Creating Your Barn Interior: A Place for Everything ...


A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING. It sounds easy enough. Yet, much more is needed to support a busy stable. As with a busy kitchen, it is important to have systems in place to maintain efficient operation and order. A good barn interior should contribute toward a calm atmosphere and allow you to concentrate on your horses.

Our company, McGuinn Farms, has been designing and manufacturing equipment for barn interiors for many years. We have made a range of purpose-built cabinets, stands, racks and fixtures for new and restored barns.

If you are thinking about your barn interior you might consider several basic themes. The first is the utility plan. Imagine your day in the barn, all the footfalls, and each step along the way. And ask yourself: “what do we need here”? Where will we store blankets, bandages and bell boots? If we tack-up in the aisle, where will the tack go?

A second theme concerns the problem of gravity. Without the proper means of storage in just the right place, things tend to end up on the floor. Ankle boots in the aisle, shampoo and sponges in the wash stall, gravity has claimed them resulting in countless hours spent reaching down for things. Because so much of the work with horses is in real time with moving and often impatient animals, you need two free hands and the ability to remain mobile.

This relates the third theme, the desirability of “dynamic” rather than the “static” storage. Increasingly, we have been making boxes with dynamic, moving features. Our medicine boxes have a series of different sized drawers with dividers and sometimes sub-dividers. Containers with drawers and doors not only help keep things clean but tend to promote good neatness practices within the barn.

A barn is a unique place. It is a small factory that must accommodate tradesmen and suppliers. It is an animal hospital, a social space and place of business. Mostly a barn is where people engage horses.

Notice how unchanging has been the quality of the materials used around horses: leather, brass, fine woods. Form always follows function but the result has been a timeless “look” that has survived passing fads. It remains to mention a final theme, your barn’s aesthetic dimension. It must support your taste and purpose.

Above all, the principle behind a good bam interior may well be this: get control over all the things you can, get the mechanics of the bam down in order to better enjoy your horses.

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