Information on each of the LTS buildings (as compared to properties – pastures, paddocks, etc.) is sorted into these categories:
- status and early remedial work completed upon arrival in November 2009
- renovations and/or upgrades completed in 2010
- work currently underway
- future work programs and/or aspirations
We welcome any questions or comments on any of these topics. Although this is a BLOG site, we will return to each of these topics on a regular basis to update each of the sub-topics. We will do our best to respond to any questions, comments or concerns as soon as possible.
For all White Stall photographs, go to the Photobucket file here:
LTS Farm Management – White Stall Barn
Status and Remedial Work Upon Arrival in 2009
Upon arrival at the facility in November 2009 it was quickly determined that the “White Stall Barn” (WSB) was not in any condition that it could be used – not even on a temporary basis.
It is hard to describe the deteriorated state of the WSB, as the stalls were filthy, bull of rotting sawdust and manure, and the walls of the stalls were more brown than white from the lack of cleaning of these areas. The LTS boarders and owners all “pitched in” during the initial days of November 2009 to remove the waste in the stalls and then to drag out the rubber mats (old conveyor belts). What was found underneath the mats was even worse than what was on top of the mats.
In addition to the sad state of the stalls, it was obvious that the WSB had been subjected to extensive flooding and that the WSB could not be used in its present condition. As such, immediate attention was diverted away from the WSB until a plan could be put in place to renovate the entire building. Most of the LTS family could not believe that the previous tenant had horses in that barn, let alone were billing their clients for the use of the facility. LTS had no option but to “shut it down” until the problems could be evaluated and remedial action plan could be put in place.
Renovations and Upgrades Completed in 2010
There was no option for the WSB other than to dismantle it and start again. That included the water room, the stall areas, the run-in shed and the areas immediately surrounding the barn. This would take several weeks to complete, in fact the work started in late November 2009 and continued into February 2010. In hind sight, it might have been easier to start with barren ground and erect a new facility – as obviously no maintenance had been undertaken, let alone basic cleaning – the WSB was a disaster zone!
The Radisic Family (RF) backed up the LTS team without question once they became aware of the mess that had been left behind by the previous tenant. LTS and RF moved quickly to remove ALL of the walls and structures within the WSB and start afresh with a ground level remediation. New tile drainage was put in place and several tons of new gravel (about 14 inches) was put into the new floor. This was allowed to settle for several weeks, after which it was “vibrated” (packed) and the reconstruction of the stall walls was initiated.
The stall walls were more or less destroyed when LTS arrived at the facility, so most of the white panels had to be replaced, repaired or rebuilt. In total 485 rivets were replaced in the walls that were broken and 12 new panels were cut and installed. During the ice cold months of December and January, every panel was removed, scrubbed and power washed – until the sparkling white colour reappeared.
All of the “quick fix” plywood panels on the backs of the stalls were removed, the many nails and screws extracted, and the 2×6 boards were replaced where broken. The entire facility was then subjected to a JAVEX wash and manual “power scrub”, followed by many hours of a “power wash” – a tough feat in the freezing weeks of January 2010. Every inch of the WSB was washed, floors, walls and ceiling. The walls were all rebuilt (levelled using a laser) and new mats were cut for all the stalls.
The WSB also has a small “water room” where the water heater and water control system is located. This room was a “plumbing and electrical disaster” and the original “eye opener” to the many other similar problems that would be found throughout the facility. The previous tenant(s) had installed electrical and plumbing systems without any regard to human safety, let alone the Ontario Codes for plumbing and electrical work. It was a wonder that nobody had been seriously injured in the time prior to the arrival of LTS. The only solution was to remove the equipment, repair it and reinstall it where possible. Areas where plumbing and electrical were located in wet muddy areas were “shut down” until they could be renovated to safe and dry conditions.
On the outside of the WSB there were two major projects completed in the Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2010. The pooling of water to the south of the barn had been identified early as a problem (as in the past it pooled inside the barn) and their was no protection from the cold winter winds on the south wall of the barn. To alleviate these problems, additional work was completed:
- with the help of the Radisic Family (RF), a major new trench was excavated from the east end of the WSB, behind the Small Sand Ring and out to the Barn A field,
- a smaller drainage trench was dug from the edge of the WSB, through the run-in shed and out to the new excavated trench – thus allowing all water entering the WSB area to be diverted away from the building, and
- steel sheeting was installed on all exposed south walls of the WSB to cut off any direct wind and snow entry into the stalls.
The WSB has been back in operation now for 5 months and the problems with this facility are again beginning to appear. The stalls are weak (white panel boards on metal frames) and they are easily soiled. The new drainage system is working well and the area is dry, but already the stall walls are a mess and many are starting to show the wear and tear of their inhabitants. Some panels have been kicked out and need to be riveted back in place. That will need to be added to the LTS agenda for ongoing repairs.
Future Programs / Aspirations
It is likely that the stall structure in the WSB will be determined to be “inadequate” for large horses, particularly those with aggressive tendencies. The white panels can not take the “pounding” that is common in a horse barn and it is likely there will be a continual problem with replacement and/or repair. The structural frames of the stalls appear to be adequate but the internal structures will always be a problem. Perhaps the area would be suitable for ponies or “retired” horses, only time will tell.
No attention has been paid to the roof and eavestroughss of the WSB. As such, that matter needs to be addressed, as that is an ongoing problem with respect to site drainage and water impacts resulting from the WSB operations (i.e. water entering the shavings shed). A request has been placed with the RF to see if this matter can be addressed as part of the overall farm eavestrough management program.