Wallpapering My Old Farmhouse

FarmDeocrating2013-2Wallpapering an old farmhouse presents special challenges.  The plaster walls are anything but straight, level and/or smooth.  Here’s the story, when I bought this old farm, the walls and ceilings were painted a very popular colour of seafoam green in the main living area.  After I spent months AND MONTHS with a heat gun in my hand stripping paint, I decided to paper the walls.  My ceilings are ash and my wainscoting is also in ash so I only had to paper the portion between the wainscoting and ceiling.  Back in 1989, I papered these walls in a large floral and had matching seat cushions and draperies – it was very 80’s!  in an old farmhouse chic kind of look.  Back then, I had big permed hair and shoulder pads, since I no longer have the big permed hair OR the shoulder pads, I decided my farmhouse also needed an updated fresh look.

While bored in the cold nights of winter, I got on a ladder and satrted to peel the old paper off.  Because I had gone through this process once already, I peeled just one layer, the layer that I had applied in the 80’s.  Originally, I must have peeled off ten different types of wallpaper – the old stuff that was real paper, and multiple layers of paint in between the wallpaper.   I tried a lot of products from the hardware store, but the thing that worked best for me, was a spray bottle (an old windex bottle will work just fine) filled with water and a little dish detergent.  The soap helps the water saturate the paper, I used a flat spatula to scrape the paper off without damaging the plaster underneath.  Once I got the paper off, I stood back and admired my plaster repair handiwork, it still looked great!  I washed the walls down with a slight vinegar and water wash to remove any soap residue.  Another thing about these old houses, at least where I live, any tradesmen that were hired, have signed their names under the work and it’s like a piece of the past when you uncover someone’s name from the 1800’s.  I have found names and dates as far back as 1892.  I signed my name and date and proceeded to hang the new paper.

In this room, with the walls all out of square and repairs done, it was really hard to choose a paper that could work with what I have.  Let me back up a little – in the hallway, I chose a paper that is a paintable paper.  I chose the paintable paper because it hides a lot of flaws.  The hallway isn’t square and I have had to repair some plaster cracks in there also.  Plaster cracks come from the house shifting and in my old Victorian masterpiece, the cracks are part of the history of this house, so I don’t mind them.  The house is structurally sound and after 150 years I consider everything about this house “patina” and beautiful. FarmDeocrating2013-2 With the paper hung in the hallway, I then used a very stiff sponge roller and painted just the high part of the wallpaper so the background is still the white of the original paper.  It looks like the old velvet wallpapers.  My hallway is kind of dark, so the colours I used keep it light.

Now back to the living room area – I wanted a paper that had a large damask print.  I wanted it light (er) in colour – with wraparound porches and wood walls, it can get very dark in there.   I found a paper that wasn’t to far off the mark and it was sort of a foil – which I thought was a great idea – for light reflection.  Let me tell you right now, if you are planning to wallpaper an old farmhouse, or any house, in a foil wallpaper, you better have perfect walls to start.  With foil, your walls have to be straight (mine aren’t), they have to be flawless (mine aren’t), and the room had better be square (mine isn’t).  I felt a bit like Lucille Ball up there on the ladder trying every which way I could to get that paper to hang properly.  I even went to the hardware store and bought paper liner.  The employees at the hardware store didn’t even know what I was asking for – but one wallpaper manufacturer sells wallpaper liner.  I tried that and that didn’t work either.  I don’t think it would have helped if I had just gone right over the old paper because there were so many edges that were lifting.  I put the paper up, stood back and decided I can live with it for a year, but this winter when those cold nights find me bored, I’m certain that I will have my ladder out and papering that room with a paintable paper!

Sun Brewed Ice Tea

When I get tired of drinking water or drinking Sassy water, my next go to is Ice tea.  I only drink sun brewed ice tea – this recipe is very simple and faster than traditional steeped tea

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Fill your pitcher with fresh water, I use well water.  I suppose you could use bottled water.  Open about 6 tea bags and hang them into the pitcher with the tags hanging outside of the pitcher.  Drape a little plastic wrap over the top to keep flies out and let it sit in the sun for about an hour.

Serve with ice, lemon, a few raspberries or mint!  Enjoy!

Sassy Water

Even though my water source at my farm is a drilled well of 475 feet, I get bored drinking water.  My water tastes great but I get tired of the taste of water – so, (knowing that I should be drinking a gallon a day) I flavour my water.  Sometimes, I squeeze a half a lemon in the water, or lime or pomegranate juice, something to jazz it up a little.  Lately, I read an article Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 8.37.24 PMabout “Sassy Water”  named after the lady that came up with the recipe.  I got my recipe from Prevention Magazine.

In a glass jar or a BPA-free gallon jug, I place a cut up lemon (sliced), a third of a seedless cucumber (sliced), some spearmint leaves (a small handful chopped) and some chopped fresh ginger.  I fill the jug with water, (I use my well water), and let it set overnight for the flavours to blend.

Apparently the combination of the ginger, cucumber, lemon and spearmint is excellent as an aid in weight loss, a blood cleaner, a diuretic, and of course, all the benefits of drinking that gallon of water.

My New Organic Garden

My newest organic garden started with the need/desire to have a better driveway.  For the past 26+ years of living here, the driveway ended a good 50 meters from the house, so in the fall of 2012, I had the trackhoe, backhoe, dozers, and dumptrucks arrive and cut a new driveway that comes all the way to the house.  Part of this wonderful addition to the farmhouse meant that a bank at the back of the house had to be cut into.FarmGarden20135

That was no problem, it was always just grass anyway, and an old dead tree stump that had some roses around it.  I had the guys operating the excavator lift the clump of roses out and I protected them, the roses will find a new home.  The roses are small, delicate pink, English tea roses.

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I love the new driveway, it just never made any sense to me why anyone would park so far away from the door, with groceries going in and garbage coming out, especially in the rain!

But now, I have this new spectacular driveway and a fabulous new garden!  Watch as it unfolds into its’ glorious-ness!

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Of course, this has only been planted for a couple of months, but next year this garden will be a show piece!  It has been planted in a pattern.  Next year, I will have the excavator back to put in a stone staircase.

Everything was planted organically.  I will post pictures as I go along so you can keep up with the development.  If you have any questions or comments, leave them below – thanks for dropping by.

How To Make Homemade Yogourt

This is how I make my yogourt.  There are lots of articles on the internet about the qualities of yogourt, the history of yogourt, and why yogourt is so good for you.  I’m just going to jump right in and tell you how I make mine and how cheap is it to do so.

You’ll need 1 tsp honey, 6 cups milk and yogourt starter or 1/2 cup of store purchased yogourt – not the flavoured type.  You’ll need a pan, a whisk and some very clean tubs in incubate the yogourt in.

Scald the milk.

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This means heat the milk until it starts to form very small bubbles around the edge of the milk in the pot.  Milk boils over very quickly so watch it closely.  Yogourt contains live cultures, that’s why it’s so good for your digestive tract, but if you put it into the milk now the live bacteria won’t survive, so bring the milk down to just above room temperature – about 15 minutes sitting on the counter without heat.  When you can comfortable touch the outside of the pot, whisk into the warm milk, the honey and the yogourt or the yogourt starter.

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Turn your oven on to 250 degrees, when it reaches this temperature, turn it off and turn on the oven light.  The light gives enough heat to hold the oven temperature at a steady temperature for the live cultures to do what yogourt does.

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I always make my yogourt at night, in the morning you can turn off the oven light and put the yogourt into the fridge.  The fridge is a necessary part of the process.

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Homemade yogourt costs me about $1.00 compared to the $4 or $5 that it can cost at the grocery store and I’m reusing the plastic tubs!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section.  Thanks for dr

 

How To Make Maple Syrup

This is a tutorial on how to make maple syrup.  Maple syrup is from the sugar maple tree and it is found mostly through Vermont, and Maine in the U.S. and in Quebec and Ontario in Canada.  There are lots of facts and interesting details about maple syrup online, so I’m going to go straight to how I make maple syrup.

It’s a seasonal thing.  Syrup comes from the sap of the maple tree and the sap doesn’t start to run until the winter weather warms up a little.  That means that you need a few of those days where the weather goes above freezing (32 degrees in the fahrenheit or 0 in Celcius) in the daytime, but still below freezing at night.  The season usually runs somewhere between mid-February and the end of April.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get six weeks of this transition weather.  If your days run cold and rainy, the sap won’t run.

When the weather looks good, go and tap your trees.  The easiest way is to identify the trees that you are going to tap, in the fall when you can use the leaves to pick the sugar maples.  Tie a ribbon around the ones you want to tap.  Nothing under 10″ should be tapped and larger trees can have two taps.  I had a couple of trees that had three taps in, but they were so large you couldn’t wrap your arms around them!  Sunny days are best and I find that the taps on the sunny side of the tree produce more.  However, the taps must be spread out – about 12″ between each one and around the tree in a spiraling upward pattern.  And each year, you should move the tapping pattern up and around the tree – it can take the tree a year to repair the tap so don’t tap into the same hole.Farm2013MapleSyrup3

I go out and tap about a week before I think it’s really necessary.  The first sap is really wonderful, a light honey colour.  I have found that the colour depends on the temperatures outside and whether it’s raining or not.  But that only affects the colour, not the wonderful taste that is the maple syrup of Ontario.  I use a cordless drill and only drill in 2 inches, less than that you won’t be into the tree enough and more than that you will lose sap.  Use a hammer to put the tap into the tree…voila!  Hang the bucket WITH lid!  Now come back each day and empty the buckets.  You will have to check twice a day for about a week when the sap is really running.

Assembling the things you need at home:  you will need larger buckets at home to bring the sap from the trees to where you are going to boil.  Get the 5 gallons buckets from a local restaurant that will part with them or go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, I got mine at the local Home Hardware.  Note:  this worked for me for small amounts, say 5 trees that aren’t too far from the house.  I started small and grew.  Now I use a four-wheel ATV with a large poly tank on the back to collect the sap and bring it back to the house.

Now you have your sap at home and you will need to boil it down.  I have read that sap boils down 40 to 1, I don’t know if that’s the ratio or not, I DO know that it takes A LOT of sap to fill a tiny jar of syrup.  I, at this point, use a turkey fryer fueled by propane.  Yes, it’s more expensive than using wood that I find on my property, but at this point in my life, I’m way too busy to be wandering around the back 40 looking for kindling wood for the sap fire.  Maybe one day I will build a sugar shack, but not now.  I use the turkey fryer and that works for me, I can do small batches and really control what is happening.  That being said, I put the first sap through a felt filter, these are available at a local hardware store.  Once you filter out the initial debris – twigs etc. you are ready to boil.  Fill the large stainless pot and allow the syrup to come to a full boil,  It can take hours to boil down 30 gallons of sap.  This has to be done outside, if you boil inside you will create so much steam inside the house, your windows will fog and you will have a maple syrup slick to everything – walls, floors, ceiling and everything in between those surfaces!  Farm2013MapleSyrup7

So outside only, however, when the boil gets down to a certain level, I bring it in and finish it in the kitchen.  When the 30 or so gallons boils down to a couple of inches in the bottom of the big pot, say about a gallon, I bring it into the kitchen and pour it into a large saucepan.  I continue the boil, but I can’t say this enough, you have to stand right there and watch it, you can’t walk away at all, because it can boil over so quickly and sugar with that much heat can ignite into a fire!  So stand and watch!

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Continue the boil.  The oldtimers will tell you that when the syrup “threads” it’s ready….hmmm, I went and bought a hydrometer.

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It sounds fancy, but it just measures the density of the syrup.  Some people boil syrup too thick – like honey and some make it too thin – maple syrup isn’t truly maple syrup if it doesn’t strike the red line on the hydrometer.  It’s that simple.  Keep checking and boiling down until ready, then I filter mine one more time, through the cloth filter.  I don’t use the felt one again because the syrup is so thick, it gets caught in the filter and won’t drain down into your jars.  Pour the syrup, while still hot, into your VERY CLEAN AND DRY jars, turn them upside to cool.

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If your syrup turns into “maple sugar” you have boiled it too slowly, put it back over the heat and re-boil it with some sap that hasn’t yet reached it density, it will thin out!

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And that’s it!  That’s how I make my maple syrup, it’s not hard but it is time consuming.  This year, I plan on using wood and a large evaporator.  The method I have described to you here is for small batches.  I really enjoy the personal satisfaction that I get from making my own syrup, so I am going to expand.

If you have any questions, post them in the comment section below, thanks for dropping by!

Spring Gardening in Muskoka – Organic Style

It’s spring time in Muskoka and before the bugs come out, generally residents like to don their boots (of the mudding variety), gloves (of the gardening variety), and get the garden started.  We’ve been raking and prepping the gardens.  We didn’t get the old garden trimmings cleaned up in the fall so there’s lots to do.

For the lawn, because we are organic, I use pasture seed from the co-op.  I don’t fertilize other than my own composted soil.  My composted soil is manure from my horses.  Here’s the skinny on manure.  Cattle manure is best for gardens, IF you are using this years manure and it’s fresh.  Horse manure is for flower gardens and in particular, rose gardens.  My  manure ages for one year, because horse manure is acidic.  In either case, I think manure should be aged at least one year.  I use lots of worms in my gardening, if I feel that I don’t “see” enough worms in the composted soil, I buy more,  Worm castings (worm manure) is great for a garden!  I have a beautiful lawn and my gardens are wonderful also.

This past year, I increased the length of my driveway to come right up to the house.  In the past, the driveway ended about 50 yds from the door, in the event of rain or snow or a lot of groceries, it was most inconvenient to have the vehicles parked so far from the house.  I finally decided to have the driveway extended, it’s one of those things that you, in hindsight say, “Why didn’t I do that years ago?”  The way the driveway is positioned, it left a bank on the side of the driveway that has now been graded, mulched, top dressed with composted materials and planted with the most wonderful design.  Done in hostas, daylillies, peonies, cone flowers, hydrangeas, rhododendron, lillies, sweet william and a host of others, it is a beautiful sight, and while expensive, it will bloom for years to come.

Across the front of my old farmhouse, I have planted under the front windows, a semi-circle of orange day lillies and behind that a row of gigantic sunflowers.  Sunflowers are so pretty and the flower of the sunflower follows the sun through the day, my old farmhouse faces south so in the morning the sunflowers face east as the sun rises and move throughout the day to face west when the sun sets.

I have done organic vegetable gardens on my farm in the past, both commercial and just for personal use.  This year, however, I have opted to enjoy my flowers this summer and utilize my local farmers market for produce.   If you want to know about organic vegetable gardening in Muskoka, leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

 

 

 

Why don’t farmers blog?  Because they just don’t have the time!

Heating An Old Farmhouse

Heating this old farmhouse was a gigantic undertaking, because all the heat you could generate went right out the doors and windows that weren’t properly sealed.

It was an old farmhouse with the double hung windows, the type with the weights in the walls.  There wasn’t a door in the house that closed properly (and stayed closed) that included the exterior doors.  The first couple of winters, I went through anywhere between 22 and 25 face cords of wood (a face cord is 4′ x 4′ x 8′) and usually 4 or 5 tanks of furnace oil.  Over time, the insulation has been installed in the attic. Speaking of the attic, I had a bat infestation that was rivaled by none.  One night, I sat at one side of the house and counted over 750 bats leaving through one crack opening between the side of the house and the soffit and facia.  A bat super highway!  It was a huge undertaking that took years, but finally the bats were convinced to leave.  I don’t know where they all moved to.

Some of the windows have been replaced to the newer Low E vinyl windows but I kept the look intact using double hung and didn’t change the dimensions at all.  Speaking of the windows, every window in the house was losing its’ sill, so every sill was converted to granite – it’s a beautiful look and far more functional than the wood.

The problem with the exterior doors was handled a little differently.  I didn’t want to get rid of the old doors.  The old front door is the original door to the house and has two, albeit non-functional, locks under the doorknob, and the door has a lot of carving and character.  To either  side of the front door are small glass panels and I jusy couldn’t bear to replace them.   The two rooms on each side of the front entry have parlour french doors that I just couldn’t bear to replace with something modern – these doors used to open to the outside, I can’t even imagine how cold that must have been.  These are little single pane glass french doors and the wood is thin in the floating panel.  I should mention that someone also ripped off the old wrap-around porch to this home and built a, I don’t really know what to call it, sun room is to nice……a Florida room is definitely to fancy…..it was a room that was 8′ x 20′ with 7′ ceilings that was not insulated and when you jumped up and down, the room shook up and down with you.  It had uninsulated glass on three sides and an old parlour wood stove for heat.  So, instead of replacing the front doors, I took this ugly front addition off of the house and added, instead a beautiful addition that is 16′ x 40′ and 16′ ceilings.  This room provided extra living space, but also protected the integrity of the old doors to the house.

So now with some of the insulation problems addressed, I could update the heating system.

The heating system consisted of an oil burning furnace that was on it’s last legs.  I wasn’t quite prepared to buy a new system yet.  In the interim, I installed a wood burning insert in the kitchen.  I would get up at 5am and get the fire started, it was so cold in the house, I could see my breath on most winter mornings.  I would go back to bed until the kitchen warmed up enough to be tolerable.  That little wood insert just kept burning wood as fast as it could all winter and it worked…sort of.  Eventually, the old oil furnace was replaced with the new efficient wood/oil combination furnace.  Now I go through about 12 – 15 cords of wood and almost NO oil.  I buy my wood and my wood guy delivers wood that’s more than a year old, seasoned wood, and it’s a nice mixed combination of maple, oak, and cherry.  There’s a lot of work involved in burning wood, but a wood heat is just so much nicer than oil or electric.  At least, to me.

Renovating An Old Farmhouse

When I bought this farmhouse back in the 80’s, I’m not sure what I was thinking!  When I look back, I must have bumped my head!  First, it was abandoned – it had sat empty for over 18 months.  Secondly, it had experienced zero upkeep in years.

The driveway was a little better than a washed out gravel road and over a half mile long.  Along the driveway, almost to the house,  was a cute little bridge, but half the boards were missing – enough that I was scared to drive over it!  But I got out and walked up to the house, through chest high grass on the front lawn.

There were no locks on the doors.  The windows were the old double-hung, single pane with the old fashioned storm windows that were installed in the fall for the winter months, and removed every spring, if one was brave enough to climb a ladder and do that job.  These storm windows didn’t offer much insulation but that didn’t really matter because the doors didn’t really seal properly either!  In fact the old aluminium storm door was “latched” with a piece of baler twine.  There was a35 amp service for this 5 bedroom house, there were only outlets on the main floor – one in each room and nothing allocated for electric use upstairs.

The plumbing didn’t work – in fact, under the kitchen sink, there was a bucket, so that when you pulled the plug from washing the dishes (what dishwasher?), the water drained into this bucket that had to be carried outside.  Someone along the way converted the pantry into a bathroom, but it was a disaster that didn’t work.

The kitchen consisted of cupboards (lower only) along one wall, with the sink in the middle.

The heating system consisted of an old oil burning furnace that was on its’ last legs.

I don’t know what I was thinking!  From first laying eyes on this property, I moved in 10 days later!

The first issue was plumbing, but money was an issue first so I only renovated and repaired what I had to work with.  Under the kitchen sink, I installed new plumbing, the bucket wasn’t something I could live with for very long – too much like camping for me!  That was the kitchen complete, with it’s seafoam green walls.  I spent a few years on a ladder with a heat gun in my hand stripping paint.  I think I counted eleven coats, one of which was Chinese Red, in the kitchen.  I finally got all the old paint off and realized that the kitchen was a beautiful room that deserved to have a better set up.  I redesigned the kitchen that year, I had upper and lower cabinets installed and the kitchen cabinets were done with stained glass scenes instead of the floating panels  I decided to rip out the 70’s era vinyl floors and went with cherry floors because the floors under the vinyl were not saveable.   I installed a dishwasher!  I designed the whole kitchen around the sink, the sink was the original sink to the house, as far as I know.  It is a double sink with an attached built-in drainboard on each side of the sink.

Then the bathroom, the toilet flushed so I built up from there – a new tub and a new sink. Voila!  Over the years, I have done a lot of work and I have had a lot of work done and the bathrooms are more spa like than the bathroom was back then.  I have also taken one of the bedrooms, who needs five bedrooms anyway, and converted that to a lovely spa like bathroom with a slipper soaker tub.

I have stripped away more paint than I want to think about and I have tried all the methods of doing so.  I’m going to go with the heat gun for my job.  For very intricate work, you may want to try a chemical solution and toothbrush, but for large flat surfaces, the heat gun works best.

The walls in this house are lathe and plaster and there were a lot of cracks in the plaster.  I got an old guy from Europe that did lathe and plaster “in the old country” and he did the work and showed me how to stay on top of new cracks.  If you want to know how – leave a comment below!  I’ll be glad to share the process.  I did find hair in the wall one night and it spooked me, but I guess it was common place to use horse hair as a binder.

When I first moved into the farmhouse, the floors were not level.  And this is the case for most old homes, I used jack posts over a few years and slowly put the house back to level.  Go too fast and you’ll crack beams and windows.  Every so often, I get the level back out and adjust the jack posts a little to keep the level.

I was very fortunate that the bones of my old farmhouse were in very good shape for the age of the house and most of my repairs and renovations were superficial.   If you are thinking about renovating one of these old farmhouse charmers, get an expert opinion before you start.  Don’t back away from the deal – just know what you are doing going in.  I love my old farmhouse and I might have bumped my head the first day I saw it, but I’m glad I went through with buying an old run down farmhouse!

The Ten Best Things to Include When Building a Horse Barn

Here are the Ten Best Things to Include When Building a Horse Barn.  I’m not an expert, I think you should always be learning – everything, but here’s my take on what I did with my horse barn.  At one time, I bred Quarter Horses on this farm and had upward of 35 beautifully bred foundation horses.  I currently have four horses and for now, that’s enough. The barn was originally built just for horses as a summer barn, I used to take my horses to a warmer climate for the winters, more one that later.

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1)  Stalls should be 10′ x 10′  My barn could hold six horses in large 10′ x 10′ stalls or if I convert them to standing stalls, I can hold 12 horses.  To convert to standiing stalls, create a wall that cuts each stall in half with the last four feet of wall left open.  So the wall is 6′ long and goes up high enough that the horses can visually visit each other.  Obviously, in a standing stall the horses halter is still tied to the front wall.   That is where their hay and water is available.  Right now I have one stall vacant that I leave that way in case someone has an emergency and calls for help and one stall I use for storage of shavings and tools.

2)  Build your barn with the seasonal breezes in mind.  So, the barn was built with the summer breeze in mind – it’s on a knoll with the large doors on each end facing east and west.  This way, when the barn doors are open on the east side, the horses get the sunrise and any eastern breeze,  west side, they get westerly breezes and sunset.

3)  Remember your tack room.  It’s a beautiful barn with a small tack room, just enough for the barn.  Pavers as the flooring material.  Insulated, with a proper exterior door and window.  Your tack room should be mouse proof as best you can – mice will eat saddle pads and nibble on leather too.

4)  Keep your grain room separate from the tack area – again, because mice and leather are never a good mix.  Grain should be stored in mouse proof containers.  A lot of people from my area store their grain in an old freezer.  Non-operational.  I keep my grain in garbage bins, just because the lid is a bit of a deterrent.  I just have never gotten used to an old freezer in the barn.

5)  Water – I don’t have automatic waterers in my barn.  I don’t like them.  They are hard to clean, you can’t monitor how much a horse is or isn’t drinking.  I had a horse, my favourite horse, die of kidney failure while he was boarding at a barn that had automatic waterers, it seems that the water was so hot that he couldn’t drink it – I had no way of knowing that.  That barn was in Las Vegas and the water supply pipes ran along the roof to each stall.  So I fill my horses buckets the old fashioned way with a hose to a bucket.  I have a well that supplies the water to the barn in insulated and pressurized tanks and that is inside an insulated area of the grain room.  When the horses need washed for a show, we simply pull the hose outside and bathe them.

6)  The hallway is 10′ wide, which is a little wider than cross-tie length but this barn serves as winter storage for boats and vehicles, when the horses are away for the winter.   The floor of the hallway is pavers.

7)  The stall floors are sand all the way down, so the horses never have to stand on concrete.

8)  Wash Racks are outside on the east and west side of the barn.

9)  Dutch Doors – Just like on the old television show, “Mr. Ed” (the talking horse).  This is probably the thing I like best about my barn is each stall has a dutch door that opens into a small pasture.  I can control one horse into the small pasture at a time, or if the weather is nasty, the horses can stay inside and just look out over the pasture from the top of the door being left open.  It also provides an emergency exit, if necessary.

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10)  I intentionally left the “ceiling” off of each stall.  Obviously the barn has a ceiling, but each stall is open for the summer months to allow breeze in through each stall.  In winter, we pull planks over the stall to keep it cozier (and warmer).

I know I’ve reached my 10 Best Things to building a Horse Barn but, here’s one more thing that I love about my barn.  I use panels on the outside of my barn to create small turnouts.  If I have a mare and foal, they have access to a small turnout for the first few days, so that they can bond and the mare doesn’t have to be anxious about other horses around her foal.  I use six panels attached to the barn with the dutch door as the access to this turnout.

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I hope this information has been helpful.  Leave your comments or questions below.