Help me design the perfect barn - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-27-2013, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ohio
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Question Help me design the perfect barn

I'm trying to get a good read on what people find desirable in a barn. The main purpose will not be boarding, but I'd like to keep that option open. I'm talking of such things as:
Arena footing
Arena size
Arena/stall ratio?
Stall size-I know bigger is better, but what is your min/preferred?
Tack room size/number
Mats/stall flooring

and probably a million other things I'm forgetting. What are deal breakers?
How many stalls do most boarding barns have?
If you can, I would like to know both the 'perfect' and the tolerable for each, like maybe the perfect stall flooring is 6" peagravel topped with a rubber mat, but maybe a sandy dirt floor is tolerable.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-28-2013, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oregon
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My husband and I are discussing building our own barn and boarding a couple horses to help with costs. I have one horse now, but he would like one by next year. Ideal amount of stalls for us would be about 8. We will have more horses I know down the road aside from just two and would still like a little bit of boarding room. As for all the other info I'm just as curious as you about other peoples ideas. We know we want a covered arena- it rains 8+ months of the year here. And the arena needs to be large enough to practice gaming. I'm interested to see what others say. :)
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-28-2013, 04:04 PM
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I give you my complaints and desires:

I have a six stall barn with 12x12 stalls. I have one stall that is rubber matted. I'd like for them all to be.

My aisle is currently dirt, I would love for it to be asphalt or concrete but would settle for blue stone or even rubber matting.

I have 2 sets of cross ties that I don't use but have if I want them. I prefer to tie the lead line to a loop. I have four loops.

I have doors that slide open on both ends so you can drive a truck through - love that feature.

I have a feed room that is on the end of the stall where a wash rack could go. That is closed off by a metal gate.

I would like to fix myself up with a metal gate of some sort to close off one end of the barn so I can open the stall doors wide but keep the horses out (that side opens to the paddock)

I have 2 stalls that have dutch doors to the outside. Love that feature as well.

I have a hay storage spot across from the feed room. I do not have a tack room. That's a feature I would like.

I don't have running water or electricity. Both on the wish list.

I have 2 paddocks and a pasture, plus a round pen and a grass arena. I'd like to sand the arena. The round pen is mobile which is a nice feature because you can use those panels for anything.

I have the overly expensive ramm fencing. I think wood fence or electric is more feasible.

Hope that was somewhat helpful...
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-01-2013, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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I currently have a 2-3 stall (1 standard stall, 1 double foaling stall that can be changed to a third stall), an insulated 10X7 tack room and room for hay.

I have warmbloods, and I would love 14 x 14 stalls.

My dream darn would have, no less than 2 double foaling stalls and 4 single stalls and the entire barn foundation/floor to be pourus cement. A 14 foot aisle so I can drive a truck through, A grain and supplement room, a hay loft with a hay elevator, a tack room, with one wall that are tall shelves and cubbies than can also be accessible from the back through the wall to a wash rack/grooming stall on the other side, radiant heat flooring witha tankless water heater. And most of all a forced air composting system by O2Compost.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-01-2013, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oregon
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Oh for sure have aisles large enough to drive down. At the place where I board now we were in a group lesson and it gets horribly windy out here and we lost power- it was pitch black and we had 10+ horses in the arena. We were able to drive a truck down one of the aisles and turn its headlights on. That is a total must for me!
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Olds, AB Canada
Posts: 2,749
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Floor - Concrete
Stalls - Concrete with mats
Stall size - 12 X 12 and 14 X 14 - sliding doors
hanging water buckets and feed buckets
Large indoor arena
Large tack room with tack cubbies or lockers
Heated feed room
Good ventilation
Hoses in the barn
Indoor wash stall
Heated room to sit in
Round pen
large, well maintained pastures

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-02-2013, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ohio
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Why concrete? I know it's easier to sanitize, but I know of more than three horses that have died due to being on concrete. Their legs shot out from under them and blood vessels burst. Worst part was they acted fine, so you didn't know anything was wrong.

The barn I work at has an open loft- the hay is stored on top of the stalls, but there is always a breeze going through. I know that hay in the barn is always seen as bad, but wouldn't an open loft keep the hay from heating? (Of course, they sat outside under a tarp and on pallets for the curing time, and monitored for heat buildup) The other place I went to didn't do this, but they 900+ stalls and just built another barn for hay, but the trade off was no pasture.

I hate dirt floor barns, So I'm hoping to have gravel and rubber mat(or concrete and rubber mat) first thing.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-02-2013, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Alabama
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I'm loving this thread. We have started our barn (for personal use only). We currently do not live on our land where the horses are.. we are about 6 miles away. We hope to begin building our home later this year.
Barn will open on far end to small pasture, and close to round pen.
I also have a small dry lot for my (laminitic mare) next to it.
(right now barn is only the large posts up for the main part/we will add the side extensions to each side later. Want to finish the main part first and husband is not ready to spend too much on the barn. (He keeps saying "Honey, the barn is going to be bigger than the house. we can just live in it!) :)
Our design:
three 12X12 stalls down one side,
10 or 12 ft aisle (I can't remember)
then 1-12X12 stall, tack room, concrete wash area on the other.
We plan to add a 14ft wide section on the tack room side, storing/driving thru w/horse trailer. (trailer's have to be out of sight in our neighborhood when not in use) Plus, I wanted to be able to take a horse thru the wash area (door on the back side) straight to load in the trailer in poor weather.
We will have a 24 X36 ft. space above for extra storage/hay/whatever.
There will be a small shower stall and toilet in tack room.
Sliding doors on each end, and my husband wants the main aisle to remain dirt.
*in our area, in the last couple years, there have been several break-ins. I lost a good saddle last January to a thief. I want my husband to build me a "hydraulic lift/locked cage-saddle rack" (I know it sounds nuts, but I refuse to lose another good saddle) I want it to lift into the upstairs storage section of the barn. : ) It would probably cost most people lots of money but not my husband... he has so much 'stuff' he said he probably has just about everything to make it now. He needs some good caging material to make it. It would have to be in the tack room he says, to allow it to come down enough to get the saddles off of it. Basicly, saddles would store in the space above the tack room, in a locked cage. out of sight and not accessible.

1. If we aren't foaling and I have no plans to do so- is there any other reason we would need a sliding door between two of the stalls?
2. I could use a small storage closet for tools. Our biggest horse is 16h/1200 lb QH, can I utilize any 10X10 stalls. (lots of people in our area use them)
3. How to best store feed and supplements. tack room will have a locked door, is there a better/more convenient way to store feed? I have a friend that uses an old freezer, it sits in the corner of the barn. Has gaskets that keep
out and is large enough to store all the bags of feed.
Is there anything I haven't considered or should do. This is our first barn, I want it to be right.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-02-2013, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I think one of the big considerations when thinking of building a barn and taking in boarders is who is going to be doing the work? Is this going to be a full time job, big enough to warrant hiring someone or a two hr day job. Someone has to muck and bed stalls. You might want to consider that it's basically pasture care with a few stalls that are used briefly while the rider saddles up or as an infirmary. In that case the owner would be responsible for keeping the stall clean.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ohio
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Ideally it would be full of part time boarders, with stall cleaning available. I would be doing everything myself. I only do 4 stalls on Sunday, but I used to do 7 and (If it wasn't a mud pit and I wasn't sick) it would take 4 hours, including the feeding and turn out of 20 horses.

Any opinions for arena footing? I wanted to appeal to both western and english riders, so I was planning on having an indoor dressage-size arena, and a larger outside one that could be used for western. I was thinking rubber would be good for inside, since it is dustless and that is a big concern inside, but I heard it was a no-slide footing, and that made it bad for western.

Put in an easier form:
Is rubber okay for a western arena?
Is pure rubber a good arena footing?
How deep should the rubber be?
What size should the outdoor be? I was told 150x300 is the minimum size for a western arena- is this true?

I know that they want it deep for western, but I was hoping to use an intemidiary depth to make it appealing to both.
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barn , boarding , layout

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