All doors are six feet wide, not only for the sake of hip bones, but also to allow plenty of room for mamas and unpredictable babies to move through. There's a frost free hydrant and , at this point, a 100 gallon tank in front of each stall. Later projects put a hydrant and tank (with electrical outlet for a tank heater) between each pair of paddocks.
A year later, I sold a horse, so we added the fifth bay. As mentioned in a previous post, the left hand poles were left tall for the eventual addition of a "monitor" style center aisle.While we had the cement truck there for the two post holes, and since we had to pay for a minimum load anyway, we poured the floor for the tack room/feed area.The tack room was fully enclosed, using a door from the house that we replaced. The 5' X 6' area just in front became host to the feed bins.Besides showing a solid rear wall to the prevailing storm track, I wanted the paddock doors to open off of the gable ends, so that snow coming off the roof wouldn't block them, therefore the east and west ends got temporary OSB end walls. The 4' X 8' windows on the back wall were just sheet plastic for a year or so, then were filled with "SunTuf" polycarbonate panels--stronger than fiberglass, and won't yellow. First window is stall, next, tack room, last, future wash stall. (The east stall still hasn't gotten it's window! But it's more open to the sun.)
In 2006, we hedged on our "cash only" vow, and, after refinancing the whole place, used some of that money to add the center bay (and buy the tractor, and upgrade the irrigation system). I decided to let the contractor do the plywood sheathing and clerestory windows (again polycarbonate) because they were so high. Here's how it ties into the older section. This is me on the ditchwitch that I rented for burying irrigation lines--it proved very handy for leveling the center aisle.
The high clearance (20 feet) is so we can bring hay in by the 5-ton load, direct from the field, on a "harrow bed" (which I prefer to call a "bale wagon" as it has nothing to do with harrowing!). This creates the issue of how do you close in the east end of the barn, temporarily, each year once the hay is in? Owls are one of Al's totems, so we thought it a good sign that this one moved in that winter. It may explain, however, why we lost several barn cats earlier in the year. We no longer keep barn cats (though a huge orange feral showed up recently), but don't seem to have any trouble with rodents, either!That year's project also added a cement floor to the 12' X 16' (future) wash stall (since the truck was there for the main posts, after all). Notice the floor drain just to the right of the saw-horse-work-bench. There is another drain in the front corner (far right, out of the photo) for the addition of a laundry sink (water line/frost free hydrant is just outside of the stall, in the aisleway). Currently, however, the space is more conveniently used as my shop--until I get a garage going, anyway--the debate is whether to do the garage first, or finish the last wing of the barn. The current configuration (two foaling stalls, two panel stalls) is working adequately for the number of horses currently in residence.Corky and that year's weanlings shared this sheltered area, while a creep bar was added to the stall for the babies. Kate and Maddie had the far end stall, and Misty and Zoe got temporary panel stalls entered from the south side. Here's the last of three hay stacks for the winter (15 tons total). To the right of the OSB panels are the two temporary stalls for the broodmares.
The open east end--a LOT of weather comes in here! This December I even reinforced the heavy-duty tarp I had hung up there with a framework of 2" X 4"s. The very next night, the wind came up and tore the whole thing out! I still haven't figured out how I'll make it work.In the fall of 2007, with the help of good country neighbor, his sturdy ranch kids, and his "hay squeeze" (used for lifting 3-4 ton stacks off of the harrowbeds onto earlier stacks already in the barn--but that's another mini-blog) turned man-lift, we added plywood to the west end of the barn, facing the house, driveway, and eventual arena. Someday (soon!) it will get "board and batten" treatment, as will the south facing side (once it gets it's additional 16' wing).It took until the fall of 2008 for me to get the doors constructed, (I was busy riding horses for a change!), then the same burly farm boys came over and help me hoist them into place. They're 2" X 6" tongue and groove, backed with half-inch plywood. I wish now I had gone with 1 inch T&G, as they weigh A TON! But I don't have to worry about them rattle-banging around in the infamous Ellensburg wind. They got the same polycarbonate windows as the rest of the barn.
Once the south wing is added, there will be a woman-door, just to the right, for winter access, without opening the main doors. In summer, it will "hide" behind the right-hand barn door. The new wing will again be 16' X 60', but will have a lower roof, to keep the south facing clerestory windows into the aisle. I haven't decided whether it will be pure run-in, five individual 12' X 16' stalls, or two more double size stalls and two 12-footers. The center aisle will then be wide open for hay storage and tractor parking.Last weekend I got the trim on one of the doors, and started on the other--but ran out of screws. DRAT! Now so far this weekend it's been too cold, but maybe the sun'll come out, tomorrow --"betchure bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun."
Whoops, sorry, sometimes I just gotta break into song!
Guess that means it's time to finish this mini-blog, since the next scene is yet to come...