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The Smart Way to Build Your Dream Equestrian Facility

By Content Admin, 12/23/2020 - 1:09pm

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Construction of an equestrian facility is no small project. The purchase of a suitable property to build the entity is just the beginning of a huge undertaking that will require a significant dedication of both dollars and diligence to detail, to accomplish the build.

What is the smart way to go about building your dream equestrian facility?

While key factors to consider include what will be built and where will it be sited and resources abound for advice on site considerations and design, there is another aspect to review. Who will build each component?

A dream equestrian facility may include a horse barn (or 2 or 3, for larger operations such as breeding/boarding farms), an indoor arena, a storage structure for hay, supplies and equipment in addition to run-in sheds, fencing, and a service infrastructure for electric/water and communication.

It may be tempting to work with a general contractor or construction company for the entire build, and leave the ‘who builds what’ to their consideration. This is certainly the most hands-off way to manage the project, and possibly also the most expensive. It may also result in one company completing construction on every structure, regardless of their experience in the various components or ability to resource the best materials or design skills to complete the job.

Consider for instance, another expensive project that many homeowners have completed, the design and construction of a new kitchen. While it may be tempting to buy your appliances to match by choosing only one manufacturer, the result can be a super efficient well-made fridge/freezer, with a less well-designed range or dishwasher. The company that excels at production of wall ovens, may not offer the best microwave. You probably wouldn’t employ a carpenter to cut and lay a quartz countertop, or a mason to custom build and design cabinetry.

When you choose the best team for the job, you also garner a more guidance from their expertise and experience that can facilitate cost savings, better designs, tips on best materials to do the job and help in ways you cannot foretell as none of us know what we don’t know. Advances in technology, modern low maintenance materials and innovative methods of application can all meld into a better end result.

Let’s face it, as an equestrian looking for an educated and well-trained show-jumping horse you wouldn’t go to a dressage trainer to buy one. Similarly you wouldn’t expect a world class reining champion rider to instruct you on how to jump and advanced cross-country course. So similarly it makes little sense to choose on general contractor to construct and design all the elements of an equestrian facility.

In the world of horses, the choice of horse housing mixed with the need for an indoor arena with huge clear span design plus requirements for ancillary elements such as fencing can similarly be best accomplished by buying these components individually from the professionals that specialize in their construction.

A great construction company will always be more than willing to collaborate and work with another, and the end result can not only save you sincere expense on the build, but also facilitate the best possible facility that is properly designed for best form and function.

A great example of two buildings that require very different equipment, materials and design that need to be married together, is the popular integration of a horse barn adjacent to an indoor arena. This design saves trainers much angst during winter months in cold climates, as horse and rider do not need to navigate snow/ice-covered driveways to work horses and provides convenience for daily chores within one place.

If you use a specialist in indoor arena building, and separately purchase a horse barn from an expert horse barn construction company, then not only can you save money, you can likely also have your dream equestrian facility completed and ready to use in a shorter time frame.

The very popular modular horse barn, is a quick and easy way to add stabling to an indoor arena, and the provision of run-in sheds or storage buildings can all be delivered and set up in short order, without compromising on the knowledge needed to design and customize horse housing and provide a safe environment for horses./p>

Don’t forget to ask for quantity discounts if purchasing more than one structure from one source and consider utilizing financing options that are available from larger manufacturers.

Collaborative efforts between construction companies can result in the best equestrian complex, so don’t be shy to manage the components yourself to optimize the outcome.

Spend your hard-earned dollars wisely to attain the features and functionality that you desire to make your dream of building and owning a horse barn a reality at the most competitive price.

Nikki Alvin Smith

Nikki Alvin-Smith is a seasoned freelance writer who loves to share her lifelong experience with everything horse, farm and travel. Her work has been printed in more than two hundred equestrian magazine titles worldwide and her published articles number in the thousands including travel and lifestyle press.

A Brit who has called New York home for more than 37 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to her writing.

Her experience as an international level Grand Prix dressage competitor, coach and worldwide clinician, with a youth spent showjumping and foxhunting, provides lots of educational truths and fun moments to share with the reader. Additionally she has been a horse breeder/importer of Hanoverian, Dutch and Iberian horses for 25+ years.

Together with her husband Paul, also a Grand Prix dressage rider, she lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York and operates an organic hay farm and dressage yard. She is the proud mother of three children, Tristan, James and Chelsea (twins), and the latter two have kept with the horse riding as adults.