About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, April 13, 2012

Getting Closer to Reality

I've dreamed of a proper horse barn with indoor riding arena since I was a child. Part of the dream, I am certain, is because of all of the experiences I had at nice equestrian facilities starting with adventures with my aunt, moving on to teenage farm jobs, and then of course, experiences as an adult. I've spent many hours reading books, magazine articles, looking at brochures, websites, and talking to people. I have seen many features I liked, some I didn't, and many I never thought of. One could argue that I've had a lifetime of research on the project of a lifetime.

In the last few weeks, my goal has made a dramatic move from dream-state to a reality that is actually able to become a reality. I've finally made it to the point of arena/horse barn planning with a barn dealer (Morton Buildings) and am getting closer and closer to having a plan of action including a timeline. I am working on the budget (not an easy feat, there are so many factors and expenses to consider) and hope to break ground this year.

I should note that I purchased a small horse barn plan from Apple Valley Barn Plans which although nice, don't answer the needs of this plan because things have changed. Should you need barn plans, they have very nice ones available in a variety of configurations. I tried to obtain information from two metal building companies, Olympia Steel Buildings and U.S. Buildings but both companies were extremely non-responsive to any true coordination of starting the conversation let alone follow-up. Apparently they have enough customers! I also had preliminary plans provided in the past, by two fabric structure companies, Adirondack Structures (formerly a Cover-all dealer, now selling Britespan and Norseman Structures) and Farm Tek. Farm Tek covers the entire country. I was concerned about their barns because they do not seem to provide engineered plans. Should you desire to invest in a fabric structure and are in my region, please contact the owner/operator of Adirondack Structures, Beth Donnelly. Beth from Adirondack is a friend and I know that she will give you awesome service and her products are superior to other fabric building dealers.

Fabric structures are very nice, don't get me wrong, just not the direction I am going in at this time. I have researched and discussed the point with Rick at great lengths and it is our opinion that a standard, framed structure-type building, will last longer is easier to repair (on our own). We also believe that the Morton Building is more marketable to a wider audience should the time come (hopefully never) that we need to sell our property and move on.

We are patiently awaiting our first draft of plans. What we are looking at is an overall 71' x 17' x 196' building (beige building with dark green trim, wainscoting, doors, and roof). The structure will have sky-lights and sky-belt to bring in as much natural light as possible. Three fully functional cupolas with horse weather vanes for an aesthetic appeal. We will be installing a condensation board in the roof for the entire structure.

The arena will be 72' x 17' x 160'. I plan to use sand for footing as it is readily available here and affordable. We plan to install a sprinkler system to help with the watering of arena. In addition to the lovely light the sky-lights and belt will offer, we will be installing adequate lighting to make it a bright and open-feeling atmosphere. I have planned for large sliding doors on either end of the arena as well as the corresponding location in the horse barn area. There will be a hay loft with railing accessible from the arena side or from a staircase in the horse barn portion of the structure. And, an arena liner is also being installed - or should I call it a knee saver? :)

The horse area of the barn is a 36' x 72' area. In addition to the sliding doors I wrote about above, I plan to have two large doors on either end of the aisle as well as a standard door, all for access as well as ventilation of course. I am planning for four, 12' x 12' stalls with rubber mats, wood/aluminum stall walls/door with drop panel, and swing-out feeders. I also am planing for a lined wash rack, tack/feed room with tack rack, shavings bin, and a lounge with viewing window to the arena. It will act as a library, exercise room, rest area, and have a mini-kitchen and very basic bathroom. These additional areas and their sizes are all being refined. I hope to add some lovely, pretty touches to the horse area, all to be determined and perhaps, done over time.

Planning a project like this takes a great deal of time, detail, and patience. I have to coordinate different people to talk with one another and collaborate, the clearing and preparation of the land, the barn specs and schedule, electricity installation, well drilling, and plumbing. We have to move one of the horse fences, figure out where the horses will be during the project, and of course, coordinate the funding. Rick will be able to do some of the work too!

So, this is all a good start I think. I cannot wait to see the actual plans from the builder. I may find the necessity to change some of my plans but, I believe in dreaming big to start with, you just never know what you can achieve unless you try. Is this reality? If it's not, I know it is close to it!

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before." ~Edgar Allan Poe


Tracy said...

Wow...I read this post with my mouth hanging open...in awe, in envy - congratulations on the actualization of your life-long dream! Sounds amazing - hope to see progression posts of your barn raising. :o)

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks, Tracy, I truly hope that all goes well and without a hitch! LOL I will try to remember to take photos and keep on posting. More to come as I know it.

BTW--is that a Great Dane in your profile pic? I have a fawn Dane with black mask named, Morgan. I LOVE HER...an awesome dog for sure.

Shannon South said...

OMG - you are going to laugh out loud!! Guess what?? We are breaking ground on a 62'x130' Britespan this summer!! LOL!! I laughed so hard when I read your post .. seriously - I think we were separated at birth! Keep me posted - so excited for your news - and mine too!!

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Shannon----OMG ROFLMAO!!! We have to meet someday!!! Separated at birth for sure....TOO FUNNY. Best wishes on your project.

Tracy said...

Hi Michelle - YES, that is my big baby Frank - he is 7 years old, and I love him so much. Best dog I've ever had!!! When I quote the CKC guidelines to my husband, "Preference MUST be given to the deep golden fawns with a black mask", he insists that's for judging, not for who gets to sleep on the bed! LOL! Frank and I think he's splitting hairs...

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

I totally get it---Danes are the best. Morgan is my first and I've never hesitate to have another in the future. I LOVE HER.

Tracy said...

Agreed! Is it wrong, that my favorite wedding photo is one of me & Frank? ;o)