I am super fortunate to have a farm that all my pony kids live on happily. I don’t live on the farm anymore since Jason and I bought a house in town, but I’m up at the barn every evening. I’ve boarded some in the past and have had remarkably good experiences, so I’m not anti-boarding or jaded because of experiences with boarding, I actually prefer to be around people when I’m at the barn, so I miss that atmosphere. I do have one boarder at my farm currently, and am planning on opening up to applications once we get fence built. While I’ve had lovely experiences with barn owners and fellow boarders, I’m not delusional enough to think that is the norm, so boarding with me will be more exclusive than many barns around here. Which makes me laugh, because calling it exclusive makes me envision automatic waterers in stalls and general fanciness.
The reality is much different really. We have water and electricity, which is more than some people have access to, but we just have those regular buckets that actual humans fill with water. And actually, that rarely happens, because my horses aren’t even stall kept. Everyone here lives outside, and will for the foreseeable future unless injured or giving birth. Actually my horses likely won’t need to be watered for the rest of the week due to the massive amount of rain we’re getting. When we went on vacation last year it rained so much that my brother never had to water the horses for the entire week we were at the beach. Talk about low maintenance horse-sitting! Had Paige not had an abscess that made her act like she was on death’s door, he would’ve been completely worry free!
As my barn sits now, we have three box stalls with a loft above them. We don’t use the loft despite not being super worried about lack of ventilation in the stalls since the stalls are generally only used to house everyone when the vet or farrier is en route. There are a couple of antique beds in the loft that I want to make into benches, but otherwise we don’t really use the extra storage since it isn’t super convenient. The barn also has a room that I use as a tack room and a feed room, though it is much more predominantly tack since Copper is the only thing on the farm that gets anything other than grass/hay. I do plan to have the floor in the tack area concreted soon to keep down on the dust.
In the last picture I’m standing in the doorway from the run in area to the tack room and looking through the open door to the riding area. My barn is weird in that there are doors EVERYWHERE. My dad designed the barn and hired a team to put up the main part of it. He and another man finished the inside to his design. There are seven doors that open from the main barn into the fields alone. Dad even put a tiny door in the stall wall between the second and third stall. We used it a lot when we had goats to allow them to escape from the horses if they wanted to (we use the third stall as a run in, so the second allowed the goats to have their own run in). Lil Man actually somehow squeezed his tiny self through the door once during the night and we found him in the second stall.
Here is our current barn layout:
And here is what it will *hopefully* look like this summer:
While I can’t remove the support poles that hold the barn up (ha!), I am removing the short wall there so I can ride around the poles. And then I’m getting footing! Woo! If anyone has any footing suggestions, I’m interested! I’m also adding (yet another) door to the barn on the old back side (new front side) of the barn so I don’t have to open the giant sliding door to get in from the new driveway in the back. I also want to add gutters to the barn, but that might be a next year project since run ins and footing will probably take all of my money.
Obviously since everyone is pasture kept, this is the important part. We have between 25-30 acres of rolling hills with grass for the ponies. 🙂 Currently there is barbed wire (which I’m aware is unpopular) at the top of the fences, but I hope to replace that with either a board or a hot wire in the future.
Obviously we live in the mountains. 🙂 There is a creek that runs through the farm as well. It is very pretty here during the warm months, and very sad with its winter and all the grass is brown. Womp womp. Good news is that everything is turning green now!