Creating the Ideal Equestrian Building
If you are building a new stable for your horse or are changing a pre-existing building into a stable, we have a large selection of ideas and tips you can use to make the best and most comfortable stable for your horse. A lot of horses do not like being in a stable, but when you design it professionally and make it comfortable for your horse it will make things easier and safer. Follow our advice for building the most reliable and comfortable stable right now by continuing reading below.
When it comes to box stalls or loose boxes they should be around 10’X10′ or (3mx3m) all the way to 12’x12′ (3.6mx3.6m) for average side riding horses. These are the bare minimum recommendations. If you have a larger area, we suggest you build larger stalls. If you own larger horses, having the extra room with a draft or draft cross will give them the option to move around freely and to lie down easily without feeling overly confined.
Some people use the same size stall for foaling stalls however you should use a larger size for mares and foals. The easiest method to do is this is to take down the partition between two regular sized stalls. It is a good idea to have at least one foaling stall handy because you never know when you will need it.
There are also standing or tie stalls which need to be wide enough for a horse to be able to lie down in comfort. These stalls should be at least 4ft to 5ft(1.5m) wide and around 8ft (2.4m) long. Typically you will have a manger for hay at the front of the standing stall so preparing a good sized width to the stall is of utmost importance.
A larger draft horse will need more space than a pony so be sure to build accordingly. You will also need a sturdy area to tie your horse too however your horse will be able to reach his or her feed and water. In standing and stall boxes you want the walls to be built from solid timber to at least 4.6ft(1.4m) tall, with sturdy mesh so the horses can see each other for added comfort. This will help with both ventilation and the lighting of your stalls.
To decrease the possibility of horses escaping from their stalls, you will want to use either swinging or sliding doors with latches that are hard to tamper with. Horses are known to tamper with their doors and end up ransacking the stables with their temporary overnight freedom. Avoid this problem and safety hazard by using secure doors with secure latches to keep them enclosed.
Swinging doors should swing open into the alley way and should be closed at all other times. They should be able to secure easily so your horses don’t escape. You should always keep your grain room doors locked and you should build your doors to be at least 4 ft (1.2m) wide.
When it comes to aisles and alleyways you will want to construct them to be around 10ft wide or (3m). You want to provide a lot of room so horses can pass each other when being led and have space to move around when being led or tied up.
The most common flooring in horse stables is concrete. It is a natural non-slip surface but you will need to install drainage into each of the stalls. You will have clean the stalls regularly to avoid ammonia build up and concrete can be easily hosed down with disinfectant. Concrete is slightly harder on the horse’s legs which are why some horse owners install rubber mats under the bedding of the stalls to give the horses that added comfort. Some people will use sandy soil for an earth floor. This is easier on the horse’s legs and is slightly warmer and quieter than concrete. However, they are harder to clean and the dirt will need to be replaced if it becomes over taken by urine and water.
Older barns typically have low ceilings that are used for live stock. If you have horses you may need to raise the roof or dig the floor lower if your drainage allows you too. Your ceiling must allow your horses to raise their head and be sure there are no nails sticking out from the ceilings or any hanging objects a horse could possibly accidentally get injured by.
You will also want to provide good lighting in your bespoke timber stables and the wiring system should be rodent and moisture proof. You will want to install safety cages around the lights so the horses cannot reach them. Also, you will want to hide the light switches from curious horses. Be sure that the work areas, tack and feed rooms have good lighting for usability and safety.
You will also want to install a lot of windows for good ventilation and lighting and cover them with mesh so horses will not break the glass. Lastly choosing how you will feed and water your horses is a major decision. We suggest you hang a bucket on the wall as it prevents the bucket from getting knocked over and making a mess on the floor. You can also use automatic watering systems that will need to be insulated against freezing temperatures. For feeding, you can purchase wall based feeding tubs or you can always build a manger for hay.
A special mention and thanks goes out to the following external websites that we have referenced in this article as either links, media or knowledge: