Well, the experiment of building the barn backwards didn’t work. I always knew the stalls should open up into the corral or pasture, but I thought we could make it work having the stalls open up into the barn center and through that into the corral.
The barn center had a closed off hay room on one side, and to get to the hay when feeding time arrived, one had to negotiate between three large animals; hungry and letting you know about it.
1,200 pound animals up in your grill as you struggle to get yourself and your armfuls of hay out of the hay room, shut the sliding hay room door so none of them help themselves to the contents of the room, and get past them as they each tear away at your scratchy bundle, often dumping the disheveled mess on the ground before you can get to an appropriate place with the shedding flakes, is not a feat for the faint of heart. Even worse when the horses decide to have it out amongst themselves and you jump back into the hay room to escape the kicks and nips that follow intense squeals as the horses vie for position in the food line.
So finally I faced the fact that a backwards barn just wouldn’t do. Funny how a person (me) can try to reinvent the wheel (meaning barn plan) when it has already been done to such perfection for hundreds of years, only to realize their (my) folly and have to fix it.
After facing the hard facts, I called in some help. My niece Rachel was available and I was so glad. She is a hard and resourceful worker and I knew I could get a lot done with her help. With the next three days appearing to be good weather in the forecast, we got busy flipping the horse stalls with the rest of the barn!
After one day we are well on our way to accomplishing the gutting and rearranging of the inner essentials of a working barn. We now have a door that opens to a barn area where we can store hay and tack as well as have some room to bring the horses through the breezeway. Tomorrow we will create new stalls where the old hay room and breezeway was. The stalls will have gates into the rest of the barn area, and doors out to the corral. This is going to make feeding the horses a breeze. Timid souls can feed the lovely beasts without worry of harm or injury. All will be well in the barnyard.