There are three basic elements to consider when you are planning to build a new barn.

  • Site Selection
  • Building Orientation
  • Planning and Construction

Site Selection:
Consideration must first be given to the location of the stable on the site, it’s proximity to surrounding buildings, property lines and natural land features, and the ground upon which the stables are to be constructed which should provide good natural drainage, and should drain away from the buildings.

The stable buildings must be protected from prevailing winter winds winds while taking advantage of summer breezes. On a confined site this aspect may not be obtainable in which case protection must be afforded by other buildings or a belt of suitable trees. When considering the prevailing winds, contours of the landscape, the relationship of the site to woods, buildings, etc., will have a direct effect on the wind. Therefore understanding the site conditions are essential to the planning. Although protection from the unwanted wind is a necessity, there should be a free circulation of air around the stables.

Stable buildings should be positioned with consideration to adjoining houses, and to provide easy access.

Planning and Construction:
Construction should be of fire safe construction. The concept of fire safe construction not only include the pplanning and construction of the barn, but incorporates the stable management and practices. We will explore the concept of Fire Safe Construction if a future article.

Main Requirements of the Stable:

The size and number of the components making up the stable buildings will vary not only in relationship to the size of the facility, but also to the individual requirements of the facility. In considering the design of a stable building the following items provide a check list of basic requirements.

  1. Stalls
  2. One sick stall
  3. Feed room
  4. Hay store
  5. Straw store or storage for alternative bedding
  6. Washing and cleaning room, incorporating drying facilities
  7. Tack Room
  8. Manure bunkers
  9. Office, in some cases only
  10. Lavatory accommodations
  11. Sitting room for grooms
  12. Garage or covered area for trucks and/or trailer.

Some Items particularly in small establishments may be combined with another uses.

The relationship of the various items must be considered, both in respect of relationship to each other, to the site, and surrounding buildings. Efforts should be concentrated on the horse, not on carrying bales of hay, straw and sacks of feed great distances. Careful planning of the facility can minimize the handling of heavy materials and reduce wasted energy.

Layout of the Stalls

Before proceeding with the design, detailed planning requirements of the facility must first be ascertained. The first consideration must be given to the layout of the stalls. For design purposes a 12 by 12 ft stall may be considered a suitable size. This size will comfortably house a 16.0-17.0 hh horse. The basic layout of the buildings containing the stalls will depend on economic considerations as well as on site conditions. The simplest layout of stalls is a line opening directly into the open air. This is the simplest form of layout, and presents multiple variations in layout which can be derived from the basic in-line stall configuration. Depending on the number of stall needed they can be arranged around a yard, the roof structure can be extended along the open side to provide protection from the weather for the horses and grooms. The open side may be enclosed to provide better control of ventilation and draughts, provide improved working conditions, easier maintenance, and a quieter environment. The number of horses can be greatly increased by adding additional stalls to create a central passage.

Accessory Spaces

Utility Stall, Wash Stall: A Space the same size as a stall used for a variety of purposes, clipping, grooming, shoeing, washing, and for medical treatment.

Contributed By: Tom Croce