I've got them now in 14x14 stalls which almost seems like a waste to me. I prefer to keep horses out as much as possible which is definitely easier here in NC.
My question is for the barn I'm in the planning stages of for Michigan. The way I have the barn set up now is 10x12 to conserve space, BUT they all open up into runs off the back of the stalls that are 10x24. These runs are covered with a 10' overhang and, as aforementioned, open directly into the stalls. This way, even when the horses are stalled, they have free room to roam in and out.
My question there being, would this be a good plan considering I'm relocating to Michigan, where it can get really chilly in the winter, but great many other months for 24/7 turnout? Also, I'm a little concerned about stall space. 14x14 the horses tend to swim in, but I like them having room. Is 10x12 TOO small? Or am I just reading too much into it. I'd prefer to have 14x14 stalls AND the runs out the back, but it just isn't feasible at this point... any input appreciated!
My guys are in 10x11.5 stalls, without runs. I ideally would have wanted them a little bit bigger, but I was building in an existing building and didn't have many options.
That being said...while *I* would have preferred them to be bigger, my horses all do just fine. I had a 16.2h paint mare who was built like a brick house, and she had plenty of room to turn and lay down. My QH gelding, who loves to sleep lying down, curled up like a big dog, regularly lies down in his. I have never had a horse get cast. (Knock on wood!)
They are out pretty much 24/7 in the warmer months, but on crummy stormy days or on bitterly cold days in the winter, they may be in for a day or two at a time just because of necessity, and everyone seems to do just fine.
Ok, horses range from 15.2 - 16.3... I am definitely going to have ALL the stalls equipped with dividing walls that can be removed. Especially for layups or broodmares. The horses I have now aren't big laying down fans, so I'm not worried about them at the moment, but I want to be sure any new horses I may acquire or potential boarders wouldn't be concerned.
Does anyone know or have any experience with 'anti-cast' systems? I really want to keep the outside runs, but not at the expense of the horse's comfort in the stall. Also, do you think they would be as inclined to lay down in the stall if the dutch doors are nearly constantly open to the outside??
Thanks for the input...
Oh, and the barns in the area are all different in stall sizes. Some are 16x16 (you know, the places that chard $1200/mo for board), and then some are 10x10. This is being constructed mostly for myself and my horses, but may open to some outside boarders.
really, it just depends on the horse. I always had 12x12 stalls, until I moved to a place that had a 12/24 run in and a pair of 8x9 stalls. Yes, 8x9. I used one for feed etc, and left the other open. The 12x24 attached tot he 8x9. My 2 guys would hang out in the 8x9 more than anywhere else. They were 14.3 and 14.1 1100# and 900# respectively. They preferred it. Sometimes, I would get there and the 16.2 beanpole would be in there too,. THAT was crowded, but they did it on their own, as in A WHOLE LOT. Personally, I think my next place for my own horses will be 10x10 with runs attached or 10x12 with runs. My largest horse height wise is 15.1, and the stoutest is a bulldog Paint that weighs nearly 1000 on a 14.1 hh frame, all muscle.
Bluey is right though that 10 is not a whole lot of escape room though.
Barn I board at has 12 x 10 stalls and all the horses (14 to 16.1) do fine. Out during the day and in at night.
Barn I feed/clean has stalls 10 x 12 and also do fine. Horses are free to come and go into small attached paddocks.
Very, very few horses have cast.
But ... big difference for stall cleaning!
The stalls in my barn have the 12' length at the front/back with 10' being the depth. Horses poop on the back wall for the most part.
At the barn I work at the stalls have the 10' front/back and end up messing up the whole stall.
Drove me crazy until I figured out the horses in both barns must spend a lot of time facing the front of their stalls. In the 10' depth they are closer to the back wall for their "deposits" but with the 12' depth they are pooping closer to the middle and ultimately end up walking through it and spreading/mashing the poop around.
Hmmm... interesting about the 10'depth vs. width... Definitely something to consider, though if I were to make the stalls 12' wide, it would make my question invalid. I'm trying to keep them 10' wide to enable more stalls into a smaller area.
I see the potential problem with 10' runs, but if the runs are open, then the stalls are open -- hopefully providing a "safe place" for those that may get bullied around. I am also aware that I will have to make sure the neighbors get along well, and monitor them closely.
Has anyone ever had 10' runs successfully? If I don't do the 10x12 stalls with consequent 10x24 runs, I will just put up 14x14 stalls without runs.
There's NO reason your horses can't be out 24/7 in Michigan if that's how you want to keep them!! I live in Michigan, 3 miles from the windward shore of Lake Michigan and my horses are out 24/7/365. They have access to stalls at night (currently just my 12x24 foaling stall with two doors connecting it to their paddock) and use it only for lying down briefly each night out of the snow. Usually my 2 or 3 will hang out together in that large stall for a few hours each night, but the rest of the time they are OUT. They have a covered porch where the hay is, and a corner that is close by a thick patch of brush where they go when it's really windy.
There's NO reason your horses can't be out 24/7 in Michigan if that's how you want to keep them!!
That's what I'm preferring, but would like them to have a fenced run out the back of their stalls, that way they can choose in or out.
Just wondering if it is even worth the money of putting up the runs if they can only be 10'x24', or if I should just have 14x14 stalls that open out into a communal mud lot (this, however, would prevent them from being able to come and go as they please).
Direction of stall openings is a major factor to consider.
Here in the north, if a stall opening faces west or north, in winter the winds are so strong, a horse would prefer to not be in the stall but in a more, if possible, protected place.
So, when people say my horses stand out in the snow and rain, I think, yeah, cause they aren't dumb. It might seem bad to us, but inside their stall might actually be colder. So in reality, you are not really providing them with shelter. Technically, yes, but temp wise, no.
if I should just have 14x14 stalls that open out into a communal mud lot (this, however, would prevent them from being able to come and go as they please).
If you have a stable, low-key herd, it's possible for them to coexist even with stalls open to come and go. Been doing it this way for five years, never a problem. They all share the open stalls and coexist peacefully. Can accidents happen? Yes. But I like for them to have access to shelter AND the freedom to roam their half-acre dirt paddock at will.Another alternative, if you don't like sharing stalls and go with a communal sacrifice paddock instead of individual runs, is just to build them a shelter or run-in and save the stalls for night-time or particularly vile weather. If they're only in for 8-12 hours at a time, small stalls are FINE.And wind direction is WELL worth considering. Many places in Michigan will have prevailing winds from the west-southwest all year round. My barn/stalls actually face south, so there is wind that blows in, but the siting worked well otherwise so I let that go--they have their thick stand of trees and brush for shelter when the wind REALLY gets going. And plenty of hay, fur, and blankets as needed to stay warm.
I agree with deltawave, 24/7 turnout year round with a run-in option is definitely doable even in the north.
I've had a few pretty dominant horses over the years, so we built our barn with stalls on one side, and a large communal run in on the other. Stalls open up into the run-in, which opens into the pasture, so I can put them in to feed them individually, and then turn them back "out."
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