The Gammages

Challenge – Working with horses in the summer heat
Solution – Hercules Truss Arch Building
Size – 100′ wide x 200′ long
Application – Indoor riding arena and storage

With a ranch located in Cleveland, TX, John and Louise Gammage needed a place to work during the hot summers. As a second business, their ranch is used to house their personal horses and the horses that they rescue. With only a pole barn for storing their equipment, John and Louise did all of their riding and training outdoors. “It is just too hot here in the summer to work outside,” explains John. Yet it is necessary for them to train the horses all year round because, as John explains, “they will never move on to adoption homes if they are not rideable.”

To work around the summer heat, they purchased a ClearSpan Hercules Truss Arch Building. “It was the only possible way that we could have afforded this size building,” says John. At the time, they had four horses that they had rescued from neglectful owners. He explains, “We had to buy them off people who had abused them, mostly through neglect and/or ignorance. Since coming here and getting the place together, we made contact with Habitat for Horses and offered ourselves as a foster home.”

With their ClearSpan arena, they have plenty of room to work out of the heat with foster horses. John says, “In the summertime it is pleasantly cool, especially because we orientated the open ends to let the prevailing breeze blow through.” With this large amount of covered space, the Gammages are also able to use it for hay and equipment storage. “It is so nice to be able to drive into the building without any concern for height restrictions, and there’s plenty of space to maneuver.” John continues, “We still have to run water and electricity over to the building because we are using it for more than anticipated.” As well as having storage and riding space in the arena, they also built a tack room and stalls for rescue horses to use when they are not grazing outside.

For John and Louise, the building is working out better than expected. “There is something about these buildings,” John says. “Maybe it’s the height, which is taller than most conventional ‘heavy’ steel structures—they inspire an almost cathedral air.”