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Designing and Planning Your Horse Barn

The comfort and safety of your horses must be your foremost concern when designing a new barn. If a horse barn is designed and built properly, it should be a light, airy, easy to clean and a pleasant home for your animals, along with being a place you will enjoy visiting and working.

The barn design process begins by determining the right size stalls to meet your needs and the proper width of the aisleway. The balance of the barn features can be accommodated around these basic parameters.

A well-designed barn can save you both time and money; so always begin by considering all your present as well as potential future needs. Careful planning will pay off in the long run in the form of lower maintenance and upkeep costs, fewer vet bills and added property value.

Site Considerations

One of the first steps in the process is you will need to select a suitable location for your new horse barn. Do you plan on the horse barn being close to a road? If that is the case, you will require easy road access up to the barn with decent driving terrain for times when you have to load or offload your horses.

You will also want to consider if your barn is close to utilities. You may or may not decide on electricity in your barn, but it is worth keeping in mind should you decide that your barn needs electricity in the future.  The same holds true for water; plan your site now for access to water now or in the future rather than committing to dragging buckets to and from the barn location.

Drainage is another important factor to consider. If you are bathing your horse inside the barn, you will need to consider what type of drainage is most suitable for your needs.

Once you are happy with your chosen site, you will then need to level the ground and pour the appropriate foundation for your soon-to-be-erected horse barn.

You will want to select a site that has the following:

  • Good natural drainage
  • Firm and level ground
  • Close proximity to utilities
  • Easy road access
  • Potential for future expansion

Barn Size Considerations

Whether you are a casual trail rider with one or two horses, a breeder or a hobby farmer, it is always better to build larger than smaller.

Roof Slope

The slope of a building’s roof is expressed by a ratio called “roof pitch,” which indicates the number of inches a roof rises vertically for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. The standard barn roof pitch is usually 3:12. This pitch is determined by a number of factors, namely: the look you want to achieve, how much snow you have in your area (a steeper slope provides better snow runoff) and the amount of center-aisle clearance you desire.

Stall Sizes

The ideal dimensions for a horse stall depends on a few factors. The standard size for a horse stall tends to be 12 feet by 12 feet. The 12-foot wall standard comes from a simple calculation for the average 1,000-pound horse. The wall is approximately one and a half times the horse’s length, but that does not quite make it one size fits all.

If your horses will spend most of their time inside, you will want to go with a bigger stall size. If they get a good amount of time outdoors, you can get away with a somewhat smaller stall size.  A general rule of thumb would be that your horse should be able to turn around, lie down, and get up comfortably.

If you are building a stall for draft horses, for example, you may want to take into consideration that some breeds are larger than seventeen hands and weigh in at over 1,500 pounds; so you are going to want more space than the average sized thoroughbred or quarter horse stall.

How Big of a Barn Do I Need for Two Horses?

If you are building a new horse barn, this question might keep you up at night. But you do not need to lose sleep if you follow some general guidelines for sizing a barn.

Start by considering the number and breed of your horses, the type of riding you do, storage needs, climate, and, of course, budget. A good starting off point for 2 horses would be a 24’ x 36’ barn, depending on the other amenities you want to include. Aim for approximately 900 square feet to allow for good stall sizes to keep your horses comfortable and also allow for areas for your tack, feed or wash area.

Feed Room

The feed room should be well lit and equipped with convenience outlets.  The entrance door to the feed room should be at least 4 feet wide, but many times a 6’ wide is best, and equipped with a latch so that a wandering horse cannot get into the feed.

Center Aisle Width

When deciding on the aisle width for the barn, always consider the size of the horses. A width of 12 feet is sufficient for the horses to walk and turn around in the aisle without any problem. If you need to move heavy equipment around the barn and through the aisle, consider that when planning the aisle width. Would you be able to move your required items down the aisle if it is 12 feet wide?

In any case, the width of your aisle should not be less than 12 ft. If you have the scope to increase the aisle to 16 feet, it is always better to go larger. A wider aisle will also come in handy in the future if more horses may be sharing the barn.

One way to determine the right aisle width is to think of all the functions you will be performing using this part of the barn. The horse barn design needs to be comfortable for the horses but also functional for you. A narrow aisle can help you save some money initially, but eventually you (and the horses) may begin to feel the discomfort due to the space constraints.

The Castlebrook Difference

Castlebrook’s barns have a warm, inviting look which adds to the beauty and value of your property. All Castlebrook barns, round pens and round pen covers and designed and manufactured on site at Castlebrook’s facility. That is why we can provide you a limitless choice of sizes and styles. Castlebrook can manufacture a workshop, horse barn, round pen or round pen cover to suit your exact needs.

Castlebrook never misses a ship date. We are so confident in our on-time guarantee that we are willing to guarantee it — in writing! Castlebrook understands how important it is for your project to go as smoothly as possible, and that begins with your structure shipping on the date we’ve promised. Castlebrook knows of absolutely no other barn company offering this guarantee. Where other companies disappoint, Castlebrook guarantees to be on time, every time!

Please contact our professional team today at 1-800-52-BARNS. We gladly accommodate Saturday appointments!