New Barn Flooring And The WEG On TV October 07 2010, 0 Comments

New flooring installed at Missy Ann Stables

Even without a horse show, it was an exciting horse-related weekend nonetheless. On Saturday, the long-awaited installation of new flooring at the barn got underway. The barn was closed for the weekend to boarders—something that I don’t recall happening in the four-plus years we’ve boarded at Missy Ann Stables. My daughter was fighting a stomach bug, otherwise, I think she would have been banging on the barn door, demanding to be let in.

Back in the day, when I was the rider and not the checkbook, the barn was always closed on Monday. I hated Monday. The girl laughs when I tell her that such a thing exists—a day when the barn is closed. Spoiled rotten, that kid.

I was allowed in the barn this past Saturday because I was doing chores, so I got to see the installation unfold. The black rubber mats had been removed weeks ago, and the concrete floors had accumulated a fine layer of grit. I was ready to see a makeover of “What Not to Wear” proportions.

When I arrived at the barn, there was a crew of six men hard at work installing the new flooring. It’s a system of interlocking rubber pavers that sort of look like red bricks. They’re small, and to me, the process looked like having to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle and glue it to the barn aisle. Scary! But these guys were clearly pros. They cut itty-bitty pieces to fit the corners and edges. The boss was a flooring expert with 20 years of experience, but he’d never done a barn before. He and his crew were intrigued by the horses. It was fun to watch them make new friends.

The early morning barn crew arrived even earlier than usual to clean stalls and turn horses out before the 8 a.m. arrival of the flooring crew. After nearly 5 inches of rain last week, that was no easy task. Horses were shipped out and moved around to clear out one aisle at a time so the floor could be installed. Musical stalls was the theme of the weekend. When the horses were returned to their stalls that evening, they didn’t miss the fact that something was VERY different under their hoofs. Snort, snort, snort—what the heck? Is this safe to walk on? Are you sure? Yes, Toto, it will not bite you. Yes, Mondavi, I am aware that the floor was gray this morning and it is now red. Horses, I tell you, they don’t miss a thing.

The result is stunning. It will be interesting to see how this flooring holds up and how difficult it will be to keep it looking this wonderful. We are all thrilled with the way it turned out and are grateful to the barn owners for making the investment.

In other news, how exciting was it to have five whole hours of network programming dedicated to our sport this weekend? Thank you NBC. I taped it, and we’ve already watched the cross-country phase three times. I found it interesting that Ariat and USEF were in a position to produce television commercials. Did they work with advertising agencies to produce the spots? If so, did these agencies know anything about equestrian sports? Hard to tell. I would love to see what the price tag was on those 30-second spots. And while I also appreciate the support from Reem Acra, what was up with those ads? Um, no I don’t love you, or your frizzy hair, or your clothes. But yes, I do appreciate your support of the Games. Your bridal gowns are nice!

This article was originally published on The Chronicle of the Horse website.