I was day dreaming of things I would love to do to my place. Anyhow thinking of nice things I have seen at barns. I just loved this bench that was all the way around a tree at a barn for folks to sit on. Flower box that was under window in wash rack. So nice to see the pretty flowers as you were getting horse ready to ride. Or cute dog house that looked just like a barn. Mail box holder that looks like a barn. The roof and even little barn doors painted on it. Walk throughs at every gate going out to field so you don't have to always open gate to get in or climp the fence. If you have several fields a place beside gate to hold halters and lead ropes. One that had a little roof and sides that would keep the halters/ leadropes dry from drew over night. Cabinet in wash rack to hold brushes, clippers and jump boots ( stuff you use all the time ) that way when you close the doors you don't see everything. A cabinet in corner that holds meds etc so it stays clean.
Lets here your ideas!!
A gator! haha, the barn my horse where my horse lives at home used to have one...and then it died a slow death. Man, do I miss that thing! It was sooo nice to go pick the fields with...too bad new ones are like $10,000!
I don't know. Overly prettified barns worry me, unless it's a millionaire owner with tons of hired help. I know how much time goes into care for the horses & farm properly. What is the BO not doing in order to have time to plant posies in every windowbox?
I'd wish for something practical. If I wanted to pretty up my farm, I'd want Santa to bring me an indoor.
Not my boarding barns, but things I've seen and thought were spiffy:
-dust-free wax coated sand footing
-heated indoor with giant windows all around AND skylights
-really large indoor so you can have five people riding without running into each other, and plenty of room for a jumping course
-handy racks on the walls for all the jump parts, and handy people who will carry them around and set them up for you
-built in mounting block with stairs in the corner of the ring
-CLEAN and comfy observation area, with coffee and doughnuts set out each morning - actually even better was the one I saw in Portugal that had a bar and cafe tables, so you could have a glass of wine while watching other people work horses...
-really big pastures with hills for self-conditioning
-gates that hang real nice and straight so they are easy to open
I've been in one place that was so overstaffed it didn't even smell like horses - any manure was picked out instantly, and a guy walked around all day sprinkling something nice smelling on the perfectly swept aisles...
But I'm happy as a clam at my small, low-key, no-frills place!
Other than that, simple things make me happy: having DOORS and GATES in all the right places. In all, everything should just be where it is supposed to be, focus on a good, functional layout more than anything. My barn has a kitchen/lounge with a fridge and stove and stuff, and a couch and tables overlooking the indoor. But ya know what? It's rarely used! As long as everything is neat, functional, and safe, I'm happy.
I hate frilly stuff at a barn, but here's some luxuries that I found myself actually *using* at previous barns:
Mirrors in the indoor in several locations so that I could see us traveling toward a mirror and traveling next to a mirror.
Blanket hooks, or racks, or bars, in logical places that are out of the way. Several of our local barns just use big hooks from IKEA.
Running hot water. Also nice but practically asking the world: at least one source of potable human drinking water.
Stacker system jumps and/or Paper Chase jump cups.
Fridge for storing medicine. If it's big enough for soaking beet pulp or 'falf cubes, all the better (very handy in the dead of winter or middle of summer when it's impractical to leave that stuff out).
We have a private barn... my husband plants beautiful flower boxes that hang on the fence on the way to the ring... also big potted plants outside the barns... we do have a nice bench to sit on...LOL. And a horse swing under a big tree for the kids to play on.
We have a fridge, and a washing machine... also hot water in the barn (wash stall)... Lots of hooks and blanket bars in the tackrooms, rubber mats in the stalls, and fans.
well one barn I was thinking about boarding at a few years back was catered to kids. One reason why I did not board there But the stalls were all painted a diffrent color, no darks colors but bright. It made it easy for the kids to get their hores. Hot water, is another key, mirrors in indoor, skylights in the barn [over the aisle way, made it very bright in there] that could be opened up, Gators/golf carts to make it easier to hay/muck/etc, a drop door in the loft so you can just drop hay into said manger [VERY handy!], If you are building a medium sized boarding stable, normally is it nice to have 2 wash stalls. Florescent lighting can be your friend, but just be careful because if it is to hot or to cold they wont want to work Also I love love love dutch doors for both front and back. Again makes it easier, if there is a fire open the dutch door on the outside of the barn. Also lots and lots of peremiter fencing! I have had to board near a busy road, and they had tons of gates you had to open to get to the barn but no horse ever got out to the road [the corn field yes, but then again said filly was mischevious and loved to eat fresh corn ]. Also outside hitching racks are great! You wont get hair in the barn during spring/summer!
-shower, well lit bathroom for putting make-up on for work
-hot water in the wash stall, nice sprayer so you don't have to stick your thumb in it
-viewing area for the indoor so people can watch without being cold and dirty
-food fridge and medicine fridge
-built in boxes (we use smartpak's supplement bags) on stalls for wraps, turn-out boots, etc.
As a boarder, some things I have had or have seen that are not essential but nice to have:
Mirrors in the indoor (I find the indoor is essential for serious riding in my climate)
Heated and clean bathroom.
Hot water in wash stall
Any other heated tack room or lounge.
A galloping track
Infrared heater in the wash stall and one spot in the indoor (You get the feeling that I dont like being cold? )
Use of a horse vacuum
Radio/CD player in the indoor.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
The barn I travel to for lessons, and occasionally stay overnight is the Taj Mahal in my opinion. It is stunning.
The bathroom is heated, has a table at one end, and a nice big peg hook board so when you are changing stuff doesn't have to go to the floor. There's always a jar of yummy pump hand cream in there... little touch that's really noticeable.
The boarder tack room has hot water in a real sink. Kitchen style cabinets and counters at that area. Meds/first aid go in those cabinets. A saddle horse for cleaning, and glycerin soap and sponges/rags are supplied if you don't have your own or are visiting. A short wall unused for anything else has cubby style boxes (one per stall) for grooming equimpent--keeps it out of the tack room, which is all saddles/bridles only--which keeps the tack room cleaner and elegant, and the cubbies contain all the grooming stuff very efficiently with no muss no fuss.
Each stall has a nice, useful blanket bar and a halter/bridle hook. Crossties all have excellent lighting and the collapsable single board saddle racks. Everyone has tack trunk space up in the loft--which is a slight PITA, but not as much as you'd think due to the cubbies. More for out of season blankets etc. Plus it's real stairs up, and there's always a smiling helping hand.
Footing in the indoor is shredded leather. In the old facility it was the same but had really distinct smell--very pleasant--that I do miss. For some reason this arena doesn't have the smell. It's is very dust free for working in, but does tend to get into crevices in tack and cling to polos/boots. Learned the hard way if the horse sweats through the polos and the footing is on there--brush the HECK out of it before you unwrap, it doesn't come off in the wash if you let it set. Still--it's the nicest footing I've ever ridden on. Just the absolute perfect combination of cush and spring and depth and everything.
Heated "snack bar" where barn events are held, with window to arena. Stove, microwave, sink (human water ) etc.
It's an amazing place. Extra time and effort spent on things like landscaping and mason work (the brickwork in the stallion barn is STUNNING) do give an overall feeling of elegance. Yet actual CARE is down to earth and practical and awesome.
There is also Art everywhere. Classic dressage art. Even in the bathrooms. I can't tell you how much of an inspiration that can be.
I always feel like an impostor, that someday they're going to find out the truth and kick me out. But the absolute best part, is despite the 5 star environment, they don't care that my boots are Dover's Basement, my breeches are sometimes Wally*world cotton/lycra tights, my horse's sheet is an Ebay bargain-o-the-day, my truck is a tired old '96 F150 and my trailer is a stock trailer. They expect excellence is professionalism and attitude, but care not a whit for where you come from or what breed your horse is or isn't.
I am very, very blessed to be part of such an amazing program. The abosolute icing on the cake is that it might be months between visits for me, due to life interfering, but when I arrive, I am treated like I belong. I feel like I've not been away... I am *welcome.*
The place where I board is not what I would call "fancy" but extremely well designed. I live in an area that can get some pretty extreme winter conditions, and I have always been at barns where you have to wrestle with those horrendous, huge sliding barn doors while you are holding your horse. They usually freeze shut, or freeze open at some point during the winter months. They can also be really impossible to close when they get off the track. Anyway--where I board now, they have overhead automatic garage door style barn doors. Sooooo practical!! You just press the button and voila, door raises or closes. No reefing on the door like Dorothy trying to open the cellar door during a twister (Auntie Em!!)! Seriously, it is so handy, and they never freeze shut or open. They don't have the "classic" barn look to them, but they make up for that in convenience.
Another handy item that I saw at another barn was one of those "wheels" for the pasture gate. It's handy because you are holding your horse and the huge pasture gate starts swinging out while you are trying to hold onto your horse. Usually, there are other horses that try to exit while you are struggling with the gate also. The wheel contraption stays on the ground and holds the gate in place while you fasten it or lead your horse through. Very helpful.