Anyone with a pet can tell you, they become like our children. They have personalities and idiosyncrasies. Maybe unlike our children, they love us unconditionally and they weigh in at 2000 pounds.
If there is any doubt how much we love our pets, just look at the money we spend on them each year to make sure they are eating well, have the newest toys, and are comfortable. The American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) annual report on pet spending shows that Americans spent a record-breaking $72.56 billion in 2018.
So how comfortable is your equine these days? Have you been thinking about new accommodations? We have some tips that will help in making sure you end up with the right equestrian facility for your needs.
How do you know what is right for you when barns come in all shapes and sizes—large, small, simple, ornate. Working with a custom builder who has experience with custom equestrian facilities is the right start. Because organizing your thoughts is paramount, we’ve put together some things to consider when planning an equestrian facility.
A Few Things to consider
Begin with a checklist. Define what type of facility you want to construct. Is it for personal use only; will you host events; is there a need for groom’s quarters; what about viewing stations or covered and uncovered riding arenas? Would a landing for dumping manure be convenient? Is a horse wash bay essential? Think about your non-negotiables—the things you absolutely must have in your facility–then expand your list to include luxury items that would make any horse giddy.
Where will your facility be built? Will it be adjacent to your home or on a separate piece of property? Would you prefer it coordinate with an existing structure, such as your residence? Will it be for private use or part of a larger public event? It is important to have adequate space for not only the facility, but also equipment, parking, and covered or uncovered riding arenas, should that be important.
Set a realistic budget. Because material costs can vary, determine what has high priority and budget accordingly. If you are finding it hard to include much more than your non-negotiables, can the structure be completed in stages?
Make an appointment with a reputable builder who has experience with equestrian facilities. A skillful contractor can create plans and elevations appropriate for your site and can work with you to create a functional and beautiful facility that fits your space and budget.
A qualified contractor has experience and will encourage references. Smooth execution requires a partnership between you and your contractor. While a well-organized contractor will produce clear and concise specifications for your project, your job is to make decisions in a timely manner. If your facility is part of an overall scope of work, a seasoned contractor will coordinate all work to make sure it is completed in an efficient manner.