For horse owners or those looking to acquire one, proper stable design and placement are important factors to consider. Whether their owners are making adjustments to a current structure to house their houses, or building an entirely new one, factors such as the amount of horses owned, weather, their breed, and how the land will be used are crucial.
One important factor is the liberal use of windows. There should be as many windows installed as possible. By covering them with mesh or metal bars so that your horses won’t break them, you ensure that they will receive the proper ventilation, especially in warmer climates where horses can often overheat. If the horses are being stored in a cold weather situation, roof vents are necessary.
Placing the stable so that winds move across it is preferable to placing the stable where the wind will move parallel to it. If you cannot build your stable or have it set up in such an area, motorized vents will help in instances where air flow is not sufficient.
If you have a large number of horses, it is important to remember to design a large, open stable for them to roam. A horse’s natural instinct is to flee the scene if they feel there is trouble. Keeping your horses’ stress level low is a key factor to their contentment. The addition of skylights can aid in allowing more daylight to come into the stable, letting your horse feel more at ease. Especially in the case of those who own horses for professional usage. Making sure professional horses have a stable environment is a paramount concern.
Depending on the breed of horse, the stable may need to be designed differently. If the stable is for ponies, foals or horses owned for pleasure, the stable can be smaller. Stalls can be built in one long row, allowing for at least 12 feet per stall. If your stable has just a couple of stalls, a combination feeding area is recommended. If there are more stalls, then separate feeding areas are encouraged.
For larger horses, depending on the breed, building different styles of stable is needed. For broodmares, a main aisle with two rows of stalls is the way to go. Stalls should be 16 feet. Be sure to include an office, toilets, supplies, hot water, tack rooms, and storage for feed and bedding. For stallions, 14 feet stalls with a small equipment room are sufficient. In the case of barren mares, an open area with a center trough, giving each animal 150 square feet to roam is the norm. Yearlings can be kept in the same open stable with weanlings, segregated by sex and age. If stalls are utilized, 10 square feet is recommended. For new horses or sickly ones, isolation is best. A small barn with feed, water and stalls of 12 square feet is needed.