View Full Version : Barn building question

Jan. 18, 2010, 11:13 PM
Planning to build a small barn in the spring on my 15 acre property but I'm flip-flopping on what would work better for my situation.
The 2 horses live outside and any future horses would as well (4 horses would be my limit in terms of numbers...but just 2 for the next forseeable future).
Part of me wants to build a traditional type barn with stalls etc., but fact is I really don't *need* one. My horses will never be in it, so it seems like a bit of a waste...but it'd be nice to have a grooming area, tack room, hay storage etc. all in one place.
Sometimes I lean towards a run-in for shelter, small cover-all type thing for hay storage and seperate shed for tack with a hitching post nearby (I generally groom outside anyway)...but I'm not a big fan of having a bunch of outbuildings everywhere. But there's be no wasted building space and I'd save quite a bit of money.
To those with horses that live out 24/7 what do you have for a barn or shelters and what would you change if you could?

Jan. 18, 2010, 11:31 PM
What about building a smaller barn and not finish it out with stalls and the like that can suffice as a run-in. You can block part of it off for hay, etc. but you'll have the actual space should you ever need or want stalls.

Jan. 18, 2010, 11:50 PM
We built a new barn last summer which is 40' by 60'. The 40' sides are on the north and south. The south end is where the 4 stalls are and the horse can come and go into them as they please. The south end to the middle is the horse area- tack room, grooming, feed stored, etc. From the middle to the north end stores the tractor, hay, horse trailer and other stuff.

My old barn did not house my mini's so that meant an extra stop to their paddock. I like having everything under one roof because it keeps me out of the weather when choring.

Jan. 19, 2010, 07:57 AM
One suggestion, build an utility shed, that can be a regular metal barn, just like they build for shops.
This kind of building will increase the resale value of your land and will appeal to more buyers than strictly a horse barn structure.
If you leave the South side open, as a shed, even if the barn has a pitched roof, you will be taxed on a shed, which is considerably lower than if it was an enclosed structure.

Make it so you can put at least 4 standard stalls in there, say 12x12, so maybe 50 or 60' long.

You can just set some panels and leave the whole lenght a run in shed and later, if you want to, add portable stalls, as many as you may need.
On the other side of the aisle, against the enclosed North wall, you can make a tack room and have storage room for all else you may want, equipment, hay, etc.
I have seen people move one of those little buildings Home Depot sells in there for a tackroom.

These kinds of setups is what many small horse owners around here use, since most horses, other than show horses, are kept outside 24/7 with some kind of shed.

If building all purpose buildings, the value of the addition can be recouped when selling better than if you build a single purpose horse barn, that someone else has to remodel extensively for other uses, or tear down.

Jan. 19, 2010, 01:42 PM
One option you might consider: put up a metal pole building of whatever size, and at one end use panels to make a small pen/double stall with access directly outdoors, ideally into a paddock. You can shut both horses in, to wait for the vet or farrier, or give them in/out access. You can have mats or screenings on the floor, making it easy to pick but not requiring bedding. You can shut them out, too, if you want. If someone is on layup, you could divide the space into a stall of whatever size but leave access for the buddy to come in and hang out beside. If you wanted to make your life easier, you could put your stock tank or auto waterer inside, where there could be a plug in for the heater and a frost free hydrant. The rest of your pole building could be for feed, hay, tack, grooming/farrier/vet use, park the lawn tractor, park the trailer, whatever you would need. If you sell the property you have a multiuse building in case the next owner isn't into horses.

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:34 PM
We have a metal pole barn that is about 30x60 give or take. It is open on BOTH long sides. What we did is made four stalls out of it - 2 on each open side. The stalls are 12x15 with a swinging gate for the "doors". We can lock the horses in in inclement weather. Now granted, these stalls are NOT completely enclosed in the front, but the horses are covered from any bad weather.

Cost was under $2500. We LOVE it!

Jan. 21, 2010, 11:19 AM
I think I saw you were in Ontario. I am in vermont and I have a horse and a donkey. They have a run in and can go in and out as they please. There are mats in it and it is deeply bedded with shavings in the winter. They are plenty happy with it but it is cold for ME here in the winter and I sure would appreciate more. I would love nothing more than to be able to walk inside and shut a door, out of the wind and weather. Instead of freezing when grooming them and whatnot.

Jan. 21, 2010, 11:51 AM
We have a metal pole barn that is about 30x60 give or take. It is open on BOTH long sides. What we did is made four stalls out of it - 2 on each open side. The stalls are 12x15 with a swinging gate for the "doors". We can lock the horses in in inclement weather. Now granted, these stalls are NOT completely enclosed in the front, but the horses are covered from any bad weather.

Cost was under $2500. We LOVE it!

I'm having a hard time picturing this for some reason. Any pics? Do you have pastures off both ends (hence two on each side)? I assume the stall doors swing out to the outside?

Jan. 21, 2010, 05:35 PM
If I were you, and wanted a "barn" that wasn't really a barn I'd build a shell with a center aisle, with either side split in two--giving you a giant run-in on either side, that could be closed in with gates if need be. That way, traditional barn but functioning run in :)

Jan. 21, 2010, 06:53 PM
We retrofitted an existing barn (was a utility shed) on our property for our horses who are out 24/7. It is approx 30 x 50.
On one end, we made a run-in that opens up into a 30x40 paddock (which then opens up two ways into pastures). They can get 'locked' in the paddock when the pastures are too wet to be on and life is not so terrible for them, no matter what they try to tell you. Run-in also has a 12 foot long hay rack that we built in.
The run-in opens into a center aisle with four stalls. Stalls, 10X12. I really like having stalls for feeding, avoids fights and makes sure everyone gets their allotment. We have a Mr. Piggy who would be a ginormous lard butt if it weren't for separate feeding. Plus if anyone needs to be separated for any other reason we'll have that option there, but really, they only spend maybe 45 minutes to an hour a day in their stalls.
At the other end of that is the tack area. I would say tack room but, well... I guess that's still a work in progress! Also at that end we have large doors and a dedicated space for farrier/vet visits so that can all be done out of the rain/snow/wind/sun but not in an aisle. Our aisle is only 10 feet wide, a necessity of the size of the barn we started with. Not as wide as I would like.
The only change I would really like to make, if I could, would be to make the run-in area larger and sacrifice the nice farrier area. The run-in isn't deep enough. What we plan to do (if we ever get the tack room done!) is to extend the roof of the barn out over the run-in door to help keep the blowing snow out. We've ended up with snow all the way to the back wall of the run-in before b/c of wind.

Jan. 21, 2010, 11:08 PM
TrotTrotPumkin - yes I have some pictures, but I am here at work and can't load them. Try this:

Picture an garage 30 x 60 - basically the structure but not enclosed. So, you have a roof and on the ends it is down to the ground but the long sides (60') (one of each side) is completely open. Now take center (15' of the 30' and build a wall the length of the 60'. Now, picture that you have a large "loafing shed per se - open on both long sides but divided down the middle.

Now take those open sides and divide them in half. That would make you 2 separate "stalls" on each side. Each stall is 12x15. Yes, gates swing to the outside (stall doors). If you need pictures, pm me. Hope this helps.

Jan. 22, 2010, 02:31 PM
I get it now. Thanks!

We would probably end up having snow issues here with two open sides. Typically the wind is in the same direction, but every once in awhile mother nature likes to mix things up a bit...