Onward to the inside.
Once we got the barn structure itself up, we were able to immediately use it to provide shelter for our livestock (this also had to include the completion of the paddock). The animals have been using the entire interior - sort of a free-for-all.
While this has been suitable for temporary purposes, it doesn't get us exactly to where we want to be. With farming, there comes a lot (A LOT) of equipment - when you add horses into the mix there is even more to store and have handy. All of this needs a place to go.
The interior must have a functional layout - this also stops Penny from greeting you at the door, nose first (umm, hi), when you go to the barn for feedings.
After numerous designs (we created, settled on, then trashed at least 5 different plans for the interior) we settled on the following:
Enter the barn into the tack room which will also double as a feed and grain space to store all horse related equipment (saddles, pads, helmets, reins, etc.), halters, leads, and barrels of grain feed. We'll also keep medical supplies, treats, and fencing equipment here, too.
There will be a sliding barn door into an isle of the barn that will open up to modular stalls that can be appropriately sized depending on the animal in need.
We spent a lot of time reviewing and considering to come up with the most efficient use of the space (it isn't huge, so we have to use every inch wisely), that would creatively serve the most variety and number of animals. All of this makes our lives a lot easier, too, with the right equipment, and ability to put stuff away and be more organized. It will certainly make our jobs simpler and more enjoyable.
Before the walls go up, we had to layout a stone-dust floor in the barn. Stone-dust packs down hard - like cement, but softer. We couldn't afford to lay a concrete pad at the time, so this is the next best thing for us. In the future, we'll probably invest in the more solid floor, but this will do for a long while.
Next, we had to trench and bury utility lines. This had to be done before the weather got much colder, and the ground froze. It also allows us to install lighting immediately once the walls are put up inside.
We began the interior design by framing the tack room, and a stall wall. These are now being lined with pine shiplap and will be stained. We ordered classic gooseneck lights in red, to match the barn, for the interior isle, and will have some nice track lighting inside the tack room.
We've spent so much time building this year and it at times is easy to lose sight of the dream - what makes us keep pushing forward - because we get so tired and buried in the nitty gritty of it all. But, when we take a step back and see this is where we are finally at in the process, dang we made some progress! It feels so good to be coming out on top of this project with our finished product nearly done and more beautiful than we could imagine. We still can't believe we've been able to have the opportunity to make this vision come to life.
Watch out on our Facebook Page, Dirigo Ranch, to see shiplap updates and watch the tack room come together!