In the life of the majority of horse owners designing a barn from scratch is not very commonplace. But if it comes along in your equestrian lifetime it is an exciting opportunity. It’s also a bit daunting, there are lots of factors to consider for a space that is pretty much your second home and your horses only home. Here are the main points I considered to be the most important to meet our needs as backyard horse owners when starting to plan for our barn build.
- Needs and daily use – We needed space for 4 stalls minimum, plus feed/tack room plus easy access to pasture for daily turnout. Also we only planned on using the space for our own animals, not boarding or running a business
- Space for hay and other equipment storage – this was the only outbuilding on our property so it needed to be multipurpose
- Location on property – close to our home and utilities
- Outdoor roof overhang for pasture shelter
- Every stall having a dutch door that opens to pasture
- End sliding doors wide enough for truck access to haul in hay
Here’s a rough outline of the barn setup. We chose a metal pole barn with a gable style roof.
And thats when we realized how much we underestimated how level the ground we were building on was ….. geez. rookies.
So here’s the story from A to Z, to avoid this mess you gotta listen carefully. Spice Girls anyone…girls from the 90’s?…no…ok.
In hindsight level the ground first, add fill dirt if necessary, or adjust the location of the build. At this point for us however we were looking at paying unplanned big money for a lotta dirt. However, somehow by the grace of God smiling down upon our foolish selves we found a contact through a friend, of a local excavator digging a pond and in need of somewhere nearby to dump literal tons of dirt.
If you are in need of fill dirt, at this site http://dirtfill.com/ you can post a fill dirt wanted ad into their database where excavating companies near you and others who need to get rid of dirt come to look for places to dump fill for free. Otherwise you may be looking at buying dirt, and dirt actually ain’t cheap.