The owners of Lake Effect Farm in Sawyer, Michigan
have managed to merge a modern aesthetic with old world charm...with a
brilliant outcome in their new barn. The owner, Mark Ulrich, shared some
photos of this private facility. Check them out for ideas for your
The Ulriches worked with Joe Martinolich at well-known equine architecture firm CMW, Inc.
to design this beautiful and functional facility. The clean lines and
contemporary design of the exterior make the barn a welcome addition to
barn interior features the rich tones of Lucas Equine wood stalls. By
using a brown Super Durable powder coat finish on the steel portions of
the Lucas Equine stalls and choosing substantial wood Lucas Equine stall
doors, the interior mimics the clean lines of the exterior, but with a
nod to traditional barns. The natural light in this barn is amazing!
About the facility: Lake
Effect Farm is a private facility that also hosts monthly clinics. The
owners' primary focus is dressage, but they also have an extensive
background in jumping.
A note from the owner, Mark Ulrich: "When
my wife and I decided to move our horses from a boarding facility to
our own facility, we looked at a number of existing private facilities
that were either "move in" ready or would require extensive renovation
to meet our list of requirements. After a fairly exhaustive search
within our geographical area (100 miles max from Chicago), we decided to
build from the ground up, so as not to inherit the issues, flaws,
problems that quite often come along with the purchase of an existing
"We wanted to build a facility (not on a grand
scale) where our vet, our farrier, and I (I'm the resident groom)
wanted to go. No matter how crappy the weather, I love walking to the
barn to do my chores. A lot of that has to do with the building itself."
"We wanted stall fronts and doors to be as open as possible to
promote good air circulation both for the health of the horse as well
as making sure there wasn't a claustrophobic feeling for both horse and
human. At the same time, we wanted to keep our horses safe yet able to
see their neighbors. And... as picky as it sounds, we wanted to have
stalls that kept bedding in the stall and not the aisle."
Specs on the Lucas Equine stalls:
Wooden stall doors with steel chew guards
Solid brass door pulls
Sturdy angled crosshatch in the bottom of the stall doors
1-inch steel bars in the top of the stall doors
Exterior dutch doors in each stall
End aisle doors with glass top and wood bottom
10 Tips for Planning Your Dream Barn
owner of Lake Effect Farm shares his tips for people who are planning
their own new facility. Here are his top recommendations:
1. Use an equine architect if you can.At
Lucas Equine, we work with the top equine architects in the country.
Let us know if you need a recommendation for one that fits your style.
2. Visit as many equine facilities as you can.We can also recommend facilities in your area to see Lucas Equine stalls and other barn features first-hand.
3. Find and use sources who are comfortable working on a project remotely, because many of your sources for materials and components may not be local.
4. Make sure there is always clear communication between the manufacturer and yourself...as well as all the other parties involved.
5. Develop a budget. Make sure it's realistic.
6. Use the very best materials you can afford.
7. Don't cut corners to save money. If you do, you'll likely spend more money re-doing those "cut corners" down the road.
8. Think about site planning ahead of time: prevailing winds, access to water, and the distance between barn and pastures.
9. Remember to account for excavating and/or site prep in your budget. This can sometimes add as much as 5-10% to the cost of the project.
10. Plan for the needs of the people who care for your horses,
in addition to planning for the horses themselves. What will make your
vet or farrier's job easier...lighting, access to electricity or water,