As most of you know, I already board at what I consider to be a nearly perfect little barn. A lot of my wants for my own barn come directly from this one. I have some pretty strong opinions about the interior aspects of my future barn. Stall doors, walls & floors might seem a little bit boring when compared with, say, tack room design… but to me, they are the nuts & bolts of the perfect barn.
Let’s start with stall walls. Now, my sweet little mare, Sunny, doesn’t like other horses looking at her. When she senses their eyes on her, she responds by squealing and kicking her stall wall as hard as she can, often with both hind feet at once. It’s not pleasant, not for her, and not for stall walls. So a tall partition between stalls is extremely important in my barn. Leaving a gap of about two feet between the top of the partitions and the ceiling will allow for a free flow of air while protecting sensitive little mares from prying eyes.
When it comes to doors, I prefer sliding to doors that swing. This is mainly for space saving – I don’t like to block the aisle way with an open swinging door – but I also want the horses to be able to hang their heads out over their doors. For this reason, the doors at Sunny’s current barn are perfect, and I definitely plan on stealing the design!
I also like the front walls of the stalls at this barn. The horses can see everything that’s going on in the aisle way, but they can’t touch noses with the horse next to them (also a necessity for the squealing Miss Sunny). These stalls are very safe, very open, and nice and bright, all things that are extremely important to me.
As for floors… well, here’s where we get into a little bit of trouble. I used to think that rubber pavers are the be-all and end-all, but now that I board (and do weekend barn chores) in a barn with this type of flooring, I think I might have had a change of heart. It looks nice, and it feels nice, but boy, is it hard to sweep! Little bits of hay & dirt get caught in between the pavers, so you can sweep til the cows come home, but that floor is never going to look perfectly clean. I think instead I would prefer texturized rubber mats inlaid into a concrete floor. This offers the same comfort for the horses, but allows me to sweep the barn floor perfectly clean. Win/win!
Don’t forget to come back for the next installment – hay, feed & watering systems!
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