You’ve mastered everything related to keeping, breeding, and riding horses. You feed them only the most expensive food; you ride them daily to keep their minds clear and their bodies in shape. You give them plenty of love, care, and attention (and the doctor’s never too far for a check-up).
But when you leave them in the barn or stables where you keep them, do you think they’re happy? Do they have enough room to move around? Are the ties roomy enough? Do they have windows they can see out of and a view to enjoy?
Lots of little considerations go into building the perfect stables. If you are ready to build your dream accommodations for your horse, follow the tips below.
Include a Horse Wash
Not all barns or stables have a drainage system. That means ammonia can build up quickly and negatively impact your horse’s health.
A horse wash resolves these health risks by providing a space to hose down your equine companion. If you’re going to include a horse wash inside the stable, make sure to put down rubber mats to avoid slipping.
Note: Depending on the state, the size of the structure, and other considerations, you may need a contractor’s license. At the very least, if you hire a contractor, you should go with someone who is licensed. To learn about contractor licensing for building structures such as stables, check out the educational resources from Contractor Training Center.
Design for Airflow
Just because stables and barns are often semi-indoor, semi-outdoor hybrids, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily provide horses with good airflow. A good airflow system is all in the roof, which is tricky to design for a roof with a pitch.
Consult with your contractor on making sure your horses get constant ventilation. And even if they do, you’ll want to buy box fans.
Sliding over Swinging Doors
Swinging doors take up more room. Wherever you put classic barn doors, you need to factor distance on either side for swinging. Sliding doors take up far less room, and they’re often more silent, which means they won’t startle the horses when opened.
Build a Nearby Hay Container
Consider building a separate house for your horse’s food. Horses aren’t the type of animal to overeat to sickness, like cows or dogs. So you’re not in danger there.
Where you are in danger is in the fact that hay is as dry and combustible as kindling. Keeping your hay in a separate area gives you time to get your horses to safety, should the hay catch fire.
Standing stalls, or tie stalls, must be big enough for the horse to move around in and lie down comfortably. Usually, there is a manger or trough for hay at the front of the stall, so factor in the space taken away by that when you scope out the space.
Ties need to anchor securely to a sturdy structure. Ties also need to be high enough that the horse won’t strangle or trip over its tie.
Make sure to build the partitions low enough that the horses can see each other. This will also help with ventilation.
Build With Love
Remember as you design the stables that this is the place your horse is going to spend much, if not most of its time. You want your horse to feel comfortable in its stable. Build it with love.