Is Your Barn Bumming You Out?

If you find yourself not wanting to spend very much time in your barn it could be for some very valid reasons.

“We’ve all walked into barns that we instantly want to be in and others that we can’t wait to leave,” says Laurie Cerny, editor of  “Several years ago I went to look at some horses bred by a friend whom I had shown with for years.  Despite having very nice horses, his barn felt more like a haunted house.  It was dark even with the lights on, it had very low ceilings, few windows, and was filled with heavy, dust laden cobwebs.”

Things like poor lighting and ventilation, and lack of cleanliness and organization are among the things Cerny cites as reasons your barn could be bumming you out.  Another is lack of function.

“If you’re constantly struggling to open and close doors, windows, and gates, or even worse:  if they don’t open or close at all, it’s going to be a pain to do chores and to care for and work your horses,” Cerny says.

Fixing these things might require a decent amount of time and expense but once fixed will make your barn function better and will help create a more positive environment.

On the other hand, cleanliness and organization are pretty easy fixes.  “I really don’t like to clean, but I always feel better when the barn aisle is swept and everything is put away in our tack/feed room,” Cerny says.

Keeping cobwebs swept down is also key in creating a feeling of cleanliness.  “I keep a couple of old brooms and brushes on hand that are dedicated for cobweb sweeping.  I sweep when the horses are out of the barn and I also remove things like water pails and feed pans so that the cobwebs and dust don’t fall in them,” Cerny.

Having dedicated areas for barn tools like pitch forks, shovels, and brooms as well as for your halters and leads, grooming supplies, and feed is key to organization.  “I also like to have a dedicated place to: park the wheelbarrow, cut hay bales that we are feeding and for the cut baler twine, and to store our bedding,” Cerny said.

Improving lighting and ventilation isn’t always that easy.  Obviously having working light bulbs and increasing the wattage is a no brainer.  Even better is to increase natural lighting – either by putting in more windows or a door.  Doing so will also improve your barn’s ventilation, Cerny said.

For more ways to make your barn more inhabitable read our “Five Reasons Your Barn May Be Bumming You Out” at is devoted to the practical and affordable care of horses. Find more articles and resources on horse care, as well as product reviews, at the website.

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