Southern Sky

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Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

Allison Rayburn’s new barn, Southern Sky, located in Sparkle Creek in the Eads/Fisherville area of west Tennessee, has turned out to be her ideal barn. “It’s so well laid out, well set up; it’s very functional, with great attention to details,” she said. She praised the vision of the former owners in planning and building this barn: “It was so well planned and thought out!” When she was looking at the property before buying, she said, “It was the barn that sold me! We closed the deal in May and moved the horses here in July.”

Carson Looney custom designed the 5-bedroom home on this 60-acre tract that includes the ten-stall stable, pool and pool house, 4-acre pond, auto/hobby shop, seven paddocks for horse turnout with five run-in sheds in the paddocks. Allison did say that the house was a bit large for her, husband Peter and 10-year-old son Robert.

One of the first noticeable attributes of the stable is the excellent air flow. With its long, wide main aisle and an equally wide cross aisle, coupled with high ceilings to accommodate a loft area, and a central cupola, the barn is designed for ideal ventilation for horses. “It never got hot in the summer,” Allison said. There are industrial wall mounted fans and “we only had to run the two exhaust fans in the cupola twice,” she added.

The barn has ten roomy stalls and seven paddocks, which are easily accessible for turnout. “The stalls are big and airy,” she said, and each one has an outside window in addition to U-shaped, metal mesh stall doors.

 “The lounge is just beautiful! It is heated and air conditioned with a refrigerator, microwave, and ice maker, “Allison described. “The tack room is also heated and air conditioned, so there is never any mildew on the leather. And the feed room is also heated and air conditioned so there’s no moldy feed, either.” The farm has a huge separate building for hay storage that can accommodate up to 1,000 bales, Allison said.

The stable has a built in fly spray system to keep insects from bothering the horses. There is a two-bay wash and grooming area for clipping and bathing horses.

The riding arena is irrigated, watered regularly on a timer, “so it is never dusty,” she said. The arena has limestone based all weather footing and, because it is well drained, is available for riding in any weather.

In addition to the riding arena, “there are lots of places to ride outside the ring,” Allison said. “There are lots of accessible trails, and we find that the horses are loving the trail rides.”

Currently Allison has six horses on the place, two of her own and four boarders. Allison’s two bay horses almost look like twins, their faces and blazes are so similar. One is Fascinate, a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, who Allison describes as a “green project horse,” as she’s trying to find his perfect niche. The other is Captivate, a 9-year-old Hanoverian, who is shown by Mary Grayson Fauser in the Adult Amateur 18-35 division. At the Brownland Fall I Show (September 2-6, 2020), the pair were Champions in that division. “She made a clean sweep of the classes!” Allison extolled. They were first in all five classes in that division.

It would be hard to find a horse person who is happier with her barn. “It’s just perfect; so well thought out. Bonnie (former owner) thought of everything! I’m very happy!” Allison said.

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