Outfitting a barn

My barn- photo from the real estate listing.
My barn- photo from the real estate listing.

The process of moving into our new place has been pretty slow; moving the horses has been an even slower process. I’m very grateful to have such a good neighbor and barn owner- she’s been completely accommodating and allowed me to keep the horses at the barn as long as I need to. Which, at this rate, is going to be until approximately 2017.

Aside from sourcing quality hay and deciding on a feed, there are a variety of tasks to be done and items to be purchased for my new barn. I’ve begun classifying these things as “Right Now” and “Sometime in the Foreseeable Future”.

Things I need to do/buy right now include:

  • Garden hose with attachment to connect dual spigots to single hose. (Who’s excited about hot water in the barn?!)
  • Bridle racks
  • Feed bin
  • Stall mats
  • Gravel screenings to put under stall mats
  • Cross ties for aisle and wash rack
  • Clean out stall feed bins

I’ve managed to purchase buckets and saddle racks, so I can at least begin moving some of my tack over.

Modular horse barns aren’t the most attractive structures, on my “later” list are a few aesthetic improvements. I’d love do a little landscaping around the back of the barn and spruce up with tack room with…something. The barn has a broad front porch, which certainly calls for some chairs and planters.

What have you used in your barn that works well? What doesn’t?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

29 thoughts on “Outfitting a barn”

  1. I’m jelly of your porch! When/if I rebuild, I must have a porch.

    I bought this dude this year and am loving it: https://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Carts-GOR866D-Heavy-Duty-Convertible/dp/B00B0C683K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478111351&sr=8-1&keywords=gorilla+dump+cart

    I also recommend the NeverKink hoses at Lowe’s. They’re the best value I’ve found where hoses are concerned.

    I also like the idea of having one of these on hand in case someone gets halter pulls and puts themselves in a dumb situation (cough. Robin.) It is on my special farm wish list on Amazon, but I haven’t bought it/tried it yet. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0084ZOIRO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3JB3Q7QWTE8FM&coliid=I1AYP8BNZCHTPE

    I also love my cheapo $40 TSC elements for my Rubbermaid water troughs. No ice busting here. 😉 Lots of first aid type stuff is great to have on hand as well.

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to check out the NeverKink and the knife! Gina’s such an unpredictable weirdo with pulling back that it can’t hurt. (Now, whether I’ll cut her loose or stab her with it is another story…)

  2. You must get the easy on and off hose thing! It makes disconnecting water a breeze and you don’t have to keep screwing the damn hose on and off your spicket in the winter to keep it from freezing. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s really cheap ($3ish for the girl and boy parts) and you should be able to find it at Lowes next to the hoses. Also buy the rubber hose- don’t go cheap with your hose- nothing worse then a leak that is constantly spraying water everywhere! Those two things have been such a lifesaver at my barn!

  3. I’ll second the “buy a good hose” part. Those things are $$$ but they last WAY longer.

    Also go with aluminium trash cans for feed bins. Rodents chew right through plastic trash cans. **eeeek**

  4. You’d be amazed how much you can pretty up a modular type barn with paint, trim, some nice fixtures and landscaping. Pinterest is your friend! Have fun once you get the practical stuff out of the way. And I totally second the good hose/quick on and off thingy!

  5. It’s so exciting to outfit a barn.
    I’m not sure if you have auto waterers, but if you don’t I have extra buckets so I can swap them out during the week. I scrub everything on the weekend and having extra cuts down on the time required during the work week.

    Other necessities include:
    – a windup reel for the hose (keeps it nice and tidy)
    – snow shovel. 🙂
    – hooks- you can never have enough hooks. ever.
    -blanket holder
    – I found this multi-bar towel rack that is perfect for saddle pads
    – mini-fridge- it can hold ice packs, medications, water and *cough* other beverages
    – small buckets
    – hay nets.

  6. Ooooh hot water in the barn!!! That’s maybe the single most amazing amenity at my new barn lol (except mayyyyybe the indoor, maybe). So excited to see your progress!

    1. I’m overjoyed about the hot water because this means I can add warm water to ponies’ food in the winter! Their food always gets wet down (because they’re old and infirm), and I always feel a little guilty that they have to eat cold mush in the winter. Also, washing Gina’s socks before taking her hunting all winter. Yes.

  7. Ahhh so exciting! YEAH HOT WATER!! In our Fanciest Shedrow Barn Ever, the things I love and appreciate are much the same as what others have mentioned, including:

    -A GOOD RUBBER HOSE. Don’t go cheap. You will regret it.
    -A bracket/other holder for said hose.
    -Hooks everywhere. You will use them.
    -Simple fold-down saddle racks in the wash stall or grooming area. Ours are just 4×4 lumber that hook onto an eye hook in the wall of the stalls and can be removed for safety when the horses are loose in there.
    -Some sort of hook/rack setup for blankets and coolers that allows them to hang free to dry. Ain’t nobody excited about moldy, stinky blankets. We bought some big wall-mount hooks from Ikea and they work great!
    -We put in a large countertop in our feed room last year and it is GREAT. Grain goes in bins or trash cans underneath it, and we have small cabinets with meds, cleaning products, other sundries on top.
    -Enough lights to do your chores by on dark mornings and evenings!
    -Heated buckets & troughs for wintertime. No one likes chopping ice with a hatchet. No one.

    1. The stalls all have blanket racks on the front of them, but I’ll probably get some fold-out things I can attach elsewhere to let them dry. That’s a good idea!

  8. (Who’s excited about hot water in the barn?!)


    A suggestion: start thinking now about farmsitters. As you set up the feed room, even though you’ll be doing the majority of it, find a place for a feeding chart, set aside a place for a binder full of instructions, and LABEL EVERYTHING. That way when you have someone else stop by you’ll already have everything ready.

    1. You and I are on the same wavelength! The barn where I board is literally right next door, so I at least have a person who is familiar with my horses and my property to watch the animals while I’m gone. I need to up my labeling game, though!

  9. Whoo! I’m so excited that you’re starting to chronicle your farmventures! Definitely get a good hose. Leaky hoses are the worst.

    I really like these weird saddle racks from Schneiders (they have a ton of handy dandy barn related items, I feel like): http://www.sstack.com/stable_racksorganizers_saddle-racks-carts-stands/easy-up-collapsible-saddle-rack/ (they also have a rubber covered version… wish they’d had that when I bought mine!)

    In my mind, I’m imaging my dream barn with hay hoops (though I will probably modify the mechanism for easier use when wearing winter gloves) in the stalls and hopefully by the time I’ve achieved said barn, I’ll have figured out a good slow feed method for outside. I’m all about efficiency (plus I am lazy) so my plans would be to have everything homed in a logical place, so I don’t have to walk all over tarnation to tack up my horse or get my feed together. I’ve had no problems with rodents using metal trash cans for feed, but I’ve also seen super slick set ups built into counters… made using old freezers or other metal boxes. Pinterest has a surprising number of cool ideas. I’m so excited to see how it turns out!

    1. Those are pretty neat saddle racks- I have the regular sort right now (like the kind that are saddle stands that just sit on the floor), but may eventually get some wall mount ones. The stands are so bulky!

  10. I love this because I’m just setting up my barn now! I totally wish I had hot water. I plan on just grabbing a thermos from inside before I go feed so I can keep the princess happy lol I’ll have to come up with a post about stuff I do

  11. I have these grain bins, and I’m really happy with them. I don’t have too much trouble with rodents other than mice generally, and they haven’t gotten in nor tried to eat through them. I don’t think they could though, it’s very sturdy plastic!

    (Sorry that’s a really long URL)
    I had a mini fridge in the barn… well I still do, but it doesn’t work. It was great though, and I really need to replace it. Not sure if you have a hook up for it, and it’s probably more of a down the road item, but I love having a washer and dryer out there. So nice not to stink up my house with dirty blankets.

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