Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Barn Blues Revisited

It's that time of year again. It never fails.... Around the last week of November the weather gets nasty and the ground turns into mud. THICK STICKY MUD.... ugh. It's one of those things that makes farm life much more challenging than it should be. Cleaning rounds go on double time - (as if there weren't enough things to keep up with around here.) And the horse stalls require twice as much mucking when moisture fills the air and instantly turns normally dry materials into slippery slop.

It's around this time of the year I start "dreaming" - fantasizing really.... of a new barn. Our little farm here as a shedrow of three Noble panel stalls and four outdoor matted pens. With only four acres of pasture land, the animals have to go into pens and stalls most of the time. They get daily turnout in the outdoor arena to tear around in - but even the arena has turned into a giant sloppy mess with all of the rain that has been pouring down lately.

On the upside, Craig and I are getting closer to paying our mortgage off, so we have been having small micro discussions of future barn plans. It might happen within another year or two......possibly. Yayyyhhhh!!!!

This is where my overactive imagination and day-dreaming comes into play. If money grew on trees and we became miraculously independently wealthy, our barn would look something like the one pictured below:
Woot! Raise the roof! That wistful thinking is such fun. Another somewhat less elaborate barn is pictured below, and I could settle for it too....
Of course, these bucko huge barns aren't complete without an appropriately sized indoor riding arena..... one of sheer engineering genius:

Stunning pieces of architecture. I'm sure they're somewhere around a cool million or so to build. No problem. Gotta go find those money tree seedlings and start planting.....

But seriously, some things are doable and affordable. I found these Dutch Masters stall door plans on the internet and thought that it was a really nice design. They are modest and attractive without being too over-the-top elaborate like some of the high dollar european designed ones. I liked them a lot.

Then there is the traditional wood framed rough cut rustic interiors like in the photo above. It's a warm and inviting look that I could easily fall in love with - but my ever leering fear and paranoia of a barn fire would cause great hesitation. I do love that old style look though....

And to make things even more interesting, how about a round barn? These are quirky and fascinating architectural wonders to behold. I stumbled upon a couple of them when looking at different barn plans on the internet. The timbers that constitute the ceilings on these things are unbelievable! Some are in a star shaped pattern to the top, and some are similar to a funnel effect. It's an amazing construction feat!

In a way, they somewhat remind me of a dairy barn.... especially the one with the bell shaped doorway.

And then there are always some funky barns floating around out there in the nooks of the big wide world. I liked this one pictured below, because it reminded me of an old cobblers building. Can't you imagine a blacksmith pounding on some iron horseshoes outside where those garbage cans are located? Kind of takes a person back to the middle ages a bit. This is an actual functioning barn (Rubel Pharms) and if you look closely there are some horses off to the left in the picture. I'm guessing this stable is probably located in europe or spain somewhere....

But amidst the daydreaming and trips into "la-la barn-o-land".... reality sets in, and I have to think reasonably about what is both feasible for our pocketbook and functionable for our location. I've perused the plans on this website quite frequently recently: http://applevalleybarns.com/
They have some good simple designs, depending on what size a person would like. I'm leaning towards the Monterrey 6 stall or the Hickock 8 stall plans. The barn pictured below would be more of our speed as well.

We will see what happens in the future. But for right now, we're stuck with dreaming our way out of the winter mud and slop. Sigh...... =:)
-Shannon.

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