So You Bought a Boarding Facility: Announcing Barn or Property Renovations

What do hammers, saws, horses and a new owner or manager have in common? They’re all part of a barn renovation after a boarding facility transition.

Holli McMahon owned and ran a boarding facility in Salem, Oregon for more than 11 years. Soon after purchasing the facility, she began planning several renovations including building new stalls and an outside track for the horses.

“We completely changed that barn, probably within five years,” McMahon says.

From the moment McMahon took over, she had conversations about renovations with her boarders. During construction, she tried to be considerate of planned appointments, such as lessons or farrier visits, before starting a noisy project.

“Everybody worked with it,” McMahon said. “It just was never an issue.”

Jodie Corless (owner) and Bailie Corless (manager) are a mother-daughter team at Shingle Mill Stables in Sandpoint, Idaho. Soon after taking over their facility, they decided to plan for several renovations around the barn, including new fencing for their outdoor arena and new footing in the indoor arena.

Bailie says she communicated with boarders about changes by sending out a group text and posting a notice in the barn. She also talked to boarders one on one and worked to ensure there was always one riding option available during construction.

“They handled it very well, I think, because everything we’re doing is making it better,” Bailie says.

She feels boarders were willing to make temporary sacrifices because they saw the renovations would benefit themselves and the facility in the long run.

Whether a barn project is small or large, a new owner or manager who communicates with their boarders and is considerate will lessen the amount of “noise” that takes place during barn renovations.

[Read more: So You Bought a Boarding Facility series]

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