Horse Barn Construction Tips Horse Barn Construction Tips
There are many benefits to building your own horse barn. You will experience long-term gains through lower costs of upkeep and veterinary bills and increased property value.
By building a well-designed and well-made horse barn, you will create a space that is easy to work in, and for your horse, easy to live in.
Location, Location, Location
Choose an area that has access to utilities and offers easy drainage. Your barn should also be easily accessible from your driveway and the road.
Once you have picked a spot, stand on it during a windy day to asses wind conditions. You want to build a horse barn that has good air circulation, but will not create a wind tunnel effect. Orient the barn at a 45 degree angle from the direction of the strongest blowing wind. If strong wind blows from all directions, build a square barn with entrances on all sides. This way, you can open or close any of the sides as needed.
There will be some items that you would like to minimize visually, such as the manure bin. Place them out of sight of the house and the main road, but make sure that they are still located in a convenient place for practical use. Do the same with the barn’s delivery area. Make sure that any parking areas, such as those for delivery trucks, will not interfere with horse traffic.
When deciding where to put what, think about the steps involved. You don’t want to place the water spout on the opposite end from where you will actually use the water. Keep things like this in mind when you design the layout of the barn.
Another important factor to keep in mind is to minimize mess. Identify all areas that will cause a mess and, if possible, keep them all on one side of the barn. For example, contain all the stalls on one side of the barn. If you have too many stalls to contain them to one area, put the tack and feed rooms in the middle, allowing that area to stay mess-free.
Ventilation and Lighting
Good ventilation is good for your horses' health and maintaining the best possible scent in the barn. Create vent-style windows that are 2x2 feet or 2x4 feet that open to a 45 degree angle, hanging by a chain or hinge. Put these high up on your outside walls. They will let in air and light, and more importantly, your horses won't be able to reach them.
You can also install a roof exhaust fan. These are inexpensive, less than $200. Install one at either end of the barn near the roof peak. This also contributes to the air quality and the health of your horses. For further ventilation, consider installing some ceiling fans.
Windows and skylights help illuminate the interior of the barn during the day. Install a light overhead or on the back wall of every stall. Use 8-foot fluorescent tube lights in the aisles with switches at both ends.
For the stalls, use an 18-inch gravel base topped with half a foot of clay or base rock.
For the aisle, use asphalt. It is easier on the horses' legs and joints than concrete, and it is easy to clean.
Stalls should be at least 12x12 feet and have a 10-foot clearance from the rafters. The more room the horse has in its stall, the less likely it is to walk around in its own filth. Stall partitions come prefabricated and run 7 feet high. Choose solid partitions to place between stalls. For aisle walls, choose the ones with bars.
Tack and Feed Rooms
If at all possible, you should have separate tack and feed room. You can even designate a 12-foot stall as the tack room so that it has its own enclosed area.
Put in a mini-refrigerator. This will save you money by keeping the medicines fresh.