If there is anything the Covid19 crisis has taught us all it is to have a Plan B.
Horse owners never expected suddenly to find themselves cut off from access to their horses that were in livery. Commercial barn owners did not expect to be left holding the muck fork and dealing with frustrated clients. In some states folks were not affected, but for others, such as those in the North-East, the time away from being allowed to see/ride their horses was over 80 days depending on their particular situation.
As the pause and quarantine restrictions abate, it is the perfect time to come up with a Plan B. Many scientists and political pundits expect a 2nd/3rd wave of infections and hospitalizations as the virus ‘ washes through’ the U.S. population. It is not unreasonable to expect that another quarantine could be necessary. If not for this pandemic, there is always the chance of another in the future.
What’s a horse owner to do? Plan B could be to have the availability to bring their horse(s) home for a limited time should a shutdown occur. Many Europeans, in particular the Brits, are very good at keeping horses in the backyard on relatively small acreage.
Of course the factors to consider such as problematic permits, complaints of neighs and noise and horsey smells from neighbors in close proximity, quality of land such as open and suitable for pasture versus a wooded lot, are all to be considered.
An ‘instant’ horse barn can be delivered and set up in a matter of days and provides the ideal solution for horse owners who don’t want the noise, mess, and hassle, of an onsite build but would like to have the ability to ‘shelter their horses in place’. Their place!
The general rule for acreage allowance per horse is one acre. Some towns will have different rules requiring an acre per horse for the first 3 and then different requirements for larger herds. Other authorities simply don’t care how many horses you put where. Some will want to know how you plan to dispose of manure, require special permits and insurance and not allow any horse at all within town limits or on properties of less than 5 acres. The variance in regulations by region is huge so it is important to do your due diligence and check with local authorities before purchasing a horse structure.
If you are unlucky enough to live in a town that will not allow a fixed permanent structure, consider a prefabricated run-in shed or shedrow barn with built in tow hooks. A tractor and some chains allows you to move it thus classifying it as a ‘temporary’ structure.
Don’t forget to allow room in your budget for other cost considerations. Here’s a good resource to check those out. Also, be sure to look into financing options that may be available through the modular barn builder to help out with the capital outlay. Finally, review what items are in stock on their website as often these are discounted and have the added benefit of a much shorter lead time.
Having your horse at home not only provides a significant emotional benefit during stressful times, it also provides much needed structure to your day and outdoor activity to help keep anxiety and stress levels minimized. While many horse barns were restricted from being allowed to ride and school horses from the saddle, horse owners with their equines at home were not always included in that directive.
Bringing your horse(s) home sweet home, doesn’t mean you can’t go back to boarding it later to enjoy the many benefits of being part of a larger equestrian barn family. Facilities such as indoor and outdoor riding arenas, jumps and large fields and trail access, training help from a professional who won’t come to you, and the enjoyable social aspects are all great reasons to keep your horse at livery.
Whatever the future holds in these uncertain times, building a better brighter future can be a silver lining in this crisis. Home is sometimes not just where the heart is, it can be where the horse is too.
KINDLY NOTE: This article is available for use in its entirety without edit, in any media format, on condition that credit, in any media format, on condition that credit is given to Horizon Structures Inc., and author Nikki Alvin-Smith as a byline at the beginning of the article publication and Horizon Structures URL address and Nikki Alvin-Smith URL is included. Horizon would appreciate notification of any publication. Kindly contact Horizon Structures for photos to accompany the article.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Horizon Structures Inc., Atglen PA – Modular horse barn specialists. Horizon Structures also offers both residential and commercial kennels, coops, multi-use structures and playsets. Please visit https://www.HorizonStructures.com to learn more.
About Horizon Structures: One horse or twenty, there's one thing all horse owners have in common...the need to provide safe and secure shelter for their equine partners. At Horizon Structures, we combine expert craftsmanship, top-of-the-line materials and smart "horse-friendly" design to create a full line of sheds and barns that any horse owner can feel confident is the right choice for their horses' stabling needs.
All wood. Amish Made. Most of our buildings are shipped 100% pre-built and ready for same-day use. Larger barns are a modular construction and can be ready for your horses in less than a week. All our barn packages include everything you need -
Horizon Structures also sells indoor riding arenas, chicken coops, dog kennels, 1 and 2 car garages, storage sheds and outdoor living structures.
Headquartered in South-Central Pennsylvania, Horizon Structures, LLC is owned by Dave Zook. Dave was raised in the Amish tradition and grew up working in the family-owned shed business. He started Horizon Structures in 2001 in response to an ever-increasing customer demand for high quality, affordable horse barns.
For additional information about the company or their product line, please visit their website at https://www.horizonstructures.com
Horizon Structures LLC, Atglen, PA
Photos are available on request.
About Nikki Alvin-Smith: International published writer and creative content producer. Ghostwriting, blog services, PR/Marketing specialist. Nikki also produces catalog and website copy, white papers, e-books, corporate brochures, advertising copy, photography, videography for a wide range of businesses.
As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 35 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international level and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Iberian breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run Willowview Hill Farm, a private dressage training operation in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. Please visit https://nikkialvinsmithstudio.com/ to learn more about her affordable services.