March 2019 - Classic Equine Equipment
Written by CRM
Friday, 01 March 2019 02:28
PDF Print E-mail

cover

Twenty-eight years of experience enable customers to fulfill barn building, updating or renovating needs, preferences and dreams.

Substitute the word “horse-keeping” for “hardware” in Ace Hardware’s catchy jingle, “Ace, your helpful hardware place,” and you have the perfect lyric for a Classic Equine Equipment jingle: “Classic Equine Equipment, your helpful horse-keeping place.” It doesn’t rhyme as well, but it conveys Classic Equine’s firm place at the top of the stable equipment industry and explains how it got there: helping each client fulfill their needs, preferences and dreams.

 

Although Classic Equine does not build actual barn structures, it has a vast array of stalls, barn components and equipment to fill them with – from private luxury barns, to backyard horse set-ups, large public stables, commercial barns and even historic restoration projects like Folgers Stable in Northern California’s Woodside.

Along with the equipment comes years of experience that helps clients realize every detail of their horse-keeping dreams. Function, safety, flexibility, longevity and good looks are Classic Equine calling cards at every price point. Another is helping horse owners streamline healthy stable management tasks so owners have more time to enjoy and ride their horses.

We consider ourselves ‘solution providers,” says company president John Daniel. “Our goal is to understand how you care for your horses, then help you choose the proper components to suit your needs. Our process involves working directly with you and your team (designer, architect, builder, and/or trainer) to help ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish.” No matter the scope of a client’s project, Classic Equine prioritizes every detail.

Stalls, barn doors and windows are the best-known products in Classic Equine’s extensive inventory. Entrance gates, flooring and mats, horse exercisers, pens, arenas and a long list of barn accessories enable clients to one-stop-shop, whether building from scratch or upgrading or remodeling. From tack solutions and automatic waterers to hinged or sliding door stalls, Classic has it. Plus, feed bowls, lighting, fans and hitching posts, every imaginable accessory and some you might never have imagined but may find yourself wondering how you lived without.

Built with safety in mind and to last and look great for years, Classic Equine’s steel fabricated components are manufactured at its factory in Missouri and come with an industry leading warranty.

Helpful Tips

In keeping with quality of service that matches quality of product, Classic Equine offers the following barn-building or upgrading tips. Drawn from over 28 years of helping horse owners realize their barn dreams, they cover safety, staying on budget, and savvy horsemanship.

Whether you are building a new barn or renovating an old one, the best way to get the barn you want is to remember the old adage, “form follows function.”  Before you start planning your barn, think about the following things:

1.    How will you use your barn?  Are you a boarding stable or breeding facility?  The size of your barn might need to be bigger than you thought to accommodate tack rooms, wash racks and/or foaling stalls.
2.    How many horses will you ultimately care for? You may just have a few horses now, but if your dream is to someday have a training facility, you should build a barn big enough to accommodate more horses. It’s always less expensive to build right the first time rather than trying to add on later.
3.    Consider the weather. Are you planning to have attached paddocks?  Cold or wet weather may prompt you to be able to close doors leading to the paddock to keep horses warm and dry.  Also consider doors at the end of the barn to keep out inclement weather.  With either or both, have an overhang or awning over them to keep everyone dry.
4.    Let there be light – and fresh air. Look at barn designs that will maximize the amount of fresh air and ventilation – both important to your horse’s health – to flow through the barn.   Look for designs that allow large amounts of natural light into your barn.
5.    Consider your daily workflow. Will you use wheelbarrows to clean stalls or feed or will you need a barn with an aisle wide enough to drive a truck down the center aisle for these chores?  Will your hay be stored off site or do you want it close by in your barn’s hay loft?  Will you need additional room for a viewing area for parents or a kitchen or clubhouse area for boarder parties and relaxing?
6.    Look at your proposed site location. Is it level?  Is the landscape such that water flows away from the barn?  From which direction will the wind come?  Sun?  Is there room for a driveway and parking area for boarders, the farrier and vet?  Will you offer trailer parking – will it be part of the barn structure so it can be covered?
7.    Consider utilities. How far is it to the nearest electrical and water sources?
8.    Consider barn style. Do you have a preferred barn style that works best for your type of facility?  A Shed Row barn a good choice for warm climates as they maximize air flow and ventilation.  They can be configured in a straight line, an “L” shape or a “U” shape. The Full Monitor has a high center raised roof that lets hot air rise above the stalls and horses. The design also allows skylights and windows to be installed on each side of the center roofline, letting in more light and additional fresh air. The Monitor is good if you need to build a long row of stalls.  The Gambrel offers a large loft located above the stalls for added storage and increased headroom. Gambrel trusses eliminate the need for interior post and beam supports giving you more freedom in your floor plan.
9.    Look at legal considerations. What do the laws in your area allow you to build?  Are there restrictions on size or location?  In some areas, the barn must be a certain number of feet from your property line.
10.    Consider available construction materials. Do you want wood post and beam for the old-fashioned look of a barn?   Or do you want the low maintenance and fire-resistance of a steel modular building?

Take some time to day dream about your perfect barn.  Visit other barns to get additional ideas. A final consideration when designing the outside of your barn is to make sure it’s horse friendly as well as people friendly.  Horses dislike dark, closed in places so design your barn with lots of room and plenty of natural light and air.

Selecting A Builder

When looking for a barn builder, referrals are always a good way to find one.  But remember that someone’s dream barn or way of working may not be the same as yours.  If the referral came from someone who had a simple shed row barn built and you are thinking of something with dormers, a hay loft or special flooring, it may not be the right fit.  Ideally, you want a barn builder who will not only listen to you, but also will offer suggestions as well.  But one that knows that the final decision is always yours.

Classic Equine can work closely with you and your builder, regardless of your builders or your personal experience in designing a barn. We have decades of experience in helping others get it done just right and on budget. Your barn should be a collaborative effort.

Discussion Points with Potential Builders

1.    Site location:  If he has reservations about your choice, discuss them and work to find an alternative site.  Also, make sure you know who is responsible for site preparation.  Sometimes the barn builder handles it; sometimes they want you to take care of it before they start.
2.    Timetable for your barn. If you are building a huge barn, the builder will need to set aside adequate resources to start.  This may mean that scheduling may be pushed back a month or more.  Consider whether you’re willing to wait that long.   On the other hand, a small barn project can sometimes be slid in between completing one large project and starting another.  But big projects can run longer than anticipated and that window of opportunity can disappear, so confirm with your builder exactly when they will start your barn. And when they will finish.
3.    Zoning requirements, permits, code inspections, etc. and what these entail. Also, determine who will be responsible for getting these.
4.    Who will contact underground utility companies about buried lines for cable, phone or other utilities. Don’t assume it will be the builder – he may be assuming it will be you!
5.    Ask about the crew who will do the job. Have they been with the company long?  Or do they use sub-contractors?  Are they covered by the builder›s insurance?
6.    Ask about the contract and ask if you can see it (and possibly have your lawyer review it) before signing.
7.    Ask about how problems with workmanship will be handled after the barn is built. How long will the builder stand behind his work?

Finally, while hiring a barn builder is the most efficient way to get a barn built, most barn builders have limited time and expertise in designing a custom barn to meet your specific needs.  If you need more assistance in the design of your barn, you may want to consider using an architect who specializes in equestrian facilities.  The architect is there to evaluate the needs of the owner, from overall site planning, programming, phasing, and design to overseeing the entire construction to make sure the barn is built as intended.  Yes, the cost is more, but if your barn is your business (or just your passion), an architect can help you with both form and function.

Classic can help you if needed with names of architects and builders in your local area to help make this process easier.

For more information on Classic Equine Equipment, visit www.classic-equine.com.