Unless you're anything like ME in which case you're a hardcore tack junkie and have a few decades (since childhood) of collecting up any piece of gear that is horse related!
|Buckets and trunks and bottles!|
|We had to pull her out of the barn with a tractor. This is what you'd call "Barn Fresh" if you're into Parts Chasing. The first car I owned came to me in similar condition but that's a whole other book.|
For a few years I've made do with a corner of the barn which I partitioned off with a couple sheets of pegboard. It did the job okay, but the lack of proper walls meant less wall space for storage. What with the south wall actually being a set of barn doors (nice gaps between the planks for ventilation right?) it gets pretty cold in there in the winter.
|Here you can see in through the open barn doors.|
|A little closer up, you can see through the doorway of the tack room into the open shed. I tie the horses there to saddle them up before a ride.|
Also, it was crowded once I got myself and a student and a parent all trying to get out of each other's way so we can hang a cinch or saddle pad.
|I solved that floor problem by shoving the big saddle rack over it. But then it made a tight fit in the room.|
|Larry doesn't care where I put the saddle racks as long as he has a nice place to snooze.|
A few weeks ago we decided to build a new room. We don't know how long we'll be staying here, but in the short term it'll be a nicer place to work over winter, since I'll likely be doing more indoor unmounted lessons when the weather isn't pleasant. Also in the long term, any improvement done to the barn benefits my dad, so it's all good.
An old barn is wonderful because of those huge beams and the stone foundation. It has a vibe best described with words I often cringe at, words like, rustic and quaint. I like to use the word honest. It's an honest barn. It has no pretensions.
But this isn't going to be beautifully finished construction. Part of that is our low-budget (um, NO-budget) plan, but also, I just don't see the point in building a room that looks newer and more expensive than the rest of the barn? I mean, who are we trying to fool? It will have walls made of re-used plywood and the whitewashed ancient wooden ceiling will be visible.
|We're putting in a window - natural light!!!|
I do have fantasies of a tack room with tongue and groove panelling, in-floor heating, a hot water heater, a sink with a tap! But that's not within my means. There are some barns with such nice tack rooms, you could darn near live in it, but this gets into Equestrian Centre Training Facility Stable territory and that's not me.
For the next month or so, I'll be putting my brain to work on how I will set it all up, and is that ever fun. I get to stand there in the barn, running my eyes over all my lead ropes and cinches and bridles, grooming boxes and saddle soap, feed bins and trunks full of kid-sized cowboy boots, visualizing the result: a nice tidy no-nonsense room to store all my horse equipment and teach a few unmounted lessons on days when it's too nasty outside to get on a horse and ride.
|I'm glad I kept all the boots my kids grew out of. They've come in handy since then, when a new rider doesn't have safe boots to wear.|
|This is how it looks as of this writing. That beam at the top of the pic will probably be the exterior wall; we might expand the open shed into the space I was standing to take the picture.|