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Two Horse Writing Tips: barn tour and common vices (1/2)

December 26, 2014

Since this one spans two tips, I’d thought I’d split them up for simplicity. This post I’ll give you a tour of the barn and the next post will be about common horse vices.

So here’s our barn:


Our five stall barn

This set up is with pipe corral fencing and shelters (walls to keep out the weather). Penny specifically has a three sided-shelter, but some horses just have a roof to keep off the rain. This sort of pipe corral and shelter combination is both typical and basic. The beige, off-white cabinets are for the riders to keep their tack and other supplies.


Penny hanging out in her stall

Below is a close up of Penny’s shelter area. The red bucket is filled with water and the white trough is where we put her breakfast and dinner hay. Penny is fed three times a day, breakfast, snack (grain & supplements), and dinner. Horses eat continuously in the wild, so it’s nicer for them to have smaller meals more often, than a big lump at once.

Penny's shelter area

Penny’s shelter area

From movies, you’re probably more familiar with the full wooden horse barns with box stalls and/or stalls with attached paddocks.

This type of classic barn can vary in fanciness and niceness level. If you’ve ever watched Seabiscuit, remember the scene where they sneak into visit War Admiral’s barn? That was a fancy-mc-fanciness place, with roomy, clean stalls, swept aisles, organized tools and tack, multiple tack rooms, and many, many horses inside.

fancy barn

A classic horse barn

On the other end of the spectrum, horses can live under the open sky in grass pastures, especially retired horses. Horses that live in a pasture are less likely to have a human-provided shelter and may or may not be provided additional food to the grasses they’re grazing on all day. It all depends on the individual set up.

fancy barn stall

A classic box stall

Nicer pastures have acres and acres of land for herds to roam, multiple types of herds (ex: the mares and separate from the stallions who are separate from the geldings), and more careful human watch placed on their charges. Sometimes pastures are connected to breeding barns.

horses in pasture

Horses in pasture


From → Writing Tips

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