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Meditation. Mindfulness. Thinking time. Daily reflection.

Whatever you want to call it, there is loads of research pointing to the many benefits of spending a little bit of time every day in quiet contemplation.

Schools are adding meditation for kids to their curriculums because it improves mental health, behavior, and brain power, too.

Silence is an important daily practice in many religions that helps cultivate deeper personal faith and self-reflection.

Kid rests in Grass...

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June 15, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Cupolas are a common sight on agricultural buildings and horse barns are no exception. So, what are cupolas? Their role is more important than an aesthetically pleasing addition to the roof ridgeline. Your horse’s wellbeing is directly related to their presence and the cupola is more than a crowning glory to your building.

Cupola

Free circulation of fresh air is needed in horse barns to keep humans, horses and hay in good health. Passive...

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June 11, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Building plans and permits are an important part of your new horse barn purchase. While some towns don’t require any plans or permit applications submitted for an agricultural construction project, many regions are increasingly requiring property owners to apply for permits to protect both themselves and their neighbors from unsightly or unsafe buildings.

Compliance

While at first these requirements may seem unnecessary, the ordinances are...

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May 27, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Whichever side of the fence you find yourself, dog owner or dog boarding business owner, the idea of placing dogs in a kennel requires some serious thought.

For the dog owner who travels for holiday or business, works long hours away from home and has limited personnel resources for care of the family pet in their home, the trip to put their beloved canines in a kennel can be an anxious time. Not to mention an expensive outing.

I recently took a two-week visit home to England to visit with my elderly parents. For decades...

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May 21, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Patio

A macro shot of gorgeous pink and cream flowers, sparkling with dew droplets. A yawning pair of golden retriever puppies sprawled on the lap of a model, reclined on an equally stunning outdoor furniture set soaked in Caribbean afternoon sun.

Browsing Instagram can be a double-edged sword. By scrolling the endless rows of snapshots, witty captions, and hashtags, you can find amazing inspiration and motivation for...

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May 10, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Whatever your budget and whatever your new barn design, orchestrating a new barn build is an exciting time. However, that excitement makes it is easy to overlook important details during the purchasing process. Here are some tips to help you stay on track when shopping for the perfect barn.

Tip # 1

Buy Good Quality

The longevity of your barn will depend on good craftsmanship in the build and top-quality materials being used for its construction. Horses dish out some serious abuse on stall walls...

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May 6, 2019 posted by Content Admin

It’s no surprise that most kids love to swing. There’s something magical about that feeling of flying through the air, wind in your face, toes reached out into the sky trying to tickle the clouds.

Swing Set

But research suggests that swinging may not only be fun, but also help children develop important brain-body connections that they’ll bring into adulthood.

The Vestibular System: Your Child’s Sixth Sense.

You know those five senses we learned about in school: sight, smell,...

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May 6, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Whether you are expanding your boarding operation or starting afresh with the first horse barn on your property, the possibilities for barn design and style can be overwhelming. Considerations of the use of the structure, size and layout of stalls and ancillary rooms for tack and feed supplies, choice of fixtures and fittings, budget and timelines all contribute to the important decision of what to build. One of the most versatile and most desired options in style is the High Profile horse barn, and there are many good reasons why....

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April 19, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The crowds came out at the PA Horse World Expo, held February 28th through March 3rd, 2019, at Harrisburg, PA, to witness the conclusion of the 2nd Annual 90-day challenge to bring a horse from Rescue to Stardom. The culmination of a journey between rescue horses and trainers, the final competition drew a large audience and was an extremely popular event. The ultimate winning combination was trainer Jeff Michaels, and a horse named RPM (Rescue Performance Machine). The handsome black gelding was rescued as a stallion by Kelly Smith of...

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April 9, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The rise in popularity of rustic, casual barn weddings has expanded to include using a similar setting for all types of events.

Casual Barn Weddings

As a barn building company, we regularly get calls from creative entrepreneurs inspired to purchase one of our modular barns – sans the equine-related accoutrements such as stalls, chew guards, barred windows...

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April 8, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Hello! If you’re just joining us, feel free to start with Part 1 of “What Should I Put Under my Backyard Playset” in which I cover the pros and cons of grass (or dirt), sand, and pea gravel.

As a parent of rambunctious littles, I am keenly aware of the importance of safety when it comes to looking for a backyard playset...

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March 31, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


It is important to every horse rider to spend the maximum amount of time training and riding their horses versus taking care of the mundane issues like re-painting or re-staining a barn, worrying over missing shingles on the roof or cleaning stalls saturated from rain and snow run-off.

Horse Care

While a horse barn needs to be functional and well designed, it is also an advantage if it is low maintenance. The choice of...

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March 31, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Hay is probably one of the most expensive items on your horse care budget list. Amazingly, there is a simple way to minimize your dollar spend on this forage commodity the outdoor equine hay feeder.

Horse Hay Feeder

Scientific studies suggest that you can save a whopping 30-40% of your hay spending just by utilizing a horse hay feeder. This fact does not just apply to the use of large round bales or large squares bales of hay, it also...

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March 23, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith with Lisa Steele


A few years ago I went to visit a chestnut gelding I’d sold to a nearby trainer. As I entered the center aisle barn I was greeted by the amusing vision of a chicken perched on the poll of his beautifully chiseled head. The horse, named Casablanca, was quite content with his barn buddy’s location, and both chestnut colored chicken and chestnut colored horse looked in my direction and offered their individual vocal greetings. So, are chickens and horses barn animals that can live together? The answer is a resounding YES...

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March 11, 2019 posted by Content Admin

When I was five years old, I broke my arm.

My friends and I were playing in our neighbor’s backyard trying to jump from a picnic table to one of those T-shaped metal clothesline poles which we’d swing from like acrobats.

Kids, amiright? Also, where were the grown-ups?

Anyway, I missed.

The clothesline happened to be mounted on a large slab of concrete instead of grass like all the other ones in the neighborhood (WHAT WERE WE THINKING?).

Fortunately, my arm was the only casualty. As a parent, I now understand how much worse that could have been....

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March 2, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Kathy Tyler


If you love to entertain, you probably have an outdoor patio that you use in the summer. A patio is a great way to extend your house and entertainment area outside. The trick is decorating it, so the outdoor entertainment area catches eyes and turns heads. Here are some simple, fresh decor ideas for your outdoor patio.

Gazebo With a Swing

Seating is an essential element for your patio. Your guests need a comfortable place to...

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March 2, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


With mosquito season around the corner it may be prudent to consider how you can protect your horse barn from bird infestation. While we may not mind the presence of sparrows or finches nesting in barn rafters, or pigeons flying around the indoor arena, unfortunately breeding sites for birds do pose a threat to horse health. Birds and barns go together like bats and belfries. The presence of nesting birds, due to the mess their droppings can cause with unwanted decoration of walls and walkways, can drive some barn owners mad.

...

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February 19, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


In the wonderful world of horse ownership we often find ourselves on the move as we upgrade to a larger property or downsize to a smaller one. When you have horses the move can become complicated, as you have to leave behind your horses’ living structures and fenced paddocks. Unless your new property is already set up for horses you may need to board them out temporarily while you construct a new shelter. A great solution to save you those out of pocket expenses is the portable run-in shed.

...

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February 13, 2019 posted by Content Admin

I don’t know about you, but the cabin fever is REAL in our house right now. With temperatures plummeting and frost creeping up the windows, I’m dreaming of warm spring days, open doors and the sweet sounds of children’s spirited adventures…outside.

Children and Playset

You too? Maybe it’s time to finally invest in that backyard playset you’ve been thinking about. It’s never too early to start planning for spring. But with all the options out there, how on earth do you know which...

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February 1, 2019 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


When hurricane winds blow, poorly made run-in sheds go! In the case of a recently purchased run-in shed built on site by a local contractor, founder of Flare Oaks Rescue, Ashley Nelms, unfortunately experienced this happening first hand. In fact, when Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in the summer of 2018, the run-in shed was the only building on the farm that was damaged. It was so poorly built it was literally pulled from the ground and an innovative Nelms together with her husband‘s help, secured it quickly utilizing the weight...

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January 27, 2019 posted by Content Admin

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