Monday, February 3, 2014

Horse Keeping on a small place: Barn Plans

Part 3 of “Horse Keeping on a small space”
It is now time to determine the size of the barn keeping in mind the amount of acreage you have to work with. I chose to do a 2 stall barn that would give me room to rotate my mare from stall to stall and also board a friend overnight if I so desired. I chose stall sizes of 12’ x 12’ with 5 feet solid walls with aluminum stall bars up another 5 feet.
I kept the stalls as open as possible in order to provide adequate ventilation throughout the barn. Ventilation is of the utmost importance since our equine friends can be susceptible to health issues in a dusty environment. I made accommodations in the ceiling height for ceiling fans that would rotate air flow up and down. I chose a stall accessory company that manufactures aluminum stall dividers for longevity and avoid the rusting and pitting you find with iron built dividers. The contractor built the 5 foot floor to the aluminum stall divider out of 2’ x 8” weather treated lumber. I was able to wash the walls down at any time and not worry about rust or rotting wood.
My mare was arthritic so I chose to leave the stalls dirt and provide a high quality mat for her to stand on. The accessory company also provided a hay door on the stall wall for hay and grain feeding. I also had double dutch doors constructed for the doors leading to the run pen. This allowed the opportunity to open up the upper section if my mare was confined inside for the day. I provided 4’ x 4’ barred windows in each stall again to provide light and ventilation. I had matching half dutch doors made to close the windows in colder weather.
I chose florescent lighting for the barn. This type of lighting seemed to be the most desirable given the times. However, E-tackroom has lighting that will be more to today’s energy efficiency standards.
The floor in the barn was cement with strategically located drains. The stalls were left in dirt and lined with heavy duty rubber mats. E-tackroom has mats for your consideration. Matting helps conserve shavings and eliminates that “round” urine hole in your stalls.
As you take into consideration the remaining space required, let’s discuss storage. I provided a 10’ x 10’ wash rack with two steel pipes embedded in cement to allow me the opportunity to hang cross ties. The walls were 16’ tall and built with water proof 2” x 8’studs. The floor in the wash rack is cement with a water drain in the center. I provided matting in the wash rack to eliminate slipping. The hot and cold running water is plumbed on the side wall for convenience.
I also built a small bathroom with a utility sink. A utility sink versus a typical washroom sink was far more usable. If you have extra space, plumbing accommodations for a washer and dryer would be an added convenience.
I built a tack room that was 10’ x 10’ with ample lighting. This amount of space allowed room for two saddle racks, a wall devoted to head gear, refrigerator and tall storage cabinet. I utilized the outside walls to hang muck racks, brooms, shovels, etc. In this type of space it is of the utmost importance to remain organized so I found wall hanging accessories a good idea for hanging tools.
The far end of my barn was the space provided for hay, grain and shavings storage. This space was 12’ x 36’ which allowed me the space to keep 12 months’ square hay bales, 50-60 bags of shavings and 30 days of grain. I was able to cordon off this space in the event my mare should become an escape artist and wander into the feed. I installed an 8’ roll up door in this area so that I could back in with loads of hay, feed and shavings.
In the stall/wash rack area I provided two 10’ roll up doors in the front and back so that I could open them up in warm weather to provide ventilation. Keep in mind as you select doors that you will want to enter and exit with your horse tacked up which will require more head space than a normal people door.
We will discuss the run pen, round pen and paddock accommodations in Pasture Segment. As you develop your plans for your barn, let me remind you to keep ventilation, lighting and safety for your equine friend at the top of your list.

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