of the doors. 

And take out both of the small drawers just leaving a cubby for a grooming tote to slide in and out of. Most people have a box/bag/tote that they bring with the essentials to the cross ties. The above plans make it seem like your brushes would be neatly laid in the drawers? Pretty, sure ... impractical? Definitely. 

The left side slider would be neat to have for bottles, wraps, boots & bandages etc. But it seems like it needs tweaking to be truly useful. I kind of like the inner saddle storage cubbies, but I don't know what I'd put in there. 

I think that most people would say 'wow that's huge!' but I don't plan to ever move these things and I like the idea of giving boarders something special to use. I think at a small facility, details like that matter. The future ads will look nice when I can say 'private tack lockers'. 

For example, here are a couple photos of some of the other lockers I've seen: 

This one is okay, I don't like the huge swing out doors though, and the fact that all the storage on the doors is pulling on the hinges. With the above locker the doors are 'stuff' free and don't need to open all the way to gain access. Imagine you are next to someone's locker and their doors are open and flapping on yours? 

I DO like the cubbies and shelves in this one. The plastic tubs don't look too bad either. 

The trunk styles and small cubes don't appeal to me at all. I wouldn't want to use them and I don't think most people enjoy them either. They are meant to be portable and I just think you're sacrificing space for that. I hate the idea of digging through all my stuff, stooping down or ending up with everything crammed together. 

I will say that uniformity is a peeve of mine so all the hardware and wood and fixtures will match. Heh. I even plan to offer matching locks to everyone. I'm so weird.

Barn Plans: The Floor Plan

Posted by Heather on May 8, 2011 at 4:51 PM Comments comments (0)

Having one place to put all my ideas and inspiration is very appealing. I have quite a few sites and tidbits saved and seeing them all together will make it easier to visualize how I want everything to end up, what will and won't work together, and it will be fun to look back on the process. 

Below is a floor plan that I think will work incredibly well for what I'm hoping to build. I've already altered the design a little bit to fit in some of the important pieces. I know it seems a bit on the large size for a 'first' barn, but I'd rather build it a little big now, than have to figure out how to add on later. Plus, as far as I know it won't be too hard to come upon boarders provided I make my costs fair and competitive.

Not pictured is an upper floor that will be hay storage & likely an office of some sort. 

The things I want in my floor plan are at least 4 stalls for myself. One for each of Aaron and I's riding horses and then 2 that can be a foaling stall and then house a broodmare and weanling later. 

The other 4 stalls will be for boarders. 

I also want to have a tack room, indoor wash area, separate feed room, and a private area for tack lockers. The two pocked doors I have shown in the feed room provide access to anyone trying to get to the bathroom or tack room while the wash stall is occupied. I also think the wash area would be a great general grooming area as well.

For the winter months I will definitely want a small door for access rather than having to open one of the huge sliding doors. Also, I'm not sure how to fit in a powder room under the stairs? I will have to look into that.

I'm sure this plan will need to be tweaked a few more times as well, but here it is so far:  

I'm researching materials but my most important concerns (besides cost of course) are ventilation and insulation. I don't want to be spending a ridiculous amount of money keeping it livable in the winter and boy can Michigan get cold. Ventilation in the summer should be alright with the amount of doors in the above floor plan. So long as I install fans as well. 

The exterior looks beautiful in the photo doesn't it? 

I don't know just HOW fancy I'm going to get with it. I like the windows and some of the detail, and what barn doesn't have contrasting trim? I'll most likely go with a solid stain or some other sort of 'natural' type of color. Depending in the home we build as well. They have to MATCH. ha! 

I do know that I don't want to be painting every other year, yikes! So that's it for the barn layout itself. I will make separate posts for things like the interior materials, stall details, outbuildings etc.