With our first post, I want to take a moment to welcome you, and I hope you find the Bailey Equine blog both informative and interesting. Our goal with this new business venture is to expand beyond just offering products for your barn or trailer, and to offer solutions to maximize efficiency, optimize your space, and remain budget-friendly. Tyler and I are going to share tips and ideas for designing your stables and pastures, as well as share our own farm and stable renovation. I want to use this post to introduce ourselves, and to share our backgrounds in the industry, before we start to get into the stuff you actually are going to care about.
I have been riding horses since I was eight, after years of begging my parents for a pony (pretty sure that's how most of us started out...). After a few years of lessons, they bought me my first horse and we built a barn and pastures at home. I knew and they knew I was hooked for life. The two-stall barn soon grew to five stalls, a tack room, a hay shed, and a greenhouse, and I helped to build it every step of the way. Soon came chickens, goats, and even some lambs for 4-H projects. My parents taught me all about construction, drainage, ventilation, and even a little bit of plumbing and electrical while we built.
Through high school, as I began to explore career options, I knew I just had to do something with animals. To gain more experience, I took every job opportunity with animals that I could find. I did everything from milking cows to riding a horse as the Headless Horseman in a haunted hayride. I continued working on farms through college, and graduated with a bachelors degrees in Animal Sciences, with specializations in Dairy Science, Equine Science, Poultry Science, and Nutrient Management, and an additional bachelors degree in Business Management from Penn State University. I worked for a farm fence company upon graduation, selling fencing materials, designing fences, and designing pasture layouts. I left that position to jump in to running my own business full-time. Since then, I have also been training and teaching riding lessons on the side, in anticipation of opening our new facility, Double H Equestrian at Bailey Hill Farms.
Tyler is a mechanical engineer by day, and a welder by night. Tyler works full-time as an engineering consultant for an international company based in Ohio. Tyler learned to weld in his high school's vocational ag program. Although he picked up on it quickly and became quite skilled, he choose to pursue an engineering degree at the University of Pittsburgh and pursue that career path instead. Still, he spent his free time welding projects for himself and for friends and family, until our conversation over the dinner table one night led to this business idea.
The one thing that sets us apart from other welding and fabrication shops is Tyler's attention to detail. He has the ability to visualize a finished project, and all the steps it will take to get there, so that he's doing things the right way and doing things once. Usually a quick sketch or a brief conversation is all he needs to translate my ideas into a finished product. He has taken ideas from customers and turned them into beautiful, functional, and cost-effective items. Tyler was not a horse person until I came into the picture, but quickly adapted to the lifestyle. If you ask him now, Schnickelfritz is his horse and he just allows me to show him and "make him fancy." Tyler is our biggest fan when we step into that show ring, and can often be spotted on the rail taking pictures or filming my ride.
In May 2020, we purchased our dream farm. It has a 175-year-old farm house, a big garage for Tyler and his welding, a barn and arenas for me, and acres and acres for Julian to play on. The farm was once well-maintained and beautiful, but years of neglect left it to fall into disrepair. The buildings are all sound, but the insides have to be rebuilt. As we redo stalls, aisles, doorways, tack rooms, and more, I am going to document it on this blog for others looking for how-to's, design ideas, and inspiration for their own barns. So far, we've torn down almost all of the stalls, and we really get to be creative with rebuilding. Stay tuned for progress photos as we transform this facility into our dream barn!