It's no secret that caring for horses is an expensive undertaking. At the same time, most horse owners treat their animals like part of the family and want the best environment possible to house them.
It was with that in mind that the Strickland family invested in making their Uxbridge property, Rosedale Park Farms, as modern and comfortable as possible.
It all began with energy efficiency, including proper lighting, insulation and heating for the horses' water.
The Stricklands' horse barn and riding arena is 20,000 square feet, or about the same size as a typical big box retail store. With such a massive space, the lighting investment required was a big one. But help from Save on Energy, Hydro One and a passionate contractor allowed them to curb costs to bring their dream to life.
In horse stalls and barns, lighting is often an afterthought, if it's thought of at all. However, when watching how professionals, such as veterinarians and farriers (who make and fit horseshoes) worked, the Stricklands realized that improved lighting is critical.
In barns, people often position lighting as if it were their home, without taking the animals into consideration. When building their barn, the Stricklands placed lighting to the sides of the animals, instead of directly overhead, to eliminate shadows and enable the professionals to do their work.
The entire barn and arena is now outfitted with 70 new LED lights, making the space easier for vets and farriers to work. And the space is more comfortable for its primary residents too, with the lighting placed strategically to create fewer shadows to spook the horses.
"We see the innovations we've made to lighting as critical to the business because it allows us to differentiate our service, which is going to keep our barn full and keep our revenue flowing," David Strickland says.
Though they had an idea of what they wanted, the Stricklands needed a contractor who could help them make it all work. Penn and McGuire Electric stepped in, providing a cost analysis of the project before any work began.
Ultimately, the contractors helped decide on lighting placement, and helped the Stricklands take advantage of the natural light in their barn.
Save on Energy incentives helped the Stricklands cut the cost of their project by more than $10,000. Without those savings, they couldn’t have invested in additional low-level lighting, which is important for vets to examine the horses more effectively. Ultimately, that's driving more professionals to recommend the boarding facility.
The expectations in the horse boarding business are high, and also emotional, with customers wanting to make sure their horses are as happy and comfortable as possible. By investing in efficiency, the Stricklands have made their business a competitive one, and more sustainable for years to come.