Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tri-State (IA, WI, IL) area
You said you got a design back, so maybe this is a moot point, but as far as layout, think of it this way: You want to do the least work possible. Consider how many steps between stalls, tack rooms, wash racks, etc, and figure out a layout that will reduce that to a minimum. If you have the time and space, you could even draw up a rough layout on paper, measure it out in the place you want your barn, and spray paint or otherwise mark off the walls/partitions of your barn. Then go through the motions or, if you have a really patient horse, walk him/her through the motions of saddling, cleaning, mucking stalls, etc. That way, even before you start building or anything, you can figure out small things you may not like... i.e. the tack room is too far from where you'll be tacking up, or the aisleway is too narrow, etc. You can even go so far as to mark off the outdoor paddocks and whatnot if you want.
I'm not very good at visualizing sizes of things, and so doing this helped me out a little. ^^;