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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    9,067

    Default Back yard barn - How many stalls?

    We just put our house on the market (again) - Not trying to get our hopes up, but our next move will be a 2-3 acre horse property. Land around here is very expensive and we can't afford much more than that.

    Since hubby is in the concrete business and has a lot of connections, we plan on purchasing the land and build a very small house for the two of us and hopefully have a very small mortgage or none at all.

    Now for barn ideas - At the moment I have my one pony. I'd most likely get another horse for riding and companionship.

    I want to keep things small and simple, any suggestions on what would be the ideal number of stalls in a backyard situation? I was looking at a modular set-up with two stalls, aisle, feed/tack room and loft for extra storage. http://www.horizonstructures.com/pdf...24x25%20RR.pdf

    DH thinks more stalls 3-4 would be more ideal...

    Opinions, suggestions? I have been reading "Horse Keeping on small acreage" by Cherry Hill and it is a wonderful book full of ideas.

    Thanks!
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 1999
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    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
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    8,588

    Default

    Here's the honest deal. You WILL acquire a horse to fill every stall. Ask me how I know this.

    So, build accordingly. For the acreage you speak of, I'd stick with just 2 stalls.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
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    2,255

    Default

    that really is a helpful book.

    I have 6 stalls, 3 horses. 2 stalls are full with hay. I made a Penthouse Stall (or foaling stall) out of 2 stalls by removing the wall in between.

    I found 3 horses to be the perfect number. You can take one away and the other 2 stay calm



  4. #4
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    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonesta View Post
    Here's the honest deal. You WILL acquire a horse to fill every stall. Ask me how I know this.

    So, build accordingly. For the acreage you speak of, I'd stick with just 2 stalls.
    Thats my fear..lol I'm always looking on Dreamhorse or Equine.com
    Not to buy, but just to look. Having to board my mare, keeps the temptations in check.

    Although Lambie has a good point - Would only two horses get herd bound? I think this is where a companion animal would come in handy..like a Llama or minature donkey, thus the need for a 3rd stall?
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
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    NorthEast
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    H2...I like that barn's floor plan. There's the loft for hay, the tack room is big enough for tack and feed and no extra stalls. Sonesta is correct, if you have an extra stall, you *will* fill it.
    A very few people can resist the temptaion, but I know you. I know if yoou hear of a horse that needs a home or rescuing, you'll take it in a heart beat if you have an extra stall or two. Even if you use the extra stalls for storage, you'll empty them and take the extrta horse. (yes you will, stop shaking your head, LOL)
    That floor plan looks very workable, the aisle is big and roomy and you'll have space to groom or tack up or for the vet or farrier. (the vet and farrier will thank you for that) I like the two different sized stalls. Your pony can either run around in the big one or be more than comfy in the smaller one if you get something larger for the second horse.
    3 or 4 stalls in a bigger barn is nice...and I'm the first one to say that you can never have too much storage room. (which is what DH probably has in mind...more indoor storage) But I have the 24x40 4 stall barn and my DH finds it a convenient spot to store all his pack rat stuff...which makes my barn cluttered. At least once per year I have to bring the truck down the barn and empty the crap in there back out again. I hate clutter. Plus extra stalls usually means the non-horsie DHs want to store something with an engine in a stall. You don't want anything full of gasoline in your barn.
    But Lambie does have an excellent point too...3 horses can be easier than 2 when you go trail riding solo. 2 tend to get herdbound more than 3 do. But you can stick with 2 as long as you make it a point to keep them from getting too herdbound. I'd suggest adding a goat, but I wouldn't want you to yell at me later if you got a goat for all the crap a goat can get into, LOL!
    I think that barn set up would work quite well. It's cute too and I like the run-out stalls.
    With a loft look into getting a hay elevator...the Middlesex auction has them once in a while for a lot less than new. The elevator makes loading hay soooo much easier. I can hook you up with some good hay suppliers in the area...good prices and great hay. A couple who will deliver too, although many around here don't deliver because so many people around here have pick up trucks anyways.
    How'd the showing go? Fingers crossed for you.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
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    3,309

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    I have a six stall barn, three on each side of a 16 foot aisle. Only three have horses in them. One's a tack room, and I have hay in one and shavings in another. I also have a hay storage structure perpendicular to my barn on the west side. I purposely stage hay in that empty stall to keep me from buying a fourth horse. It's so tempting when you know you have room.

    Ideally I'd like to have two horses. Three is easier when you take one off the property...no crying and pacing by a horse left home alone.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    That is a lovely plan, well thought out.
    Can't go wrong with that.

    I would use the loft to store stuff, put the hay somewhere else, even in a little separate utility building close by.
    That same company has those and they are portable, so you can move it around and even resell it if your needs change.

    You can prepare the hay for the next few meals in a small dolly or cart you take to the barn.
    With two horses, you won't need much hay.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    7,854

    Default

    This is a bit different, but using the same barn outside, you could change the box stall to a 12x12, put a tie stall beside it's inside wall. The door to box stall is changed to an angle across the corner. Door can still swing across to the tack room wall, out of the way. This shortens the inside wall some, but allows you to have the smaller stall and use the door.

    Smaller box stall gives you a couple more feet to play with. A nice HORSE sized tie stall could be 5 1/2ft wide, 12ft deep, and allow the equine to lay down, be quite comfortable. This is the size of our tie stalls, and our horses are 16-17H, go 1200-1500 pound. They have plenty of room, for laying down, moving sideways, but are turned out daily for exercise. Having a short wall on one side of tie stall would not affect the ability to contain an equine. A pony in the tie stall would not need that length. If pony is tiny, maybe a mini, you could make the tie stall into a box stall for them with a gate.

    We find the benefits of tie stall to be many. Along with patience learned from being tied, animal is not skittish when approached from behind, not kicky in reaction from touches because the person is bringing FOOD!! Reward for moving aside to CLEAR THE WAY! We have tie stalls on purpose because we want the benefits gained from just moving around them in daily chores. They get "Training" with no extra time on OUR part!!

    I am presuming you plan to put both of your equines out together. So this means you might not need that second door to outside from the second box stall. Or you could leave an outside door as a handy exit for yourself, but move it to the corner of building. Extra space not used for stalling could be storage for tools, hay or bedding, a grain room if walled off from the aisle. With tie stall wall thickness, you have about a 7ft wide area left over. Space could be made into a second, big tie stall if you purchased a third animal, by putting a gate over the inside of person door.

    I like to keep my main aisle areas as clean as possible for tacking up, so possible dancing horse can't get in trouble. Nothing to catch a horse doing the circle to be turned for going elsewhere. Congested aisle is a danger to all. No wheelbarrows, stacked hay, or whatever making the aisle way narrower. That little storage area could come in VERY handy. Vertical storage on outside of tie stall wall, could have hanging tools, forks, shovel. Or you could put in a shelf system for items. Many uses. As tiny as your footage for barn is, you will want to take advantage of any extra space available.

    Anyway, an uncommon idea, for consideration in your floor plan of small barn. Drawing it up on paper will make it more realistic, so you can see the plus points. Our very large horses do fine in a 12x12 stall and in tie stalls.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Zone 6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonesta View Post
    Here's the honest deal. You WILL acquire a horse to fill every stall. Ask me how I know this.
    Actually, I'd have to disagree with this. I have 8 stalls and 4 horses. I know that I do not want to have to clean more than 4 stalls a day. Period. It's just too much work to do on top of having a full time job. So no way will I bring in more horses unless they can clean up after themselves

    I do agree that 2 stalls for the amount of land the OP is looking at is perfect. Make sure you plan out a room for storing wheelbarrows and "stuff". Also tack, feed and hay storage.

    I personally think 3 horses is the magic number. That way you can trailer one out and there are two left at home to keep each other company. I have a small pony for that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    That is a lovely plan, well thought out.
    Can't go wrong with that.

    I would use the loft to store stuff, put the hay somewhere else, even in a little separate utility building close by.
    That same company has those and they are portable, so you can move it around and even resell it if your needs change.
    That was my plan, regarding the loft. I do not want to store hay inside the barn and would rather use the loft for all my tack plus odds and ends.
    Fans, heated water buckets etc....

    We saw these barns in person at the Equine Affaire last year and they were very simple, but attractive.
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  11. #11
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    Oct. 14, 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    H2...I like that barn's floor plan. There's the loft for hay, the tack room is big enough for tack and feed and no extra stalls. Sonesta is correct, if you have an extra stall, you *will* fill it.
    A very few people can resist the temptaion, but I know you. I know if yoou hear of a horse that needs a home or rescuing, you'll take it in a heart beat if you have an extra stall or two. Even if you use the extra stalls for storage, you'll empty them and take the extrta horse. (yes you will, stop shaking your head, LOL)
    That floor plan looks very workable, the aisle is big and roomy and you'll have space to groom or tack up or for the vet or farrier. (the vet and farrier will thank you for that) I like the two different sized stalls. Your pony can either run around in the big one or be more than comfy in the smaller one if you get something larger for the second horse.
    3 or 4 stalls in a bigger barn is nice...and I'm the first one to say that you can never have too much storage room. (which is what DH probably has in mind...more indoor storage) But I have the 24x40 4 stall barn and my DH finds it a convenient spot to store all his pack rat stuff...which makes my barn cluttered. At least once per year I have to bring the truck down the barn and empty the crap in there back out again. I hate clutter. Plus extra stalls usually means the non-horsie DHs want to store something with an engine in a stall. You don't want anything full of gasoline in your barn.
    But Lambie does have an excellent point too...3 horses can be easier than 2 when you go trail riding solo. 2 tend to get herdbound more than 3 do. But you can stick with 2 as long as you make it a point to keep them from getting too herdbound. I'd suggest adding a goat, but I wouldn't want you to yell at me later if you got a goat for all the crap a goat can get into, LOL!
    I think that barn set up would work quite well. It's cute too and I like the run-out stalls.
    With a loft look into getting a hay elevator...the Middlesex auction has them once in a while for a lot less than new. The elevator makes loading hay soooo much easier. I can hook you up with some good hay suppliers in the area...good prices and great hay. A couple who will deliver too, although many around here don't deliver because so many people around here have pick up trucks anyways.
    How'd the showing go? Fingers crossed for you.
    Awwww, Thanks Misty.. (blush) I would have taken the foundered pony we saw at the Haddam Neck Fair in a heartbeat if I could have.
    Plus the lesson horse I rode last night - she was a dream! and on and on.

    Ideally I would like to have two horses, especially if Twinkie's Uveitis happens to spread to the other eye and I can no longer trail ride her.
    And probably another companion animal. I love goats but, YES, you would be finding it at your back step along with boy kitty the first time it escapes...lol
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    7,136

    Default

    Since you're going to all the trouble (and EXPENSE!!!) of 'building' a barn, make sure to have more than just two stalls. A lot more than horses goes in them, you know!!! That 2-stall version is just the SMALLEST in a series.

    And 'third' that three is the minimum number of horses to keep at home.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2008
    Posts
    961

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    I have had a nice, serviceable pole barn with 3 stalls in it on our property we bought back 5 years ago, and had the 3 horses to fill them. However...after flying to TX to visit friends back in June, by the 3rd of July a 17.2H Percheron mare arrived late that night to grace our field. *sigh* is all my husband could do and shake his head. Where will we put another stall? Were still trying to figure that one out and may just let her have the isle way in the winter.

    He did also put up a nice hay barn that will hold up to 500 bales for me and were going today to start the process of filling it. Before anyone says anything about the amount of horses on our 5 acres, we just bought 32 more acres right next door and hopefully once we recover financially from the hay barn and down payment on the land, will fence off at least another 5 or so acres for the horses to roam on.

    It can be done but you have to look at all of the aspects of the place and I think the OP has everything in order.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    When one winter we had a horse that came to us starved so bad we didn't want him in a stall, in case he went down, we kept him in the aisle the first month.
    We put a portable panel up to keep him on half of it and he could go out when the weather was good and we opened the door to a pen outside.
    He was ok, didn't die on us and the aisle made a fine place for him.

    The floor of our aisle is bare dirt with some sand on it, so it was a good place, not any different than the stall would have been.
    If you have concrete, you can put some rubber mats down under the bedding.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
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    VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambie Boat View Post
    I found 3 horses to be the perfect number. You can take one away and the other 2 stay calm
    This is so true.

    While you may feel encouraged to go bigger, I think four stalls would be too many (considering you might use them for four horses eventually) for your acreage.

    It is much better to have too much pasture for your horses than not enough.

    Also, be sure to check local zoning regulations. Many zoning ordinances limit the footprint square footage of accessory structures. Depending on the zoning classification of the property, ordinances often limit the number of animal units based on acreage as well. Be sure to check this before you go any further.

    Have fun!
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
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    NorthEast
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    Oh she won't have pasture most likely. H2 lives in my general area and finding pasture is nextt to impossible around here. Buying 90 acres means you get 89 acres of heavy woods growing on top of ledge, a house with a 1/2 acre of lawn and the other half acre will probably be her rock driveway of at least 500' in length. Anything already cleared and seeded around here start at about a billion dollars an acre, LOL! Hay storage is a big thing around here...it's a very horsie area but maybe one out of every 100 farms has enough grazing to support a couple horses for half the year.
    The town halls of the nearby towns are all pretty horse friendly...the average rule of thumb for this town and the next one over are 2 acres minimum to have horses and you can have up to 3 on that and then 3 horses every acre over that. No zoning specific for livestock needed. There are set backs and buildings over 10x10 usually require a solid foundation so they can tax it (whether the building needs a solid foundation or not they'll insist on it, there isn't much to tax around here) So going up in size on a barn can be pricey as hell considering adding in the extra clearing, grading, drainage and foundation.
    H2, I'd suggest a pony for a third companion. Few of us ever grow out of our pony phases anyways. Or a small donk or small mule for stray dogs or coyotes. (not minis, just small) Then you can reconfigure the stalls in that size barn and add a narrow one that a small donk or pony fits in just fine. Less bedding for a smaller stall and less feed for a small donk or pony. Saves a tiny bit of money. Keep a few big trees in the paddock or overhanging it, the shade will be helpful for Twink's eyes. Plus horses love shady turnouts...less flies and cooler in summer.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambie Boat View Post
    I found 3 horses to be the perfect number. You can take one away and the other 2 stay calm

    Unless her DH or a friend will sometimes go out riding with her on the 2nd horse. In that case you need 4 horses (2 out, 2 at home) or a companion animal who is fine staying home alone sometimes.

    Ask me how I know this........

    Yes, we have 4. Three are hunters that we do ride and one is an old retired guy. Taking one horse to ride on the property or trailer out is fine. Taking 2 is fine. Taking all 3 makes the Old Geezer very unhappy - but he's Old. Too Old to do anything about it except trot up and down and call after the trailer. Mostly, too Old to jump my less-than-perfect fences and try to follow the trailer. If any of the others were to be left at home alone, they'd be gone in a heartbeat.

    BUT - we have a lot more land with a whole lot more pasturage.
    Incredible Invisible



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
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    Hunterdon County, NJ
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    I live on 2.6 acres in Ashford, CT, and I think that barn is absolutely perfect! Our rather anti-agriculture zoning stipulates one horse per acre (and no, I can't get a pony for that .6!) but it's something I can deal with for now. I'll be selling my place in the spring to live in New Jersey (eek!).

    I agree you want lots of storage but not too many stalls. I have a one stall barn -- a converted detached garage -- and would love one more stall. That said, I could easily deal with a four stall plan and use two stalls for storage, one for hay, one for grain/ tack. I do all the work myself and don't relish putting hay into a loft.

    When I bought my place, it was the wooded lot with tiny lawn described above. But I've cleared about 1 1/2 acres. You can save money on this by having someone drop the trees and cutting them up yourself. That's what I did. I'm guessing your hubby can use his connections to help or can run the machines himself.

    BTW, my brother in law is a housebuilder in CT; you may want to check him out for your house!
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut) and EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  19. #19
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    Mar. 27, 2008
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    337

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    Just be sure you have a place to store tractor or mower plus attachments. We do that in a place that would be a stall but we didn't finish the stall. Also, I have overhangs on both sides of my barn which I LOVE. One shelters the stalls from rain and provides a run in if I close the stalls from the pasture. The other is used to store the trailer.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2006
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    306

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    Just built my barn last winter. Two horses - three stalls. I would have liked four stall, but DH was thinking along the lines of a lot of other posters and thought I'd fill four if I had four. He really just wanted two stalls, but we settled in the middle. I use one stall for Hay and bagged shaving. I like that if there is an issue (like a poor soul who needs a home) I still have that option (quess DH wasn't wrong in his thinking after all).

    We were going to build a seperate hay shed - that has not happened yet so hay storage for the whole winter isn't an option. If I had two spare stalls I could do a winters wonth of hay.

    Good luck to you! I love having mine at home on my 31/2 acres.



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