by Channing Turner
Arabian Horse Times continues their look into impressive barn features with Oak Haven Farms in Bullard, Texas. Speaking with Lauren Krohn on their state-of-the-art facility which caters to the success of their show horses and breeding program, it was originally conceived and sketched on the back of a napkin while she and Jason were at brunch one day. They built the current Oak Haven facility by including ideas they had seen at other facilities and adding their own, while working closely with the builders during construction to determine which features were feasible.
Oak Haven’s open-air setup consists of 120 stalls (four for foaling), all of which have an aisleway window for seeing their neighbor, as well as a window view to outside. The well-ventilated barn—vitally important to protect against the Texas heat—contains eight groom bays, two for each trainer (Lauren, Jason Krohn and Cassie Gillespie), with two extra crossties for horses that are getting ready to lunge, as well as additional crosstie bays for the farrier and vet to work, and a climate-controlled room for clients to store show clothes.
Separate from the stall area and Lauren’s favorite feature at Oak Haven is their arena with a viewing deck and lounge. Having the arena separate means horses being worked are not distracted and the stalled horses are not disturbed.
Also on-site are two round pens, an equisizer used during show season to keep the horses left behind in shape, and a large shop to store trucks and trailers—convenient and crucial for loading and unloading out of the elements.
Putting Plans in Motion
Lauren believes every barn should be set up for efficiency. Having everything close together allows for work to get done quicker and is streamlined.
Her advice to anyone thinking about building a barn? “Think before you do,” she says. “Talking about it is much different than building, so most importantly, plan ahead, because it may be impossible to change some things after the fact.” Case in point … when Oak Haven was being built, they planned on having 12×12 stalls, but because of the thickness of the concrete walls, the stalls ended up not quite 12×12.