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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We pulled the trigger

The planning and coordination of building the barn has been really exciting, daunting, and the experience of a lifetime. Not only have I had to think about design but, I have had to take into account budget, location, contractors, schedules, taxes, insurance, use, resale, and more. (I am certain I am forgetting something.) This is complicated and the project of a lifetime. I have much more respect for those in career fields where construction coordination and planning is their work, wow, so much to consider.

In any event, we've pulled the trigger and ground breaking starts next week! Yes, you read that right, let the barn building commence! The site preparation should take no longer than two weeks and then the barn goes up taking approximately three weeks. I cannot believe it, this all seems so surreal.

We ended up using a local contractor for the excavation work, Irvin Martin who owns North Country Construction. Irvin has been doing work for us since we moved to North Lawrence four years ago, and frankly, I never shop for prices for this type of work, I just call him. He is fair and reliable, trustworthy, and an asset to our community. Also, fortunately for me, he is our neighbor and lives about a mile away. To give you a sense of our relationship, Rick will bake homemade goodies as a thank you and they share their bounty from their garden...and gave baked for us too. We do not get together or anything as we live different lifestyles, but are just all very nice and friendly to one another.

Regarding the building contractor, we have hired a friend and colleague of Irvin, named Melvin Bricker owner of Franklin Builders in Pennsylvania (a previous resident of the North Country). We got bids from four builders and his price, time spent on the design, and willingness to listen to our needs and work within the budget made the difference. Not to mention there were no hidden costs or games, just good information, communication, and a meeting of the minds. It was like having a Parelli conversation with your horse...very satisfying. In addition and very importantly, Irvin and another local business we use, Adirondack Structures, both highly recommended Melvin's work. We have seen his work on major, million-dollar dairy farm nearby and were impressed.

So, we are putting up a 36'x36'x10' horse barn with a center hay loft (access via an outside upper door on the front of the barn or from within the arena- an area that will be good for a video camera too), three stalls (yellow pine tongue and groove, bars and the fold-down bars on the door), and room for us to build a lounge/tack, shavings bin, and wash rack later on. This will be attached to a 60'x120'x16' riding arena with kicker walls, two large doors (one at the end and another on the side, another large slider (not as big as the others that attaches to the horse barn), sky-band, and skylights. The arena will have three large cupolas and the horse barn will have one smaller cupola. The buildings will be beige with dark green roof, wainscoting, and trim. the front doors have some glass on them for aesthetics. Rick and I will install lighting and plumbing as another phase of the project.

Initially, the horse barn will have a gravel floor akin to our current driveway (matching the additional driveway we will put in for the barn). We plan to put in a concrete pad as a future phase (not in the stalls). The arena will have the base, road fabric, and bluestone sub-base. I will top dress with a sand mixture (to be determined) later in the summer.

The location of this project is at one end of the playground, behind the neighbor's houses, giving us much-needed privacy. We are not anti-social but we have a regular stream of renters at one place and a real weirdo at the other residence.

I know that this is a great deal to absorb so do the best you can. Photos to come as we progress. By the way, because of the need for fill, the training/play pond I wanted and spoke about long ago is going to happen too! All is good in the Universe. :)


Shannon South said...

Congratulations!!! We are still in the planning phase - the local builder who we think will be the one for the job is coming in tonight to go through the details and give us a final quote (we have a ballpark from him that fits with the budget). Unfortunately, the township constraints for building on smaller acreages in our farming community have shrunk my project from the orginal planned size. Darn. But it is still much better than what I have now .. which is nothing!! LOL! It will be beautiful and will finally allow me to spring my partner from eternal boarding and get everyone home. Please, please send pictures as you progress!! Can't wait to see your finished product .. and mine!!

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Hi Shannon,

They broke ground this morning and Rick is taking photos. I am really excited, it finally feels real. I'll post more later.

Congrats on your project. It is really stressful but worth it! And you are right, something is better than nothing...we had to downsize too. :)