Saturday, October 31, 2009

A tale of two houses

Most of the time I really don't mind not having a "real" barn. I don't have to clean stalls every day, which seriously saves not only my time, but the cost of shavings for three horses. Shavings tend to be the biggest cost for most horse owners! My horses lives outside 24/7 and seem to be quite happy about it. I don't have to worry about them going stall stir-crazy or acting like complete idiots after they've been cooped up for some time.

But when it rains and rains and rains, I do wish I had a barn. Not necessarily because I think the horses would be happier in stalls, but because it is such a pain in the butt to scrape the mud from them before I ride. It would also be really, really nice not to have to slog through the water and mud to feed every day. I don't think the horses really care too much though, but a real barn would certainly be a convenience for me!

Gabe's shed was completed about a month after he came home and he LOOOVES his house. It's 12'x16' and I keep it bedded for him. He sleeps in his run-in. He stands in his run-in when he gets tired of standing in the rain and it stays pretty dry in there unless the wind is blowing the rain sideways. We built up the floor about 8 inches with gravel and fines to keep it out of any standing water. We do get a lot of rain!

It's nothing fancy, but it does it's job. I clean it out probably twice a week and bed only with straw. Gabe definitely takes advantage of the straw bed and in the morning you can see his body impression in the bedding as well as plenty of golden wisps stuck to his body. I also feed him in there. He is a big pig when it comes to his hay and likes to pee on it if I feed him on the ground, so, he gets his hay out of a net. Nothing wastes hay faster than a horse who has a bizarre need to pee on it! He makes a mess of his hay net hay, too, but because the mess is in a corner, he can't really get to it to pee on it, thank goodness! I'm considering one of those small hole mesh hay nets to keep him from pulling so much out of it at once.

Now...we bought all the materials for two run-ins at the same time. The first one was built in less than a month.

The second one?'s still not completely done and it's been well over a year!
At least it has a roof and footing, right?

What is really, really frustrating is we've had to buy all new siding for the second run-in because apparently, sheets of wood don't do very well lying outside in the elements for a whole year. Grrr...

Calypso seems to really appreciate having the shed to stand in. Chief, not so much. He won't go into it unless enticed, Calypso stands in there pretty frequently.

I am hoping (and crossing my fingers!) that the siding will go up on their run-in some time this weekend. Once we get the walls up I'll have to add another four or five inches of footing to it.


  1. If your second run-in is going to be like the first one. Just maybe Chief doesn't like to be backed into a corner, if he goes in first and Calypso goes in after him. Maybe make the door in middle and two shorter walls on each side, in front. just thought!!??

  2. Wow, you MUST get a lot of rain! We had a similar thing when we moved to Fla. We put grounded run-in sheds in all the pastures for the horses, but they'd rarely stand under them. Instead they'd stand under the trees during the storms in the lightening capital of the world. Yeah. No stress there!

  3. Grma...the second run-in will be built with just three sides, rather than three and a half like Gabe's, exactly for that reason! Chief is the pushy one and he can be quite aggressive at times and I'd worry he'd back Calypso into a corner and beat the snot out of her.

    Michelle...just this month we've had 12 inches of rain! It's crazy wet. We haven't had much lightning, thank goodness, but when it does lightning out, I run out there and turn off the electric fencing because I'm so paranoid the horses will stand next to it and get zapped. They sure keep us stressed about their safety, don't they? Good thing we love 'em!

  4. Hope you get to that project!
    We are considering building some at my barn too..less horse handling..but still poop to clean..mine, when I had one last year..went inside to poop!