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One of my favorite amenities of our property is the fact that we have a barn I HAVE A BARN! It is everything my little girl self always wished she’d have (see? Dreams do come true!). But, as thrilling as it is to have, it wasn’t built to my specifications…I’m still grateful that it’s a sturdy pole barn that can keep all sorts of animals warm and comfortable, there are some things that I still don’t love about the building. What can I say? I’ve worked in and visited a lot of barns and I know what I like.

Claire loves her power tools!

The exterior is in dire need of having tin put on the outside (someday!), I wish there were some way to install automatic waterers (again, someday!) and there are six stalls inside, but only one of them is comfortably large enough for the horses. I mean, they can stand and turn around, eat, and do their business, but if they’re in one of the smaller stalls, they can’t lay down, which makes for some pretty crabby horses when they don’t get their deep sleep.

Power tools are a great equalizer.
The nice thing about any building is that there are ways to change it to personalize it. We already converted one of the stalls into a luxury chicken coop and the chickens love it. So, when we were going to have a week of cold, rainy weather where I’d rather the horses stay inside out of the muck and mud, I decided to get a start on combining two of the adjoining stalls into one more mega stall for the horses. The job wasn’t particularly challenging–it was a matter of taking down the wood between and moving it to the other side–but with only one set of hands, it would have been infinitely harder to do.
Zoey supervised.
I’m pretty sure the kids have some special superpower when it comes to listening for power tools because the second I start drilling, they’re there, asking if they can help. Luckily, they’ve had enough experience that when they do run the drill, they’re actually helpful. In a project I figured would’ve taken me the whole morning, with Claire and Kate’s help, we were able to get it done within an hour and a half.
It’s always nice to check something off the list, but even better when I get some help accomplishing it. Now, we have five stalls, but two that the horses can practically gallop in, so it’s worth having fewer.
Dancer (well…maybe not so much her because she’s on a diet in that stall…) and I are glad for the change of barn configuration and making it a little more our own. Next, automatic waterers and tin!

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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