Before considering the planning of a stable, let’s briefly consider the reasons for providing stables. Nature has given the horse in its natural environment the necessary protection from the weather. It is only after we interfere with the horse’s natural protection that stabling becomes necessary. A horse in full work needs to be fit and kept clean. Obtaining this condition requires the removal of surplus fat, a thinner coat, and regular grooming. This removes the horse’s natural defense mechanisms and makes it necessary to replace them with artificial methods of protection, such as blankets and stables.

Individual Requirements of Stable Buildings
Every facility is different. Taking into account differences in size, accommodations, and there intended purpose, every owner or manager will have fixed ideas on the running of their stable. All of these combined factors affect the design and planning of the facility. Therefore, it is essential to consider both the spatial needs of accommodating horse and rider, as well as the daily routine involved in their care.

Basic Design Criteria

  1. Fire Safety
  2. Dryness
  3. Adequate ventilation with freedom from draughts
  4. Good drainage
  5. Good lighting, both daylight and artificial
  6. Adequate and suitable water supply
  7. Accessibility to pasture and paddocks
  8. Accessibility for deliveries of feed, bedding, and hay
  9. Equipment storage
  10. Trailer storage

Locating the Stables – Zoning Requirements
Each municipality will have unique requirements; checking with the local authorities can avoid future problems.

Consideration must first be given to the ground upon which the stables are to be constructed. The ground should provide good natural drainage, and should drain away from the buildings.

The stable buildings should be oriented to capture the summer winds, while being protected from winter winds. On a confined site, protection may be afforded by other buildings or a belt of suitable trees. The contours of the landscape and the relationship of the site to woods, buildings, etc. will have a direct effect on the wind. Therefore, understanding the site conditions is essential to the planning. Although protection from unwanted wind is a necessity, there should be a free circulation of air around and through the stables. Stable buildings should be positioned with consideration to adjoining houses, while allowing for easy access.

Contributed By: Tom Croce