More barn changes: Dutch door on the north side

One of the winterizing changes we’ve made to the barn is to the north door. The original door so heavy that one person couldn’t open it! The timbers were of rough sawn, oak and because it also hung crooked with a wimpy hinging system it just added to the issues of trying to open it.

I debated about investing in a sliding door track mechanism on the outside of the barn (and if we owned the barn would have gone with this route) but after pricing out the track decided that it was too much money for a rental. Instead we invested about $40 in new hardware and, using the original wood, husband cut it down to make it a Dutch door.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture, but here is the after. You can see that it still hangs crooked (no way around it without a major overhaul of the entire door frame).

The benefit of the Dutch door system is that I can close the top and let the ponies inside. Using some of the wire panels scavenged from the stalls I made a wall (on the left) and we put a gate panel across the front. This gives the ponies the choice of a stall in the aisle (where Pandora is in the photo below) or to access Stall #4 (at right, which at this point they seem uninterested in).


We’ll put in a stall door for #4 when it gets warmer – it’s a moot point for now. Stall #4 has no outside access unless it is through the Dutch door and it’s unlikely I’ll use it as an enclosed stall. However, being a rental, I want to keep the barn to the function it was designed by the owner – which was four, 10×10 stalls on the east side of the building.

The stall partition between Stall #3 and #4 needs to be raised with more wood so once I get a hold of a sawmill to get some rough cut boards I’ll do that too as I want all stall partitions to be the same height. These replace the wire hog panels the owner had placed there and which I thought were just plain ugly.

You might remember we started with dark stalls with heavy metal barred doors and stall fronts with hog-wire panels. By removing the wire panels, adding another door exit (Stall #3) and putting in new stall fronts we got here:


Now with the higher partitions made of wood salvaged from the barn pile we are here:

I went ahead and splurged on pine shavings for bedding because with the freezing, snow and then melt, all the horses are standing outdoors at the east side barn wall in muck. At least with some clean bedding they can come in from the muck and stand in dry bedding. As you can see from Pandora, she took the opportunity to roll as soon as the shavings were spread.

As finances allow, the next step for me is to get stall mats in. When I get to that point I’ll take some interior shots for you to see the stall setup.

The only thing I am unsure about is actually putting in Dutch doors on the east side. So far the weather hasn’t blown in there at all and I personally prefer the horses having the choice to come and go as THEY please. If I put in the drainage and railroad ties on the east side I doubt that the weather will present a problem at all even without the doors.

Oh you can also see where we installed Christmas lights up in the rafters (Pandora’s pic). They are too high for the horses to reach but provides some ambient lighting that allows me to check out the barn without turning on the fluorescent lights. Fluorescent light fixtures are at a height that I can’t reach to change them with a ladder! So half of them are burned out and I am not going to go buy a bigger ladder to put in tube lights that provide rather crappy light to begin with. Hence the Christmas lights 🙂

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