The Horse Stall

Random Things

I just can’t think of a better title for this post. That wouldn’t be because it is the best title – it’s just that I am too exhausted to come up with anything better on this balmy Sunday night.

Here is what we started with. Not so lovely.

We went to work putting together our stall kit right on schedule Saturday morning. Sort of. We still had to do our regular morning chores and we also had to move the old corral pen and stall mats. (I hate stall mats now, by the way.) Aaaand we had to actually carry the frames into the barn – which was enough work for a day.

Having the frame in place was enough motivation to keep going.

The next step was carrying and installing somewhere between two hundred and five thousand heavy 2×6 boards. (It was probably closer to two hundred, but I lost count early on.) We bought the wood kits to go along with the stall panels to make things easier on ourselves. That was a great plan. The great plan was foiled by the fact that the plastic-wrapped bundles of tongue and groove planks were trapped in a thunderstorm the night before and were, as a result, quite damp. In case you don’t know this, damp is very bad for tongue and groove installation.

Only a few million more boards to go.

All in all, the process went pretty smoothly and we are perfectly happy with our Tarter Sentinel Stall Kit. The finished product is robust and looks fantastic.

It’s a serious upgrade.

As a side note, I learned this Saturday that if you really, really hate someone you should assign them the task of trimming rubber stall mats with a dull utility knife. We are talking fifth level of hell kind of torture here.

It’s so clean.

If we were literally made of money, we would definitely buy a few more of these – and even endure the back-breaking labor of putting them together – just to have them for… Well, because they just look really nice. They would definitely be a whole lot of overkill for our tiny donkeys. Our whole herd would fit in one of these things with room to spare. Even our little paint horse didn’t need this much space, but it’s go big or go home around here, you know.

Horsing Around: This Weekend’s Upcoming Project

Random Things

The current situation: Much despised due to the very real fear that Jacob will injure himself in the open panels and the very real reality that free-range chickens are a nuisance sometimes.

Every now and then, we have been known to put the cart before the horse when it comes to homestead projects. I fondly remember that one time when we bought a pair of adult, super-sized goats and brought them home despite having not one existing fence or outbuilding ready. They slept in our garage. It was … fun.

We have gotten much better about planning ahead and actually preparing before any major poultry or livestock acquisitions. Jacob, the paint horse, may have been a recent exception. I say ‘may have been’ only because we were not completely unprepared. We at least had a plan in place for his immediate housing, nutritional needs, and safety. However, it wasn’t an optimal plan and we knew that it would all be very temporary. We immediately set out to find a proper horse stall. Used options were quite limited – which is probably good because we would have had a hard time loading and unloading prebuilt stall walls anyway. New options were not only incredibly expensive, but just as limited as the used options. We were told that stall components were backordered from all of the major suppliers.

By the end of January, we gave up on the idea of finding that sweet spot between price and availability and ordered a complete stall kit. That stall kit finally arrived this week.

The stall wall frames. Metal is currently crazy expensive.

The wood kits for filling the stall frames. Wood is currently crazy expensive.

All five of us will be tackling this project bright and early Saturday morning. I have been itching to start working on it since the materials arrived, but nothing is ever so easy. A good portion of this job will involve setting up a temporary pen for the donkeys to keep them out of our workspace (and to keep Loreto from stealing my tools), while there will also be some floor preparation to do before we can really get started. Once we start, we will have to finish as we can’t leave anything unfinished (and, therefore, dangerous) inside the equine enclosure. I can’t wait to see this one done and will surely update on our progress this Saturday just because I will be so darned proud of us and will need to share.


Random Things

Meet Iggy! Iggy is our two year old Sun Conure. He isn’t your typical farm animal, but we aren’t your typical farm either – so it works. Iggy doesn’t have a clear speaking voice like larger parrots, but he has a pretty good vocabulary and knows how to use it. He’s incredibly affectionate and loves to be petted. He also loves peanuts, but has to watch his figure.