High-tech house and barn built with the future in mind

Take a tour of Horse Haven Farm in eastern Fayette County, and you might wonder which is smarter—the house or the barn?

Steve and Joy Corbin spent a year planning their technologically advanced 5,320-square-foot house and 6,000-square-foot horse barn at 4895 Buggy Road. That was almost 15 years ago.

“We asked everyone who worked on it, ‘If this were your house, what would you do?” Steve recalls. As part of the year-long planning process, electricians, the cabinetry supplier, a technology guru and others offered their ideas; the couple incorporated many of them.

For example, to accommodate technology upgrades down the road, both structures are wired with commercial grade cable; several yards of it are stored underground “just in case,” Steve said. Geothermal lines for heat and cooling both house and barn are buried under the driveway. A keypad at the house outside controls lights, monitors security cameras, and performs other tricks.

Everyone in the Corbin family rides. Their beloved steeds live the good life in larger-than-average stalls with automatic waterers and fans and a fly-control system overhead. Stall floors a few inches lower than the concrete aisle on the other side make it harder for horses to kick shavings into the aisle. The barn’s yellow poplar stall doors and black steel rails and posts become art in this setting.

In addition to two indoor wash bays, the one and a half-story barn also features a kitchen, tack room and storage space for four-wheelers, hay, and feed. Steve has a gun range on the finished second level where he and daughters Alexis, 15, and Kayley, 14, practice target shooting.

The largest of three parking bays can house a tractor-trailer or a Class A motorhome with a pull-behind vehicle. The family’s St. Bernard and German Shepherd can romp and run freely then let themselves inside their own private heated and cooled dog room, equipped with an automatic waterer and food dispenser. Outside, four-plank poplar fences define activity areas. There’s a 50-ft. round pen, four-horse Odyssey walker, 200’ by 100’ lighted training arena and four paddocks. The Corbins also own the adjacent 10-acre tract, which they use for pasture.

“We designed the farm to be self-sufficient, so everything is automatic,” Steve said. Although they have a farm manager, it’s nice to know they can leave for the weekend and not worry about their animals going hungry or thirsty. Little did he and Joy know during the planning stage that daughter Alexis, a newborn, and Kayley, who hadn’t been born, would grow up to play volleyball and tennis at Lexington Christian Academy.

“It’s not unusual for Steve to arrange his work schedule so that he can be here to take one daughter to games and I take the other,” Joy explains. “We’re in different states some weekends.”


Steve comes from a military family and has lived a little bit of everywhere. A pilot who flies Boeing 777s for a living, he’s a detail man who leaves nothing to chance. Joy, a radiation therapist at Baptist Hospital Lexington, grew up in Carter County. In addition to working part-time, she runs half-marathons, the house, and the farm.

Retired KSP deputy commissioner Rick Stiltner oversaw construction of both house and barn. Wide, arched doorways, arch-top windows, and tall, specialty ceilings are a few of many upgrades that enhance the two-story brick residence. Equipped with Elon home and lighting systems, the house has 90 cable, internet, and phone outlets—one on every wall—and 10 televisions. Generously-sized windows in the kitchen and breakfast area provide views of the backyard and pasture. A cooktop with pop-up downdraft vent tops the kitchen island. Cherry cabinets extending to the ceiling and granite countertops contrast with warm, honey-colored hardwood floors.

In the family room, there’s a sectional sofa large enough to comfortably seat an entire volleyball team. A small porch off the living room provides a cozy spot to wind up with coffee in the morning, sip sweet tea, or wind down with wine in the evening.

An office nook and all four bedrooms occupy the second floor. In the oversized owners’ suite, a double-tray ceiling gets most of the attention. Heated floors in the adjoining marble bathroom work so well there’s no need to turn on the heat to use the jetted tub and shower.

The closet measures as big as large as many bedrooms. “This is actually my favorite room of the house,” Joy says. Along with shelves for shoes and clothes bars at varied heights, the perfectly organized space has an island with drawers and a window for natural light.

By design, the tricked-out basement belongs to the girls. “I wanted this to be the house that all the kids played at,” Steve explains. Alexis, Kayley and their friends hang out, play video games and watch movies there. About a dozen deflated inflatable beds wait patiently in a closet for the next sleepover.

This week’s feature home is listed with Becky Reinhold of Bluegrass Sotheby’s International Realty.