2021 Barn Updates

My husband and I have been making some updates (mostly my husband really!) to Morstone Acres this summer that I wanted to share.

New Hay Feeder

While I loved my hay feeders using Rubbermaid water troughs, they had no cover from the rain or snow which led to wasted hay as well as moldy/decomposing hay going on in the bottom of the trough. After seeing some other feeders with roofs, my husband decided this was something he could build for me. The result is pretty awesome and has already saved me a fair amount of hay this fall. It certainly won’t be a 100% fix due to wind, but definitely a great improvement.

Barn Aisle

After that, we tackled the barn aisle. When we first renovated the barn we left the aisle with crushed stone. Pretty quickly the aisle became uneven, dirty, and dusty when horses walked through. Back in 2018 we pulled that aisle stone out, put in plastic grid, and added fresh gravel into the grid. This worked well up until recently, when enough dirt had gotten into the grids and mixed in with the gravel. We tried some things to clean it up, but it was going to be an intensive process that would not solve the issue long term. After much deliberation and calculation of costs for various options, we decided to go with mats. I chose textured mats, which is a pain for cleaning up the space but good for grip with the horses being able to walk in and out during the day. We’ve just been using a vacuum to clean up the grid which works decently.

Putting the mats in however was back breaking work both to move and cut the mats, but also because the ground had to be leveled and compacted. My husband created a frame around the space since we didn’t do the entire barn, and it turned out really nice.

I feel pretty lucky to have a husband who enjoys tackling projects like this, especially with how busy my work life has been this year. Still a few updates on my to do list like bird nesting prevention – anyone have any recommendations for this? Is it helpful to give them an alternative option?



  1. Stacie Seidman

    Love the hay feeder! And the mats look great too! I definitely sometimes wish I had a handy husband hanging around here… Lol!
    No advice on the birds. We try to knock down the nests as soon as we see them starting, but still they occasionally build one fast and then I have to wait until the babies leave. This past year, we didn’t have any nests inside, but there was a bird that liked to just hang out on the light in my tack room. No nest, but his poop gave him away!

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Thanks! I couldn’t even keep up with the birds and knocking down nests, at any one time I would have over a dozen birds in the barn this summer. The sound alone made me crazy but the bird poop everywhere is ugh.

  2. Candy

    Re: deterring birds, have a look into laser bird scarers. There’s one in use at a covered arena I visit and it’s very effective at keeping the birds away.

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Thank you, I will look into that. Haven’t heard of those yet. A fake owl did nothing lol.

  3. Teresa

    The upgrades are very impressive. I was looking at your hay feeder and thinking that that might work with my two. I love the roof. How is it attached/weighted so it doesn’t become airborne or tip over in the wind?

    I also love the mats. they look great. You may have done this but if you put C clamps on the mats they act like handles making them easier to move.

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Thanks! The base of the feeder being all wood makes it very bottom heavy, definitely not going anywhere. The roof is screwed down to a wood frame underneath with those roofing nails that have the circle around them (this is very technical) to help with sealing around the holes. I think he may have glued as well. We’ve seen 30 MPH+ winds already and it sits like a rock.

      We actually bought the specific plastic mat mover things for this. The C clamps work (did them for putting in stall mats years ago), but with the number of mats involved the movers were a nice upgrade for our hands. From doing the cutting and final moves into place our hands were still so sore!


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