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Exterior of a green barn with red and blue doors covered in snow

Yesterday at the family Christmas dinner at my tiny little cottage in the Hollywood Hills, we started talking about barns. JS, long time family friend, said her next big home project is that she is planning on building a barn at her home in Maine. Love the idea of a barn!

Maybe her barn will look like this! Wouldn’t it be great to have this barn? In the snow or in warm weather…I love the idea of a barn. I used to ride horses and I’ve always loved being in a working barn.

About 6 years ago, I used to ride horses, 3-5 times a week in fact. Dressage. I rode a horse named Kip, a handsome Thoroughbred – a huge regal horse, who was over 16 hands high. I leased him. He wasn’t my own but I adored him. Under my horse lease arrangement, I had the right to ride Kip 3-5 times a week…and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of my regular rides – I conquered a lot of fears over the 5 years I was riding and it felt good. After some doing, Kip and I developed a wonderful relationship – I think he liked me …or maybe it was just the carrots I brought him every day. I used to get to the stables at about 6am to ride with Kip on weekdays before work. I loved riding. Horseback riding is really a very quiet sport…a very intimate relationship between rider and horse that a observer would never see…with a breath, a small shift in seat, a flick of a small finger, or the slight pressure of a leg, you can communicate with what I think is a rather magnificent animal. Kip was magnificent but Kip was also so easily spooked by the small things in life. He also had a little leg issue which made him stumble from time to time. Don’t know whether he stumbled or got spooked the day he was trotting along with me on his back…he flinched and then before I knew it he was falling on his head doing almost a …complete somersault with me on his back…he did something though to protect me…somehow I fell but kind of just slid down the back of his neck right before he and I both flipped over…he was fine…I was fine…scary for both of us though. I got back on that day and rode for another few months. I got back on because of that saying…when you fall off the horse you MUST get back on (think that has great application to the rest of life too). I have to admit though…riding was never the same for me after that fall…I got back on. A few months later, however, I hung up my cute velvet helmet, my stunning black leather tall field boots (the riding boots with the cute laces), long crop, array of jodhpurs and have not really been on a horse again. I will get back on a horse in 2011. At least just once. I will. I still adore horses…miss riding, miss Kip and miss going to the barn…I do. Well readers it has happened again..I totally digress…as usual…help…need to figure out how to maintain focus…help…back to barn architecture.

Anyhoooooooooooo…in addition to a barn being a functional work space, I love the concept of a barn transformed into a living space too…the high ceilings, the rustic architecture, the classic exterior…love love love.

A green barn with red trim, metal roof and weather vane…standing oh so proudly in the snow…perfect!

Happy Sunday! Hope you had a Merry Christmas! Now onto New Years!


Photo: Jeff McNamara

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  1. I know exactly what you mean, and I too miss riding. I started taking lessons (hunter jumper) at 8 and just stopped after college (a few years ago). Miss it like crazy! Hope you do get back on in 2011!

  2. Please go see Kip again. I’m sure he misses you and the carrots. Animals develop a relationship also. It would be so interesting to know what happened to him. Is he still stumbling or maybe it was a bad shoe. Please give him another chance.

  3. I love barns too… especially if they are converted into loft spaces or very cool, unexpected living spaces.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!


  4. After about 8 years off, I just started riding again. so much fun and such a rush! Just the other week, I fell off at a trot too for the first time since I picked up again (suuper bruised and achy the next day but everything was just fine). Got back on, picked up the trot and was on my way! Despite the scares, you’ll love getting back in the saddle!


  5. How proud will you be when you “get back on that horse”? It is the little things in life that seem to turn things around for us and who knows how many “horses” you will conquer after that first ride. Interesting story..thanks

  6. Barns, LA and Horses; you are a blog after my heart! I appreciate the beauty of horses and their power. It has been a long-standing wish of mine to ride horses, i’ll be completing that wish in 2011..Happy Holidays.

  7. We currently have started the the beginnings of a “barn house” I find that picture very inspiring. Do you have any interior pictures?
    Thanks, Susan

  8. Love barns and horses too. Since I am scared of falling off and getting hurt – I compete in Ballroom Dance – I now relegate myself to appreciating the beauty of horses only. Especially Fresians, Andalusians, and Arabians.

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