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Discussion Starter #1
This might sound a little weird, but bare with me. I'm designing a barn and I need some help...
I already know a lot of qualities that can make the horses happy; but I wanted to know if there were add-ons or qualities that would make boarders, farriers, veterinarians, and grooms/stable-hands happy. Perhaps things that would make life a little bit easier for them. Not just in this barn but in general.
Any other advice/criticism would also be greatly appreciated

You can see the floorplan and the general exterior idea in the attachments (sorry about the tiny text), and below are some of the details. There would be a separate shed for hay and vehicles.

- 14 foot wide aisles
- 12x12 stalls with dutch doors and sliding yoke stall doors in front, solid partitions with removable boards
- Rubber brick flooring
- 80x150 indoor with rubber footing (to reduce dust)
- skylights over the arena and the stalls
- 10x12 entry doors
- vaulted ceilings
 

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I just attended a seminar on this very topic :) I also work as a hired hand in a local stable, and there are a few suggestions I could bring forward.

Especially in the winter, draining is very important. If you're not going to have automatic water troughs (we use buckets and drag a hose throughout the barn), it is very important that water has somewhere to go before it freezes, otherwise doing chores or walking in general can get somewhat challenging:p

Consider the design of your stalls, whether the walls separating each horse will be barred or completely closed off. Having bars allows more air circulation, but if you're going to have a lot of horses from various places, shows, etc coming in and out, you are introducing a potential medium for communicable diseases. A solution is having bars up high enough where nose to nose contact between horses isn't possible, then having a solid wall underneath.

Hope this helps!
 

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What kind of riding do you generally do? A few of the local trainers (western) around where I live have been having alot of remorse using the rubber for there indoors. Its nice for the dust but forgot trying to teach a horse how to slide or spin correctly in it.
 

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That looks nice....I would want another aisle at the open end, so that help and clients did not have to go all the way around, or cut across the arena. You might consider feed and hay at both ends of the barn, and wider aisles in case you need to bring a tractor in.
We used 16 ft aisles in our barn, and it really helps. I built the arena seperately, because we were recycling material.
 

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I would put the bathroom in the tack/lounge area. If you are going to have a tractor & manure spreader then I would forgo the side exits, make the aisle wide enough and then have a wide enough door at each end of the aisle way. You'd have to really eat into your arena to make corners wide enough for a tractor pulling a manure spreader to turn in the layout you have now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What kind of riding do you generally do? A few of the local trainers (western) around where I live have been having alot of remorse using the rubber for there indoors. Its nice for the dust but forgot trying to teach a horse how to slide or spin correctly in it.
Personally I'm into driving and dressage, and there's not too many western disciplines in the area its mostly jumping...
Do you know of another footing that would work that doesn't have a lot of dust impact for reining or barrels?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just attended a seminar on this very topic :) I also work as a hired hand in a local stable, and there are a few suggestions I could bring forward.

Especially in the winter, draining is very important. If you're not going to have automatic water troughs (we use buckets and drag a hose throughout the barn), it is very important that water has somewhere to go before it freezes, otherwise doing chores or walking in general can get somewhat challenging:p

Consider the design of your stalls, whether the walls separating each horse will be barred or completely closed off. Having bars allows more air circulation, but if you're going to have a lot of horses from various places, shows, etc coming in and out, you are introducing a potential medium for communicable diseases. A solution is having bars up high enough where nose to nose contact between horses isn't possible, then having a solid wall underneath.

Hope this helps!
Thank you for that, and for the stalls the fronts would be similar to what the link shows. And the partitions would be completely solid with removable boards (for horses that get along very well).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That looks nice....I would want another aisle at the open end, so that help and clients did not have to go all the way around, or cut across the arena. You might consider feed and hay at both ends of the barn, and wider aisles in case you need to bring a tractor in.
We used 16 ft aisles in our barn, and it really helps. I built the arena seperately, because we were recycling material.
I forgot to mention that the side with all the grooming stalls, tack rooms, etc. is actually the front of the barn. I wanted to make the aisles wider but I was worried about having an awkward shape because the barn is already 176'x131' and I didn't want to give it a "squareish" appearance.
As for the tractor, I made sure to incorporate a 20' wide track surrounding the barn so it doesn't have to go through the aisle ways (it can just enter the arena through the back door if need be).
 

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At my barn (where I work and ride) we have 2 stalls dedicated to hay, one dedicated to cleaning equipment, another is dedicated to shavings (we don't use bagged shavings). If you want actual space designated for things so they won't have to be in stalls, I'd suggest making areas for them. Plus, you have to keep the barn hands (or you) in mind so you can make all of those things easily accessible. I would also suggest having a bathroom inside.

After looking at your stall fronts (which are really nice btw!) you might want to have doors to access the food and water so you don't have to go inside. It makes things easier when going down a row of stalls and you don't have to actually go inside of each individual stall.
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At my barn (where I work and ride) we have 2 stalls dedicated to hay, one dedicated to cleaning equipment, another is dedicated to shavings (we don't use bagged shavings). If you want actual space designated for things so they won't have to be in stalls, I'd suggest making areas for them. Plus, you have to keep the barn hands (or you) in mind so you can make all of those things easily accessible. I would also suggest having a bathroom inside.

After looking at your stall fronts (which are really nice btw!) you might want to have doors to access the food and water so you don't have to go inside. It makes things easier when going down a row of stalls and you don't have to actually go inside of each individual stall.
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There actually is a bathroom in the plan (no shower though), and I figured the hay/bedding storage shed would be about 40-60 feet away from the barn, so not a long walk (imo). I also added a 12x14 space for pitchforks, brooms, etc. on one end, while there is temporary storage on the other end for quick access to hay.

However, I don't plan on adding doors for food access, mainly because I don't want certain horses to forget their manners during feed time so I'd like to stick with the idea of people having to go into stalls just for that purpose, even if it does present a safety issue...
 

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You will make vets happy if you have a place with LOTS of lighting for stitching up horses in the middle of the night.
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That set up involves a lot of walking for whomever is doing chores. A friend did a double row of stalls along one end with an opening into the riding area. Her aisle is wide enough for a pickup or small tractor. The stall aisle is east-west to capture summer breezes. Big door on the north end of the arena. The building is north/south.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That set up involves a lot of walking for whomever is doing chores. A friend did a double row of stalls along one end with an opening into the riding area. Her aisle is wide enough for a pickup or small tractor. The stall aisle is east-west to capture summer breezes. Big door on the north end of the arena. The building is north/south.
Well that's what they would be getting paid for. :rofl:

But in all seriousness, I would like to build a cart or a small wagon for people to carry buckets of feed or hay on, to make that process easier.

But I don't think the walk would be as long as you think... The ring stretches out about 150' you'd have to walk that 2 times, plus setting up feed or dumping out manure depending on what you're doing. It doesn't seem much more than what I do by myself right now so I figured it would be fine. Plus I leave the horses out 24/7 so cleaning stalls wouldn't happen very often anyways.
However if you think its too much please let me know.
 

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are you doing a wall between the stall/isle & the arena? or just a lower split rail fence type of thing for the arena?


I could see arguments for either option:

Wall- while working in arena won't be distracted by horse in the stalls

No Wall- better air-flow in the building, easier for you from the front of the barn to have an idea if something is going wrong in the stall in the back corner, easier to keep track of employees.

if you are going with a wall I would suggest installing a tube-ventilation system over each row of stalls (may still be good idea without wall) but it will bring fresh air into each individual stall 365 days/year without creating a draft.

you also mentioned horses staying out 24/7, if that was the case I would probably build the barn as you are planning but only put in 1/2 the stalls then maybe set the other 1/2 of the barn up as run-in's or put the stalls in later as you see more $$ and a need. thinking if you are bringing horses in the barn to eat you can bring in the first 11, feed them take them back out then while you are putting one horse back out bring one horse back in and use the same 11 stalls over again if it's just feeding time. in the really cold/wet days when you do want the horses in if they are used to being out together you could set up some temporary panels in the arena or the unused side of the barn since if you are looking at leaving them out most of the year anyway you may need them in 30-50 nights/year (fun winter it has been) but leave a group that is used to being pastured together to have the arena overnight... pain to clean? yes, cheaper than 11 more stalls for those occasional nights... yes

just some thoughts, but my #1 would be ventilation since it seems a lot of horse barns are built to make the people feel good but not necessarily the horse
 

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Discussion Starter #16
are you doing a wall between the stall/isle & the arena? or just a lower split rail fence type of thing for the arena?


I could see arguments for either option:

Wall- while working in arena won't be distracted by horse in the stalls

No Wall- better air-flow in the building, easier for you from the front of the barn to have an idea if something is going wrong in the stall in the back corner, easier to keep track of employees.

if you are going with a wall I would suggest installing a tube-ventilation system over each row of stalls (may still be good idea without wall) but it will bring fresh air into each individual stall 365 days/year without creating a draft.

you also mentioned horses staying out 24/7, if that was the case I would probably build the barn as you are planning but only put in 1/2 the stalls then maybe set the other 1/2 of the barn up as run-in's or put the stalls in later as you see more $$ and a need. thinking if you are bringing horses in the barn to eat you can bring in the first 11, feed them take them back out then while you are putting one horse back out bring one horse back in and use the same 11 stalls over again if it's just feeding time. in the really cold/wet days when you do want the horses in if they are used to being out together you could set up some temporary panels in the arena or the unused side of the barn since if you are looking at leaving them out most of the year anyway you may need them in 30-50 nights/year (fun winter it has been) but leave a group that is used to being pastured together to have the arena overnight... pain to clean? yes, cheaper than 11 more stalls for those occasional nights... yes

just some thoughts, but my #1 would be ventilation since it seems a lot of horse barns are built to make the people feel good but not necessarily the horse
That's good advice, I'd like the entire barn to remain as open as possible for ventilation and to make the most out of the skylights. I personally never bring my horses in to feed because they don't get fed grain unless they're kept inside; but people in CT are picky about a lot of things which is why I want 22 stalls (it'll hold all of my horses as well as the boarders), that and it borders the arena nicely.

As for the arena I would want a half wall (I think that's what it is called) where it's only ~5' tall, but still thick enough to hold storage for poles and cones. Similar to this: Rail storage - Riding arena construction - SCHLOSSER Riding arena construction
 

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I am going to suggest you stake out the sq. footage on the ground, then take a wheelbarrow full of dirt, manure, whatever, and walk that a few times. You may have hired help but you need to budget how many hours you wish to pay. Horses need to be protected from breathing the fine airborne dust from the arena so you will need to build a full wall between the stalls and the arena. You also have to factor in if the hired help doesn't show up. Guess who's going to be doing chores until you locate someone else? The boarders will expect clean well bedded stalls so plan on your day starting early. Good barn help is scarce. Too few kids are raised on farms these days that shoveling manure is the accepted norm.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am going to suggest you stake out the sq. footage on the ground, then take a wheelbarrow full of dirt, manure, whatever, and walk that a few times. You may have hired help but you need to budget how many hours you wish to pay. Horses need to be protected from breathing the fine airborne dust from the arena so you will need to build a full wall between the stalls and the arena. You also have to factor in if the hired help doesn't show up. Guess who's going to be doing chores until you locate someone else? The boarders will expect clean well bedded stalls so plan on your day starting early. Good barn help is scarce. Too few kids are raised on farms these days that shoveling manure is the accepted norm.
I usually get up around 4am, my barn has 18 stalls plus the 6 large goat stalls that I clean right after the animals get turned out. I leave a tractor in front of the nearest entryway to dump the manure into so I don't have to walk all the way to the pile. I figured I could use the same system with this barn which is why I don't think the workload would be as massive as it appears.

On another note I think I will actually try out the stake idea.
 

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if you are doing a short wall, you could swing a tractor around the arena and only have to haul muck buckets to maybe 3/4 central gates.

if you are worried about dust I would set up a simple sprinkler/hose system from the rafters just make sure it's easy to drain gravity feed for winter.

one of my friends has a similar set-up with arena being flanked on 2 sides by stalls and although it is smaller even with 2 horses trotting you don't get that much dust kicked up. dealing with folks in Connecticut I imagine a lot more hunter/jumper types so one maybe two horses in the ring at once shouldn't be a lot of dust flying
 

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if you are doing a short wall, you could swing a tractor around the arena and only have to haul muck buckets to maybe 3/4 central gates.

if you are worried about dust I would set up a simple sprinkler/hose system from the rafters just make sure it's easy to drain gravity feed for winter.

one of my friends has a similar set-up with arena being flanked on 2 sides by stalls and although it is smaller even with 2 horses trotting you don't get that much dust kicked up. dealing with folks in Connecticut I imagine a lot more hunter/jumper types so one maybe two horses in the ring at once shouldn't be a lot of dust flying
Your spot on about the hunter/jumper "types". And I never even thought about bringing the tractor into the arena! Excuse my language but holy crap! It seems so obvious now that you said it...!

The only issue I have with the watering system is water usage in general, I want this barn to be as environmentally friendly as possible so having a water system to keep dust down doesn't seem so great, unless I had a rain collector to supply that water...
 
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