That’s what we’ve christened the antique barn’s cavelike lower level: dark stalls, peeling paint, buckling dropped ceiling, rusted nails, dripping water, cobwebs. If you could see out the grimy portholes, you’d have a view of the arena/horse-barn roof and hilltop beyond. Above the horse barn, below the hay barn: the uninhabitable Mezzanine, home of these good-luck horseshoes and and a cool old-timey leather-wrapped stirrup that’ll make for good decor elsewhere. Two treasures in a murky cavern; best not to touch anything, or breathe.
Up a narrow, precipitous ramp at the aisle’s far end is the Mezzanine annex: five stalls in a space meant for two. You reach one stall by passing through another. Blocking half the Mezzanine windows there’s a second shed row, a hovel crammed with three small-pony stalls. The D.I.Y. roofing job left nails protruding sharp-end from the ceiling.
Before we bought the place, there were horses living in here, I’m sorry to report. We’ll be doing some work before any more horses move in. For now, we’ve salvaged bridle and saddle racks from the tack room and, post-scrubbing, installed them in our barn down the hill. If we eventually convert this barn to living space, we’ll repurpose the old hinges and stall doors—and whatever boards can be salvaged. These old stalls have their own charming style, which you can still appreciate despite the dour environs.
Feature photo: Kristen Somody Whalen
Read about the antique barn and our vision for it here.