Nesting care of my horses

It may not be apparent by the conditon of the house, but I have a nesting instinct. I like things a certain way around me. My organization, storage and sorting stuff gets a “I don’t get it, but you are adorable” smile from hubby. Sometimes this desire spins widely out of control so I am still learning how to control it.

I like the new place, but as always I need to sort things out the way I like them within the parameters of what the barn owner finds acceptable too. These last few weeks I’ve been contemplating the run in shed area. Originally, the horses were using the empty hay barn for shelter, but the entire location is very muddy. There is a run-in, loafing shed on one side that I thought would work out better. Mostly because the area was smaller and thus easier to change as well as more affordable to do what I wanted.

The BO scraped it out for me and it already looks tons better as the mud and manure that had accumulated over time is now gone. We’ve had two rains since and I’ve had time to check it over and make sure it will be staying dry. The rain comes down across the front (off the roof) which will be graveled this weekend.

If the weather stays clear, the first load of large to small gravel mix (3 tons of “crusher run” sometimes called driveway gravel, 3″ and 1.5″) will be coming Saturday morning. Hubby and I have already put in four large Railroad ties across the side and front to help hold in the gravel. Because the BO can use a farm dumptruck this is actually not going to be too bad in terms of expense – about $65 (note to self, make sure you get a dumptruck when you buy a farm….)

On top of the crusher run will be a dressing of screenings (about 1 ton), which I’m also going to spread under the gate entries (another muddy area). Finally, I’ll lay a set of stall mats (which remain my property) in the loafing shed to make it comfy for the horses.

Gravel should insure that the drainage remains good despite the days of torrential rain we get in the spring and fall. With the stall mats, I can bank them with shavings if I want, esp. if I’m going to keep a horse up in the stall I’ll be making.

The loafing shed is 12′ deep and 32′ long. A short section at one end is marked out by fence panels and I’ll be using this area to store some hay, pine shavings in bags, and my muck out tools. I’ll divide the remaining 12×24 into 2 areas, with a divider in between so I can convert to stalls if need be. This will also allow the horses to be fed seperately in bad weather or during the winter. 

I learned from Big Guy’s pelvic fracture that loafing sheds are all well and good, but a stall, where a horse can be contained has to be available. You just never know when you are going to need it.

It’s odd – I’m not overjoyed about spending the money or doing the work. After all, at the last place everything was already done. OTOH, I can make this my own and do it the way I want for the way I work and play with my horses. As long as I can keep the cost down, the barn rent is low enough I can justifiy it. The biggest thing though is to keep my grandiose ideas reined in.

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