Horse Play

8 Features of My Ultimate Dream Barn

©Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC

There are a lot of articles out there about all types of amazing barns.

Real barns with beautiful vaulted ceilings, ornate stall fronts, with tack rooms that make my living room look trashy. For my ultimate dream barn, however, I have decided to dream a little bigger and a lot wackier. Without further ado, here is what I’ll be looking for, should I ever win several (hundred) lotteries.

1. Wash-o-matic

This one is fairly self-explanatory. It’s like one of those automatic, drive through car washes, only for horses! I don’t mind grooming, I enjoy it actually. But bathing and prepping for shows or other outings always takes a lot of time. It would be great to just be able to throw ol’ Cupcake, the cranky pony, in and have him come out sparkling clean. The deluxe model would go above and beyond by also cleaning any tack on the horse, pulling and braiding manes, and scrubbing any particularly difficult manure stains. (I’m looking at you, grey horse owners).

2. Pick-n-Fluff

I picture this working much like all those mechanical arms that popped out of Inspector Gadget’s equipment. The arms would pick, scoop, fluff and bank shavings as necessary. Buckets would be scrubbed and refilled, and a fresh flake of hay would plop down from some hidden compartment. Just make sure the horse is actually out of the stall before the system is turned on. I can only imagine how bad my horse would freak if the stall walls ACTUALLY grew arms and attacked him.

3. Arena Artist Deluxe

If science can develop a litter box that cleans itself, surely it can develop a system that drags and rakes an arena without making me get on a tractor or ATV and drive around, praying I don’t take out a fencepost. Maybe after they develop a cure for the common cold, scientists could get on this, stat.

4. George Morrisbot 2000

I am not saying I think we should replace the many amazing, hardworking trainers and instructors out there. But sometimes I just need someone to stand in the middle of the arena and shout “HEELS DOWN! ELBOWS IN!” at me. Over. And over. And over again. So why can’t we design a robot to help out with this? It doesn’t even have to sense if I’m actually DOING whatever it’s shouting about. Honestly, there’s a good chance that I’m probably getting it wrong in that moment anyway.

5. State-of-the-Art Arena Equipment

I’m talking self-righting barrels and cones, jump standards that reset themselves, trot and canter poles that change back and forth and adjust distances at the click of a button! Or I suppose I could get one really highly paid assistant to just hang around and do these things for me. I think you can hire people to do that sort of thing when you’re ridiculously rich. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I just realized what working students are for…

6. Five-Star Safety Rating

Why, we as an equine community, haven’t come up with some sort of system to bubble wrap our equines is beyond me. I’d like any future horse property and barn that I have to contain a thousand different airbags all over the place. If the system senses that a collision is imminent between an equine and anything wood, metal or otherwise pointy, an airbag will deploy. Even if it’s not strong enough to stop the collision, maybe it’ll be enough to spook the horse in another direction! If this system isn’t feasible (I don’t see why it wouldn’t be), I would like giant bubble wrap dispensers at the end of each barn aisle, ready to wrap each horse prior to being turned out. Just to be safe.

7. Bumper Butler

Why, oh why, can’t I have a trailer that hooks itself up? Look. I’m good at a lot of things in life, like making grilled cheese sandwiches, Monday crosswords (not Tuesdays, obviously), and karaoking the lyrics to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Hooking up a trailer myself is not one of them. It takes time. Lots of time. Time I could be using to stare lovingly at my horse as he poops or something. So it would be awesome if the bumper pull or gooseneck attachment could find some way to align itself, then attach itself to my truck. And maybe give me an encouraging word or two while it does it, like “You probably won’t fall off in the warmup again! Go get ‘em tiger!”

8. Poop Roomba

Have you ever seen one those little robot vacuums that maps a room, then methodically cleans it? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have one of those little guys wandering your arena, barn aisles, pastures, just vacuuming up all the little presents our ponies leave behind? I think it would be great! Not that I don’t love scooping manure out of the washrack every time I hose my horse off. (Seriously. Washracks and trailers are like horse laxatives.) But scooping crap is definitely one of the less glamorous areas of equine activities. The best part about this machine? I would definitely refer to it as my “Poop Roomba.” The name really just rolls off the tongue.

What would your future horse barn include? Share some ideas in the comments below!


About the Author

When Aubrey Moore isn’t riding her horse Flynn or doing near-constant maintenance on her truck, she can be found with a glass of wine in hand, chatting happily with her cat Frankie.