Glenn and Grace Dassoff have loved horses since they were kids. The couple had two horses while living in Southern California, but had to stable them about an hour away. That all changed this past summer when they packed up and moved with their horses to Montana, where they built a beautiful new horse barn of their own.
The Dassoffs now reside in Livingston, about a half-hour east of Bozeman. Grace, a retired school teacher, has been involved in horse training and has enjoyed the thrill of competition and riding in shows for the past eight years. Glenn, a corporate trial lawyer, took up the sport about two years ago.
“We had a rough idea of what we wanted, but worked closely with our design team. Fortunately, everything turned out great, and looking back we wouldn’t change a single thing,” Glenn said. The new barn was designed and built by Morton Buildings, which has a construction center serving the Bozeman area.
But to call the 40-by-36-foot, two-level facility a barn seems like an understatement. More than just a facility for housing and caring for the horses, the building features many other amenities, including a social room and upstairs guest area, as well as custom designed interior and exterior décor elements.
The barn is equipped with three stalls — two are 12 by 14 feet and the other 12 by 12 feet. Each stall has a Dutch door that opens to a 20-foot outside run. There’s also a wash stall as well as a floor radiant heat system that extends beyond the barn entrance.
“That really helps melt the snow and ice during the winter,” Grace noted. “Otherwise, there’d be four or five feet of snow piled up, blocking the entrance.”
Glenn has a Swedish Warmblood, Friesian mix horse named Eragon, and Grace’s horse is Fletch, a German Westphalian. The Dassoffs are both looking forward to competing in English dressage events. They also designed and built a full-scale 70-by-130-foot dressage arena on the property, used for exercising the horses and practicing for competitions.
Other barn features include:
- A large social room decorated with antique barrels, beautiful cabinetry, red leather chairs and a stacked granite wall. “We really enjoy wine and entertaining guests there. It’s a fun, playful room,” Glenn said.
- The second level features a guest area equipped with bath and kitchen facilities. It has double doors that open to a panoramic view of the lower level, overlooking the social room.
- A 12-by-20-foot tack room where the couple stores their saddles and bridles. “It’s really a beautiful space, with burnt cedar wood that has a smoky gloss look,” Grace said. “There’s also a stairway that leads to the second level.”
Attractive design elements include a wainscot around the bottom third of the barn exterior, and above that, reclaimed wood walls match the Dassoff home. Exterior and interior floodlights provide illumination that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Interior finish work was done by the Dassoffs’ general contractor.
For the Dassoffs, the new barn is more than just a place to house their horses. It’s also an integral part of their new Montana lifestyle.
“It’s an absolute joy to go out every night and say good night to our horses,” Glenn and Grace said. “It’s hard to describe.”