"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blog Hop: Show Me Your Barn!

Ashley and SprinklerBandit started this blog hop, and I've decided to join in:

1. A view of the barn

There are two barns on the property. The main barn is the one on the left, the second barn (aka the boarder barn) is the building to the right, with the sliding door. The two small sheds in between are for tools and feed, respectively. There is a fully equipped bathroom 2 sinks and a shower between the main barn and the sheds. You can't see it from this angle. 
Main barn aisle:
The main barn is one long aisle with 12 stalls. The stalls have sliding doors and dutch doors on the back wall of each stall that lead into paddocks. You have the option of leaving the top dutch door open as a window of sorts so the horses can look out.
This is where I usually tack up. Queenie and Deja, Kathy's and Phoebe's mares, live in this barn. There is only one other boarder horse here; all of the others belong to the BO.
Second barn's aisles:
The second barn is "L" shaped and has 16 stalls.
Main aisle of the second barn.
Secondary aisle. The open door at the end is the tack room. I keep my stuff in this barn's tack room, as it is the barn where Lily was originally stabled when we first arrived.  It is basically the boarder barn. I choose to lug all of my stuff over to the other barn to tack up because this is a high-traffic barn and it's just easier to get ready in the other barn without having to move Lily every 5 minutes to let a horse or a person through. Plus I hate being a bother here when the other boarders pay extra to keep their horses in these stalls; they have the right of usage.
(Remember I'm a field boarder. There are only 2 other field boarders that choose to tack up in the barn area; the rest just tack up in the fields.)

2. My horse's living space

Lily in the mare field.
Driveway. This is an unedited cell phone photo. Yes, that's how beautiful it is in the summer! The mare field is on the right, where Lily lives, and the gelding field on the left. There are a couple of smaller mixed fields behind the gelding field, but they are turnouts mainly for the stalled horses. They don't get used 24/7.
I love that there are trees for natural shade in the mare field. There is also a small creek that runs through it, so regardless of what is going on with the water troughs, they ALWAYS have a water source.

The run-in. This is the best photo I have of it, with it of course looking at its worst with the bad weather we've been having, but you can see it doing its job: keeping the horses dry and serving as a windbreak. When the weather is especially horrible, the BO throws down square bales in each "stall" so the mares can still eat while sheltered. There are water buckets in each "stall", and also fans to keep the horses cool in the summer. I also like to hang up slow feed hay nets when there is going to be inclement weather. Rolando, the barn manager, hung up eyehooks for me for this purpose. The run-in is the equivalent of 4 stalls wide, with a little storage area attached where us field boarders keep our grain and some basic supplies. There are racks for blankets in there, too!

3. The tack room
There are is a tack room in each barn.
This is the smaller tack room in the main barn:

Boarders can keep their food and drinks in this fridge. There is a smaller dorm-type fridge in the second barn's tack room, and a third fridge for meds and boarder supplies in the shed where the grain is kept. 

This is the tack room in the second barn:

That's my Wintec on the orange pad.

My locker is the one with the clothes hanger on the door. That's where I keep my safety vest.

4. A view of where you ride

The arena, looking pretty in the summer

Full view of the arena. Photo taken this week, when it was wet, cold, and foggy.

The trails!!

5. Favorite thing about your barn
Where do I start? There are too many things. I've boarded and/or ridden at fancier barns, and barns with indoor arenas, but I really, really like this barn. Oh barn, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

The fact that it offers field board.

The wash stall with both hot and cold water. And a washer and dryer for our horse clothes. And a hose on a boom. I don't know why I have a thing for hoses on booms, but I do, after visiting a couple of really fancy barns with them. It is SO much easier than dealing with a looong-ass hose that you have to uncoil and re-coil when the world is cold and wet.

The fact that the horses always have plenty of hay. I never have to worry about Lily not getting enough forage.

Nor do I have to worry about her not getting the grain and supplements I set up for her.
This is one of the few facilities I've heard of where not only is grain fed twice a day (you can provide your own or select a type of grain from the 3 Purina varieties the barn will include for free if you wish), but they will also separate the horses so they can each finish their food uninterrupted by the others.

Mares split into their separate "stalls" for dinner.
Lily won't go into one of these, but since she doesn't bother anyone, she is allowed to eat at liberty, as seen in the previous photo.

Trail access. 
We have the park across the street (riding up the driveway and crossing the main road), the back woods, which in turn connect to private farm land where we are allowed to ride through to get to Redneck Park, as the locals call it. Redneck Park is HUUUGE: 6,000 acres, and it spans into three Maryland counties. The barn could have NO arena and no heated wash stall, and I'd still want to board there just because of the access to this park.  In this photo I was riding Lily around the perimeter of Redneck Park.

Riding in the back woods. 
The back woods has a loop that is about 3 miles if you include the bridge crossing that we had been avoiding since the falling leaves made it too slippery, and the Hill of Doom, which is at a good 70-degree angle. If you want variety, there are tons of little deer trails that you can follow endlessly through the trees or just make up your own route.

At the park across the street. So far we've discovered about 20 miles of trails in there. 

Oh, and I mustn't forget the bridle path. 
It's about half a mile long and zig-zags around our barn and the neighbors'. When it's dry, it has some nice hard smooth footing which is great for faster work like trot, canter and gallop sets, and even has 2 gentle hills that make it perfect for conditioning.  It's a plan B when you don't want to ride in the arena nor head for the woods.

And last, but not least, the people that I board and ride with:

Kathy, my main trail buddy.

Phoebe. Her back is on the mend, so I hope she can slowly start joining us more often!

Natalie and Jane, our resident TROT riders, who know ALL the trails!!

And my barn owner. She's so approachable and sweet, and always welcomes you with a brilliant smile. She is a wonderful human being who loves to help others and takes cares of all of the horses as if they were her own. 

My BO, on her Welsh Cob Hope.

Here's the info on the blog hop (* Edit: I just realized this shows multiple times, and have not been able to figure out why! Please forgive my HTML cluelessness. At least it's working!):


  1. Sounds like a wonderful place! I loved the pictures you posted awhile back on the bridle path! Gorgeous! The "stalls" in those pastures *such* a smart idea to feed pasture boarded horses!

    1. It's not as fancy as others out there, but I love it. :) I love that it's a private facility and that the BO plays such a big part in the horse care. I've boarded at facilities where the BO wanted no part of it, and it made things so hard for the BM when it came to basic barn improvements.
      I agree: I think the "stalls" for feeding the pasture board horses is brilliant!

  2. Awesome barn! It's great that you can do field board.

    1. Yes! Not many offer field board in my area.

  3. I covet your trails and park access. It looks like a nice place. I wish we had a groomed bridle path we could canter and gallop on.

    1. I love your huge, huge indoor and heated barn! ;)

  4. Sounds like a fab place! I love seeing where everyone boards!!

    1. I know right? I think this has been one of my fave blog hops so far!

  5. Oh wow, it is stunning. I would love to ride on those trails of yours :)

  6. Those trails are to die for! So awesome.

  7. WOW! That place looks great, all the amenities you could pretty much possibly want and TRAILS! Loved your pictures!