Between adhering to building codes and choosing the best equipment, there are many details to bear in mind when planning your dream stall barn. To help you stay organized, here’s what to consider when building horse stalls and storage space.
As a horse enthusiast, you probably already know your dream barn would have a tack room near the cross-ties and a shower in the bathroom.
But have you thought about your horse stall space? How you are going to ventilate your barn and stalls? How will you organize and store your horse feed and equipment?
Here are twelve tips about designing and planning horse stalls so your barn will be as effective, organized and comfortable for your horses, and you, as possible.
1. Think ahead. It’s true: people with horses often tend to end up with more horses. That’s why if you currently have four horses, you may want to build a couple of more stalls — say five or six total — in your new horse barn.
You could use the extra stalls as storage space in the meantime. (After all, who doesn’t need more storage space?)
2. Explore the countless number of options for your stalls. When it comes to horse stalls, there are countless ways to spend your dollar if you want quality furnishings or fun accessories.
Talk to your builder, or visit a website like Classic Stalls to explore all of the fancy options available.
3. Choose the right flooring. Flooring is a critical consideration when planning your stall barn.
Granular base material is commonly used in aisles and stalls, often covered with rubber mats for horse comfort. Concrete and brick pavers may be used in aisles. Sometimes, they are covered with rubber mats as well.
4. Determine which type of stall barn design will be best for you. Stall barn designs can either be:
*Interior column type: Interior barn columns hold up rafters which support the roof.
*Clear span type: Trusses span the width of the building and do not require interior columns to support the roof.
Stalls can be attached to an interior column, or you can have a free-standing stall, which works in a clear span design. Free-standing stalls attach to each other instead of a column to make it stable.
5. Consider a wash stall. Dedicate a stall space to a drainage system for a place to wash your horse with an overhead hose system. Having an interior wash stall allows you to wash down and groom your horse in all kinds of weather.
A concrete floor and drain, covered with rubber mats, provides a good surface and footing for the wash stall.
6. Dedicate some space for a tack room. This is a great way to have immediate access to your bridles, saddles, blankets, brushes and other necessary equipment.
However, you may want to install a door and close it off. You don’t want your valuable equipment to be exposed to too much dust.
7. Understand the importance of adequate airflow. Yes, it is critical to maintain adequate airflow to maintain the health of your horses. Install a ventilation system in your roof to keep the quality of air high and your animals happy.
8. Choose passive or power ventilation. You can choose a passive ventilation technique — like building a stall barn with eave and roof peak ventilation, which is great if your horse is well-fed and adjusted to weather conditions.
Don’t worry about normal winter weather temperatures when ventilating your building, as well-fed horses generate plenty of heat. They won’t freeze to death if exposed to normal winter elements inside a well-designed stall barn.
Another option is installing power ventilation. Some of these have moisture sensors that respond automatically to humidity levels, exhausting the moist and hot inside air and drawing in fresher air from outside.
Some horse owners will install an overhead fan to cool their animals. This is not like a ceiling fan in your house; instead, it is mounted at the top of your stall and blows down into it.
This fan can either be programed to react to temperature and humidity automatically, or you can manage it manually.
9. Install sliding doors. Sliding doors make less noise than overhead, electric garage doors, which means there’s a lower chance of spooking your horses.
Your sliding door will typically be either one piece and slide in one direction, or split in the middle. If you choose a split slider, the two door halves slide away from each other.
They’re also the most cost-effective type of door. Click here for more information about sliding doors and pole barns.
10. Add some natural lighting to your stall barn. There are several options for getting natural light into your stall barn.
One great option is adding Dutch doors or windows in your stalls. These provide light in the building, and add an additional source of ventilation.
Fixed windows can be added to your sliding doors which provide light into the entry area and center aisle. Also consider an eave light, which is typically a two-foot long polycarbonate panel placed under the eave of the building.
The more natural light you let in, the better. It saves you from using your electrical lighting during daylight hours.
11. Consider storing your hay in a nearby building. This is a safety precaution. Although it is very rare, horse barns sometimes catch fire. Because hay burns quickly, there will be little time for you to react before it harms your horses.
12. Plan for water and a space for food in your stall barn. It’s important to have easy access to your horse’s food and water — it would be inconvenient to haul everything you need from a farther location.
As you can see, planning and building an entire horse barn can be an ambitious endeavor. Be sure to communicate with your builder to ensure your dream pole barn is everything you’ve ever imagined.
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