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Teacup
Dec. 6, 2010, 08:46 PM
What is the ideal height for ceilings in a barn? Say a loft is over the aisle and stalls, what would be the absolute lowest you would go for safety? Too low seems a bit of a hazard if the horse were to freak out for some odd reason.

A second question is, what is the ideal distance from the barn to the house? Assuming it is not attached. Does anyone have a garage/barn combo? Feel free to share any photos, I love seeing other people’s barns. Any book recommendations on barns in general would be appreciated, too.

Thank you in advanced!

GoForAGallop
Dec. 6, 2010, 09:07 PM
The lowest depends on the height of the horses you're going to be housing, and just how much of a risk you're willing to take. Ideally, the ceilings would be high enough that even if a horse rears they cannot hit their head. That is not always feasible due to lofts/etc, and I've seen ceilings that were probably around the 8' point and everyone did just fine. (This was at a well-established school with valuable horses too, not just the average backyard barn.) Unless you have a truly scared or truly crazy horse, they're usually pretty aware of ceilings.

Ideal distance? It depends, I guess. When I have to haul water from the house I wish my barn were attached! But it also depends on your manure management....if it's hauled away daily it won't smell, but if you are going to have to have a pile near the barn you're going to want to take that into consideration. Also, location of paddocks is important. If unattached, I would rather my barn be closer to the paddocks than to the house.

I have seen garage/horse stall combos, but everyone I know with them doesn't put cars into them. Hot exhaust fumes are killer on horse lungs, and hot exhaust systems combined with hay is just asking for trouble. Also, all the various fluids that come along with cars don't mix well with horses either. Personally, unless the building already exists and you can find a way to essentially block the car part from the horse part (ie two sections with a solid wall and a closing door to walk through) I'd just keep them separate.

Teacup
Dec. 6, 2010, 09:48 PM
For the garage/barn combo idea, I was thinking two buildings that share a wall, but you can enter through a human-size door, if that makes sense.
I love the idea of a house/barn combo, but I'm afraid of a barn fire so I'll probably eventually end up with a house/garage combo with a separate barn. It's fun to plot out the various ideas though.

GoForAGallop
Dec. 6, 2010, 09:51 PM
For the garage/barn combo idea, I was thinking two buildings that share a wall, but you can enter through a human-size door, if that makes sense.
I love the idea of a house/barn combo, but I'm afraid of a barn fire so I'll probably eventually end up with a house/garage combo with a separate barn. It's fun to plot out the various ideas though.

Yup, makes sense and is exactly what I'd suggest. I saw a model at the Equine Affaire that was a huge ten stall, two-story barn with a center aisle and hay loft. Then, to the side, there was a four car garage. (Forming an "L" shape.) Probably much larger than you want, but a similar idea and helpful if you are living with someone non-horsey and have to "sell" the idea of a barn. "Look, honey, it's just a bit more money to add on a FOUR CAR GARAGE!"

Worked for my car buff! :lol:

Because of the barn fire concern you mentioned, most insurance companies won't even touch house/barn combos. So just something to keep in mind. :)