Sitting in front of the fire on these cold days, I love to imagine my dream barn. There are those who fantasize about gardening or vacationing, and I admit that I’ve let my mind wander down those roads as well. Yet, I know that if we won the lottery tomorrow, my husband and I would waste no time starting on a new barn.
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to have a horse of my own in a stall next to my bedroom. I thought it would be great to hop out of bed and open the top half of the Dutch door on my wall so I could greet my horse. I am a huge fan of the old TV show, “Mr. Ed”. The idea of Wilbur having his office attached to Mr. Ed’s stall is perfect to me. As a rational, horse-owning adult, I know that the flies and the odor would prevent me from building our dream barn so that Silk could stick her head into my kitchen or family room. At the same time, my husband and I have had perfectly serious conversations about how to make an attractive connecting indoor passage between the house and any barn we would build.
It would be so great to be able to just check on the horses without putting on all those layers of clothes and freezing our faces off on the way to the barn. We realize that it might drastically affect the re-sale value of our property, but I’ll bet other horse-owners would love it too. At the very least, my dream barn will also house my office, and a place for friends or family to come and hang out while I groom the horses and do chores. My two favorite barns are both built with areas with couches and chairs to socialize.
One is a post and beam, six-stall beauty with a wide staircase leading up to the hay loft. The horses can see each other easily and the stalls have removable partitions so they can be expanded. After having a barn with big, 15 by 12 foot stalls, I’m all for building one with that size or larger. I’d also like individual turn-out corrals off of each stall that can be opened to create one larger area. These corrals will have gates leading to the pasture so that the horses can go in or out whenever they feel like it during the day. We’ll also have a separate shower stall with hot and cold water.
The other barn that I really like is owned by my friends, Patsy and Frank, down in North Carolina. They lost their original barn in a hurricane, and when they re-built it, they designed it so that there’s a small arena and a round pen in the middle with the stalls, tack and grooming areas and wash room around it. It’s like a big warehouse building with a huge garage door on one end that can be opened in warm weather to let the light into it. I loved being able to ride when it was pouring rain outside.
They say that to create what you want in life, the first step is to imagine it clearly. So, light the fire, kick off your boots and start dreaming.
Here's my reality: