When is a before picture not a before picture?

When it’s also an after picture.

Now that I’ve come clean about Sergeant, I can fill you in on all the things that have been really happening around here. The flurry of work to be ready for his arrival is dizzying. Also, exhausting. We have been sleeping the sleep of the dead.

The construction in the showroom to which I have alluded is stall construction. Horse stall construction. We originally thought to open up two of the pony stalls for him, but the wooden floors were deemed to be way too much work to clean by one of our many local horse experts. Then we thought to give him a run-in, an unstalled, open space inside the barn. The area left over after the turkey wall went up in the back of the barn would be good, with its immediate access to the eastern door.

The same horse expert cautioned us again about the uneven wood flooring. His suggestion was that we use the run-in for the goats, so the goats and the turkeys will share the back of the barn, once the wall is up as a separator. The turkeys will use the north door; the goats will use the east door. The goats’ run-in will be just outside the chicken coop; the chickens keep the use of the east door. And they can all talk to each other through the hardware cloth ventilation.

He suggested we build stalls in the showroom, an idea we had not hitherto fore entertained. The showroom has many advantages: it has the two large front doors, opening to the south, it has many windows, it is large and airy, but mostly…it has an asphalt floor, which means easier cleaning and a cleaner stall.

So, you’re asking yourself, do you mean to tell me that you have pre-existing pony stalls that neither the horse nor the goats will use?! Yes. Yes, I do. Our expert looked at the set up with the eye of someone who has been on the operational end for many, many years. He looked at the pony stalls in the very center of the barn and said: “You should store your hay here.”

So, our lovely pony stalls will be used to store hay. Now, do not despair, gentle reader; as spring comes around again, and the hay stores are getting low, this will leave at least one of the stalls free as a kidding stall/nursery. It’s pretty damned perfect, actually.

So, how did all of this look? That’s where the title of the post comes in. I decided to take a number of panoramic photos, documenting the progress of the construction, but not until I had already done a day’s worth of clearing and organisiation. So…the first photo is not, strictly speaking, the before photo. I am kicking myself because this means I don’t get full points for my hard work, and I do so love to get full points for my hard work.

So, here it is, the construction of our horse stalls, a story in pictures. After Monday, the first day of clearing, here was the western half of the showroom, earmarked for the new stalls:

Barn 1

Tuesday, after another day of clearing (and the removal of dozens of nails from the walls, some very, very old), ready for our carpenter friend, JJ, to work her magic:

Barn 2

At lunchtime yesterday:

Barn 3

A few hours later, Debbie had arrived, and JJ, Debbie and The Man had a confab:

Barn 3 and a half

And at end of day yesterday (I helped build the stall door!):

Barn 4

We’re almost there. We still need to put the hardware on the door, but we’re waiting for the wood to dry a bit before we fit it to the stall. The hemlock was, quite literally, dripping wet when The Man brought it home; it will shrink a bit as it dries, and we want to be sure we hang it correctly.

Then, we’ll need stall mats, wood shavings for bedding, and a water bucket, and we’ll be ready!

So, what does the barn floor plan look like now? It looks a little something like this (insert standard warning about wonky scale here):

Barn floor new

I’m excited to fill in all the blank spaces, but it will happen soon enough. What’s that? There’s space for a second horse? Oh, you noticed that, did you?

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