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Stable Building Tips


horse stable1. Placement
Stay away from low-lying areas because these are easily flooded and downwind from residential areas to avoid problems with flies and odors. Make sure that you turn your barn so that it gets the full advantage of winter sun and summer winds but manages to avoid as much over heating from the summer sun as possible.

2. Storage
Build your storage facilities for convenience. You will save time and energy if all your food, hay and bedding are in a central location in your barn so you have to travel less and carry things a shorter distance. Make a storage area that opens from more than one side for your hay so that all your hay, all year is moved and none of it is left and able to ferment in the back. Be sure that you have everything in its place and a place for everything- knowing where your supplies are also helps to save time.

3. Ventilation
Often overlooked but by far one of the most important considerations in building a barn or stable. Horses need to have fresh air. It's not just a matter of allergens, but that their stall becomes their bathroom as well and the fresh air helps to keep them healthy by avoiding the inhalation of feces and urine. Have at least two sets of openings for air to enter and exit as well as vents in the eaves.

4. Stalls
Be sure your stalls are a minimum twelve feet square so the horse can move around comfortably, with 8 foot partitions so the horse can't get a hoof over them- though these do not have to be solid. Leaving small spaces increases ventilation, but be sure they are not more than 3 inches apart.

5. Food and Water
Create stalls with easy access to food buckets so you do not have to open and close stall doors and consider an automatic waterer as it provides fresh water all the time. If you decide against automatic waterers, install hydrants every couple of stalls with ample drainage and don't forget to frost proof.

6. Waste Control
Make it a straight shot to the manure pile so when you're cleaning out your stalls you aren't having to navigate a maze with a wheelbarrow. On average, a single horse will create four to five tons of manure in a year and when combined with bedding this number grows to 12 tons of soiled material being removed from a horses stall in a single year. Make it easy to move all this out to a manure pile.

7. Flooring
Choose what is affordable over what you necessarily want in your dream barn. Get something that is non-skid and durable, easy to clean and will not hold odors. Consider concrete, asphalt or stone dust. Interlocking rubber bricks are also excellent as they don't crack or freeze in the winter.

8. Lighting
Make sure that you have a combination of natural and artificial light and that your barn and stall are well lit to create ease of work and general positive attitudes. Skylights and transparent panels can provide excellent natural light, and lights on the sides of stalls will add additional artificial light to help with work  in the winter.

9. Safety
The single greatest threat to a barn is fire. Take every possible precaution such as lightning rods, modernizing circuit breakers, adding outlets to avoid overload and keeping flammables out of the barn.


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