THE OFFICIAL BLOG
I am particularly grateful that we had it ready in time for foaling. That was the plan, but there was this virus and a lot of crazy shut-downs and delays and it seemed like we were going to have to make-do for another season. But miracle of miracles - it was ready for Guadalupe and her baby. They have a safe, dry, and well-lit stall which allows the rest of the herd to check in and interact any time of day. (In the meantime, Fatima is waiting for her turn in the adjacent stall.)
Not only do we have a good grooming station but we have room to set up stations for all of them at once. Finally, proper daily grooming and training is not only possible, but rather pleasant - especially with plenty of light and all of the necessary supplies within arm's reach.
My initial request for a 20' x 30' building with the long side completely open was met with some... uhm... confusion... skepticism... maybe looks of 'Okay, lady. That makes no sense, but you're paying.' But I had donkeys in mind! I needed a structure that would be large enough to not only house stalls as needed, but also to serve as a run-in for the rest of the donkeys. And it was really important to me that this be more of a run-in than a barn - as donkeys don't care much for being enclosed. That's also why I was happy to accept the standard 10' walls for our 30 inch donkeys -- lots of air-flow and a high-ceiling that helps the space feel wide-open while still being protected. The raised clay and gravel pad is high enough to keep the ground as dry as needed for donkey hooves and the building itself is situated so as to face away from prevailing winds and sun all day long.
We still intend to rearrange and add more stalls for the future - though the current configuration is perfect for this summer. We also plan to add a lot more hardware for hanging and storing supplies on those high walls. Also in the works is a solar lighting kit for late night check-ups. That's going to be super cool.
We will probably be adding some seating for humans that is unlikely to be chewed by donkeys and plenty of decor to make the place homey. But for now - it just feels nice to finally have what we need to keep our little donkeys happy.