Who’s talking about you?

What is it that you do?  Own a Business, a boarding stable, train horses or some other equine activity?  Do you have any idea who’s talking about you?

Well in my case I know exactly who is talking about me.  I have “Raving Fans” as clients and they refer me business all the time.  I have built relationships with realtors who refer clients to me and I also have friends whom I ride with regularly that know what I do and refer people & thier friends to me also.

Who are your “Raving Fans” and how are they helping you to do what you love most of all to do?

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Barn Safety 101

No matter what type of equine facility you have for your four legged friends, safety in your barn can be a big concern!  

With corrals and shade covers you want to make sure that all clamps are secure and that you have secured the structure with concrete anchors and other support posts.

 Pasture fencing should be inspected monthly to be sure there are no breaks in the fencing and that all posts have remained secure.  Gates are another common problem with safety especially with equines!  They may reach for grasses (with the coming spring & recent rains) and get their heads stuck between the gate & fence post.  Be sure that ALL gates are secured properly and there is no danger for your horses.  If you have chain link without a top rail, be sure that your horse has not pushed the fencing down which then would be their means for escape and a runaway horse.

 Here are some things you can do to help insure safety for not only you but your equine.

 a)      Make sure all hoses, rakes, muck forks and other items used daily in your barn are properly stored.

b)     Have a Human and Equine First aid kit in your barn and visible to all those who enter your barn

c)      Have at least ONE Fire Extinguisher in your barn.  Check it annually to make sure it is still in working order.  If you have a barn that is more than 3-4 stalls, then have 2 Fire Extinguishers accessible at all times.

d)     Do an annual inspection on your electrical wiring.   Rodents just love to eat the insulation.

These are just a few of the items that will help you and your equine to live safely together in harmony.

For more fun – come see me at Equine Affaire, Pomona, CA Feb 4th and Feb. 5th (Sat.).  I am speaking Sat. FEb 5th at 12noon and 4pm on the Seminar Stage Bldg 5.  Topic #1 is Barn Safety: Keeping you and your horses safe and preventing barn fires;  Topic #2 is Barn Maintenance and how to keep your barn for a lifetime.

See you at Equine Affaire, Pomona CA

Author:  Teresa Spencer,  California Horse Barns,   877-600-1375             www.CaliforniaHorseBarns.com , info@CaliforniaHorseBarns.com

Proud member of ETI – corral 138 and Equestrian Professionals, Speaker at the 2011 Equine Affaire, Pomona, CA, AQHA

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Pest Free Barn

Now is the time to set you barn up to be Pest and Rodent free come springtime.

As we all know Rodents (mice, rats and squirrels) do all kinds of damage around our barns.  Not to mention the diseases they bring with them and the consumption of feed.

Did you know that 100 Rats or mice can consume up to a ton of hay a year.  Now I don’t know about you but losing a ton of hay to rodents is not my idea of being efficient in my horse keeping.  Not to mention what happens to grain, pellets, cubes and supplements.

Here are a few tips on getting your barn ready so that you will have less rodents or eliminate them all together (let’s hope so).

  • Cats – yes, have barn cats.  They will help with the rodent population
  • Keep all grains, pellets, cubes and supplements in tightly sealed containers,  Preferably metal
  • Trim weeds, trees and grasses from around the outside of your barn
  • Remove any visible nests or nesting areas for rodents
  • Seal your feed room if possible with wire mesh, insulation (foam or otherwise)
  • Seal around your base channels with Silicone caulk
  • Hire a professional exterminating company to set traps, NOT POISONS, or use other alternative methods to remove the critters.
  • Remove trash daily and clean up any spilled feed
  • Repair or replace any window screens with a metal screen material
  • Repair any holes in walls, roofs, doors etc.

 With the absence of rodents in the winter it’s easy to make a “honey do” list and work through it slowly.  Because when the weather warms up it’s much easier to go riding then to complete your chores and by then you may not even know that rodents have already started to invade your barn.

Keeping rodents away from your barn is almost impossible, but with a little work the populations can be reduced thus making your barn a much healthier and happier place for you and your horses.

Follow us also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/californiahorsebarns

And on Twitter:  CaliforniaHorseBarns

Our website is: www.CaliforniaHorseBarns.com

Here’s to ridding your barn of unwanted guests this spring!

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Happy and Safe New Year

As 2010 comes to a close we want to wish you and your family a Safe and Happy New Year. 

Keeping you and your equines safe, healthy and happy is most important.  To keep your barn safe in this winter season, keep hoses rolled up & put away, stow away all your racks and shovels, keep tack lockers out of your aisleways.   Keep water moving out of your stalls and away from your barn foundation by keeping drainage passages open and flowing.

Watch the snow melt that your rain gutters aren’t torn off your roof.  Keep your equines water clean and unfrozen.

Just these few tips will help to keep you and your equines Healthy, Happy and Safe for the New Year.

Here’s to a Joyful, Happy and Healty 2011 from all of us at California Horse Barns.

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What Professional need – article through HorseCity.com


I hope you enjoy the article.


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Barn winterizing article

Enjoy this article that was released today:


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Barn damages

I’ve been busy working on a book and you guessed it about barns. 

If  you have Salt blocks hanging on the wall I’d bet you have this same type of damage.  I ask, “What makes you think this is ok?”  Salt and metal do not mix!  In the winter, when roads are salted for ice & snow, what type of damage happens to your car?  Well then why wouldn’t the damage be the same to your metal barn I’d have to ask.  The best way to provide salt is to have it in the feed bin, not hanging on the wall.  The rust that occures and the damage to your wall is unrepairable.  Ok, so you could paint this section or have the entire wall replaced, but if you can prevent this type of damage from ever happening, then do so.  If you already have damage, then remove the salt immediately, paint or cover the area with another skin of metal to help reduce further damage & compromising your barn.

This is only one of the ways your barn can be damaged. 

Contact us at info@CaliforniaHorseBarns.com with further questions.

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What type of barn suits you?

You may “want” a particular type or style of barn, but is it what you really need?  Or does it really suit your needs?

When you are purchasing a barn whether new or used take the time to preview barns in your area, take a hard look at the climate in your area and what your barn is going to be accomplishing for you.  If what you need is a basic shelter from the elements, then a loafing shed or shader might work really well for you.  If your climate is mild most of the year then this type of shelter can and will work really well.  Why go to the expense of a large expensive barn if that’s not what you need.  Sure they are great for show and if permitted for property value (but even most appraisers don’t know how to add the value of a barn to property), does it fit into your budget? 

If budget is a concern, then getting a nice shelter for your horses should be your main concern, not that your barn is the best in the neighborhood.  I will tell you though that there are financing options for barns even in this economy.  I work with one company CR Leasing who finances barns if you have a business and this type of financing is a lease to own option.  Not like a car, but a lease that is paid off within your lease period.  You can also refinance your existing property and take the cash to build your barn or even obtain a 2nd on your property for the same purpose.  The other thing is to sell off items to finance your barn also.  With that said you have the ultimate choice in choosing the type of barn you can afford.

When working within your budget you should be honest with the consultant, sales representative and company that you are working with.  Honesty will help everyone to get you the product that you want and need.  If you receive a quote and feel that it is higher than you can afford at the moment, don’t be afraid to contact the consultant and discuss where changes can be made so that your project can be adjusted to your needs.  That is what a consultant is for.  Making sure that you get what you want and need within budget. 

So back to the type of barn that suits you.  RCA – Raised Center Isle barns are beautiful and the ultimate in a barn.  It can be large or small 2 stalls to 20-30 or more.  They have tack rooms, groom areas, wash racks, you name it they can have it all.  Breezeway barns are almost the same type of barn.  The difference is only in the roofline, but they have the same functions as an RCA barn. 

Shedrow barns are also very popular.  They can be used on small properties, for boarding facilities and many other uses.  Shedrows are cute and less expensive than an RCA or Breezeway barn.  Usually they consist of 12×12 stalls with or without a posted porch.  The description is “all stalls in a row”.  They can be combined to create a “U” where you can add grass in the middle or a fountain, a hot walker you can do almost anything in the middle. 

L-Shape barns are just that stalls that share a common wall to create an “L”.  Depending on the roofline you want that will determine additional cost or not.  With a hip & valley this will add overall cost to the project, but in some cases there are ways to have one continuous roofline under a “^”, which will save you extra engineering cost.   L-Shape barns are very functional because they have an automatic posted porch, which is a great area for you farrier, veterinarian and grooming.  You can also use the area for a wash rack too.

And then there are misc. types of barns.  Some are inexpensive options to steel walled barns, yet they are very functional.  Other types are more like Loafing sheds but have tack and feed rooms and then less expensive Mare Motels, shade covers and other.  So we go back to the original question what type of barn suits you and your equine?  The decision is ultimately yours the owner, but I challenge you to think of your horses, the uses for your barn, what your property will support and what function you barn will be used for during your ownership and beyond.

Happy building and don’t forget to make sure that whomever you choose to complete your project that they are aware of your budget, functionality of your project and the terms in which you are paying for your barn.

If you have any questions, we look forward to speaking with you.  Contact us at barnlady@CaliforniaHorseBarns.com

Also follow us on Facebook and twitter.

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Buying Used Vs. New

When you are looking to purchase any type of corrals, shade covers, loafing sheds or a barn I ask the question “Is it better to buy new or used?”

Not a simple answer but one that should be explored.  Much easier for smaller projects than a large expensive Barn project that is for sure.  If you are purchasing corrals or other low end items for your property whether for business or pleasure you need to take into account the most important thing (NO it’s not price!) CONDITION!  What condition is/are the items in?  Do they show signs of rust, bent pipes, twisted metal siding or torn roofing?  If they do, then what can you do to repair them to bring them to up to standard?

If pipe corrals are bent you should either know someone or be able to straighten them out before you use them.  If the metal used for siding or roofing is lifted then with a few screws it should solve the problem.  However if any of the pipes are rusted clean through then the services of a welder should be employed to fix the problems.

For a barn it’s a little more complicated.  When purchasing new there are things to consider prior to your purchase such as: location, size, grading, permits, water, electrical, drainage etc. etc.  These same things however need to be considered when purchasing used as well, so figure that if you are purchasing new or used that these costs are going to be about the same.  With the purchase of a new barn you also have sales tax to consider.

When you purchase a used barn besides the items listed above to consider you need to look at the overall condition of the barn and determine if repairs are going to be needed or replacement parts will be required to bring the barn to integrity?  Base channels, walls, sliding doors, rollers, roofing material etc.  You name it any part of the barn can be damaged and “may” need to be repaired.  I have put many tips for purchasing a used barn on my Facebook page over the last couple of weeks so you may want to check them out at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/CaliforniaHorseBarns  these tips will help you see what might be lying under the dirt, grim and manure.

Things you need to consider though when buying a used barn that adds to your cost bases is: removal and re-installation.  Yes when you purchase a new barn you have the installation & hauling/freight costs to get it to your property.  When purchasing a used barn the price may be very good, but you have the extra cost of disassembly.  What I have found is that the cost to disassemble a barn or assemble it are about the same, so if the normal assemble cost (for example) on a new barn is $3000 then the disassemble would be about the same cost $3000.

Let’s break that down as an example:   All figures are ONLY examples & DO NOT represent a known product.

New barn:  6stall + posted porch Cost $30,000, tax (la county) $2925.00, freight $795, assembly/installation $2750, foundation $5500, engineering $750 = $42720.00 + County permit fees to building & safety, Fire Department & grading (if needed), grading permit, electrical & plumbing.

Used Barn: 6 stall + posted porch  Cost $5000, tax -0-, freight/hauling $450, disassembly $2750, re-assembly/installation $2750, foundation $5500, re-engineering $750 min, replacement parts $1500 = $18700.00 + county permit fees to building & safety, fire department, grading (if necessary), grading permit, electrical & plumbing.

You can see that you will save a whole bunch of money buying used, however the real variables are the engineering & replacement parts.  If the barn is more than 5 yrs old, the code requirements may be different in the present than when the barn was originally build and could require additional structural support items prior to installation.  Also replacement parts are usually an unknown until the entire unit is disassembled.  Upon inspection you may find that walls, base channels or other items will need to be replaced.  Caution here – if the company who originally installed the structure is not longer in business, then you will need to rely on a substitute company for these parts and not all companies build the same product.

There are advantages & disadvantages for buying new and used.  Disadvantage: New (just like a car) loses some of its value the minute it is installed, however if this isn’t a consideration, then don’t worry about it.  Used: many need multiple repairs, disassembly cost, possible re-engineering costs.  Advantages: New – you get what you want, no assembly (completed usually by the company), no painting or repairs, it’s NEW. Used: lower cost.  We offer a report also for things to avoid when purchasing new or used barns as well.

The ultimate decision is yours, so think before your purchase and know what the advantages & disadvantages to both options are prior to putting your money down.

I look forward to your questions or comments and feel free to contact us for further information.

Happy Barn Building.


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Blog Action Day – Water?

How does water affect your Modular Barn?  What type of waters do you have for your horses?  If you have buckets and they are on the outside of your barn stalls, then the only concern I would look at is freezing issues or over splash when you fill your water daily.  How does this effect conservation?  Well with evaporation you will use more water that those who have automatic waters.  That is a given because the larger surface area the more evaporation you will have.  With automatic waters there is such a small bowl that evaporation could be counted as almost nil.

But the question I have is this “Where are your automatic waters mounted in your barn?”  Are they on the inside of your stall walls?  If so, then you need to be very vigilant about overflow, leaks and breaks in your water lines.  Why you might ask?  Because water corrodes metal!  If you have overflow all the time then that leakage will corrode the metal walls, seep into the cracks in the base channels and eventually get the wood that is laminated between the metal moist.  This is not a good combination; your wall will begin to deteriorate.  The more water the quicker this is going to happen.  You might ask what do you do if this happens, well there are only 2 answers either you go to the expense of replacing the entire wall 12’,16’,24’ whatever the size at a cost which can be as low at $600 for 12’, but who wants to have to do that plus labor to have it installed?  Not me!  Option #2 – you can skirt the wall with a new piece of steel, riveted to the wall and sealed.  This is a lot cheaper and still is safe for your horse, but you still have labor costs involved. 

Each person has different thoughts about automatic waters, buckets and/or tanks.  I don’t care what kind of waterer you have for your horses, however I will ask you to conserve, provide good clean water to your animals and watch your barn.

Follow us also on Twitter.com and Facebook.com (California Horse Barns)

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