I have been hard at work in the barn. My first focus is putting in stalls so I can actually bring in the horses out of the weather. Technically I could before, as I just used the whole open space for Stu, but Pony didn’t really have a stall, he lived in the hallway of the main barn, and this way they both get a stall. I’m also working on putting in runs behind the barn.
The idea is they will each get their own little run, so they aren’t just confined to a stall for half the day. I used to keep them in before, but I just felt so bad for them hardly being able to move, and eventually just started leaving them out except to be fed. I’m really not a fan of stalls, horses are so much healthier when they can move around at will. But, they have their purposes, and sometimes the horses just need to be confined. I will feel so much better about it once they can stretch their legs in their runs.
As you may know due to the excessive amount of times I mention it, I have a baby, and that means my time is very limited. I ended up doing all the work for these stalls while my horses were eating their grain, so anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour a day, stretched over a few weeks. Whatever it takes to get it done!
I started with dropping some posts in the ground. Except for the center post, each post is 8 feet long, dropped two feet into the ground. I put down a base of gravel, leveled out the post (the gravel really helps to keep it in position while leveling) and then poured concrete on top.
The area isn’t a perfect square, and does not allow for the standard 12×12 horse stall configuration. My options were dividing the space evenly 2 approximately 10ftx13ft sizes, or doing a “custom” size. I knew I needed a big stall for Stu because he’s going to be a big horse. He won’t be able to fit in my existing two stalls, they are too small. I thought about it for a while, and finally decided to build the stalls specfically for the two I’m putting over here, Stu and Pony. The stalls will be two different sizes, with the big size for Stu, and the smaller size for Pony. Pony, being a pony, really doesn’t need much room at all. Like I said earlier, he’s been living in a hallway. His stall will be a massive upgrade for him, and really fit him perfectly.
The downside is that when I sell the property, I don’t think everyone is going to have one massive horse and one small pony they need to house. It’s a pretty specific set up. My hope is that Pony’s stall can convert to storage for the next person… or maybe they will have a pony they need to house. Fingers crossed!
So the stalls ended up approximately 11×13 ft, and 9×13 feet. Not what I would have chosen if I was starting from scratch, but I can work with it.
Once the posts were ready, it was time for the walls. I was in the unique situation of having lots of fence boards sitting around from dismantling some fences, so I decided to use them for the walls. However, I wish I had realized this back when I first dismantled them as I left them sitting in the mud so they got very dirty. I’ll power wash them once I’m done.
You may have noticed the boards are overhanging the posts in some places. If not, pretend you didn’t read this and scroll away. But if you did, yes, they are. Since these boards were ripped off of fence posts, some of the ends where the nails went got destroyed. I ended up lining the boards up individually to figure out where the best spot was to attach them. Sometimes the intrigity of the board was better if I slid the board over some, so I ended up with some overhang off the posts. I’ll be cutting off the ends when all the boards are up.
You may also be asking why I didn’t just cut them off before I mounted them… and the answer to that is my saw decided not to work, and instead of getting a different saw, I just stuck them up anyway. So really, laziness is why I did not cut them.
Other than cutting off the ends, I need to get pressure treated wood for the bottoms, put up the back wall, and put in doors. Once that is done, the stalls will be usable, although still not done. Down the road I will put in a gravel and stone dust base, and some stall mats. But that will be low priority, as I have other things to fix about the barn! Once these are usable, I’ll start on the exterior – the roof and the siding. Goodie!