Working as a volunteer to help rescue animals has made Franny Lepori keenly aware of the horrors pets must sometimes endure. As a long-time horsewoman, her heart breaks to see abused horses, which are particularly at risk because they are long-lived, expensive-to-keep animals that require expert training. You’ve seen it in movies like War Horse, but Franny gets to see it first-hand.
Skipping lots of sad details, Franny explains her horse ownership like this, “One thing led to another and now I have two quarter horses and one mini horse.”
When Franny recently had the opportunity to build a new barn, she designed it to ensure her horses are living the dream in this new chapter of their lives. Because Franny is more a woman of deeds than words, the story of her horses getting newfound love is best told by touring her new barn in southwest Reno.
When you approach the barn, you notice an architecturally dramatic roof with wide overhangs providing shade for horses all day long. You enter a large roll-up door onto a rubber tiled floor, ideally suited for those wearing horse shoes. A fan whirs overhead.
Once inside a handsome, wood-slatted and iron-trimmed stall, you notice another whirring fan over the stall, automatic waterers with heaters and central heat. All of Franny’s horses and their guests are treated to these amenities in their stalls.
You might not notice the automatic bug spray system, but it stands ready to rinse away flies. To ensure a thorough cleaning, horses have access to a wash bay with upper and lower lights. Infrared heaters in the wash bay and instant hot water guarantee bathing comfort.
The heated tack room and heated feed room also make it really nice to hang out in the barn, even if it’s your turn to clean up, which is easily accomplished because each stall has a drain for cleaning and is equipped with outdoor turnouts.
The barn may look dreamy, but Franny went through a very real process to make it happen. After years of gathering barn photos and information, she engaged her hubby contractor, Frank Lepori, and draftsmen Dominic Gonzales to draft the floor plan and develop a wish list for how the barn should function. “We drew the basic plans together, then we had a meeting with the mechanical, plumbing and electrical subcontractors to further define our approach. We made many revisions to the plans throughout the design phase before we got what we wanted. Each revision improved our design. Having a team that took the time to explore the what-ifs with me meant I wouldn’t have regrets later.”
What does Franny like best about her barn? “Gosh, everything about my barn is so grand it would be difficult to just pick one. I would say that having all the grain, supplements, tack, blankets, etc., all in one place just makes life with my big guys so much more enjoyable and simple.”