Housing by Richard Klimesh and Cherry
By Cherry Hill
When it comes to
horsekeeping facilities, I am very particular. Not only do I want a safe and sturdy
barn that is comfortable and healthy for my horses, but I also want the barn to
run efficiently, be easy to maintain, and have that special ambiance. That's because
I spend more time at my barn than in my house!
we settled in Colorado in 1983, my husband Richard Klimesh and I had owned and
leased horse acreages in Canada and seven states from Alaska to Arizona and from
Oregon to Illinois. During that time, we experienced quite a variety of weather
and encountered topography and soil ranging from rocky mountains to desert to
lush farmland to swampland. And we saw all kinds of horse barns -- dank dungeons,
luxurious people palaces, wind tunnels, ammonia factories, sweatboxes, flimsy
ticky-tacks, chewed down and patched up shacks, and barns that rained inside when
it wasn't raining outside.We also saw a handful of barns that were just right.
We learned that there are certain things that just don't work well for horses,
whereas other layouts and materials make horsekeeping sweet.
we designed my current barn, we employed the good ideas we'd gathered over the
years. Like many of our projects, the barn started on a napkin in a restaurant.
From that, we honed the plan, inserting all of the necessary details. Then, Richard
masterfully crafted a barn that suits my particular needs perfectly.
usually have between six and eight horses (from foals to seniors) in various stages
of training and management. With no children or employees to help, the "Klim Team"
does it all. I'm responsible for the health care and training, and Richard heads
up facilities' design and maintenance. In addition to that, we both are full-time
photojournalists, book authors, and together work as a video production team.
The term "spare time" just isn't in our vocabulary. That's why we both appreciate
an efficient set up that facilitates daily chores and routine tasks.
all of my training and riding and the majority of our photo and video shoots start
at the barn, my tack room functions as command central. Not only do I store tack
and equipment there, but veterinary supplies, horse records, film, daily shot
lists, and storyboards are kept there as well. In addition, the tack room has
a section where I clean, repair, and launder horse items. The wash rack and grooming
area make up a full-service equine "beauty salon" complete with overhead infrared
heater and a central vacuum for grooming horses and blankets. There are varied
places to tie horses, which is a necessity for photo/video shoots when I need
to have a few groomed and tacked horses ready at a moment's notice.
we live, we have a full spectrum of seasonal weather -- from frigid winter winds
to blazing summer sun at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.
So we designed the barn to provide comfortable shelter from both. In the last
chapter of this book, I'll take you on a personal tour of my barn, which, I hope,
will help you come up with some ideas that will work for you.
a horse barn is a big deal. It requires considerable space and lots of labor,
money, and time. The more time you invest in the planning of your horse barn,
the less redesigning and remodeling you'll have to do.
know I'm somewhat biased because Richard is my best buddy and husband of over
25 years, but he has built me some great horse facilities and has practical ideas
and suggestions for horse housing. That's why I'm so glad that he is sharing his
knowledge and our collective horsekeeping experience with you.
Housing is a tremendous resource whether you are planning a new barn, remodeling
existing buildings, or are in the process of purchasing real estate with horse
facilities. You'll know barns inside and out after reading this book.
you research and plan, let those gray cells work as you design your own dream
barn to fit your horse needs, your locale, and your lifestyle.
poorly designed barn can make you gnash and gnarl on a daily basis -- believe
me, I've been there.
A well designed
barn, on the other hand, makes daily horse care and training flow like a peaceful
Rocky Mountain stream.