• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

What Kind of Barn Should i get/build?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What Kind of Barn Should i get/build?

    i have a rather large property of 44.5 acres and my mom and i are planning on getting horses, i want about 8 stalls one of those stalls being a wash stall, and one a tack room, and one a sawdust storage room i also want to have a hay loft cauld i get a almish built modular type of barn like this? or i was thinking about getting a shedrow or what ever you call it, and have 7 stalls of whitch one is a tack room, one is a wash stall one is a sawdust storage place and one is a food storage room. what would be advisable or do you have any other suggestions?
    Das Glueck der Erde lieged auf dem ruecken der Pferde-German Saying


  • #2
    Where do you live? It makes a big difference in the type of barn appropriate for the climate.


    • #3
      You may want to make a plan for the whole property, so you can then build the kind of barn that will fit it, depending on where you put it and how you want the horses to flow and the work around horses to be done.

      Most people today, depending on where they live, basically can save much labor, that means have more time for the horses, by having stalls with connected runs, so horses don't stand in a stall so much and make stall cleaning a big chore you can't miss.

      A loft for hay is a very bad idea, insurance will be higher if you can even get any, as today no one puts larger amounts of hay in the same building with the horses.

      The danger of a fire is much greater, the horses will get more hay dust and molds from the air circulating around the hay and the horse part of the barn, just not a good idea at all, better leave as much open space above the stalls as you can.

      Without knowing what kind of horses you will have, what you will do with them, if you will change and want to do other later, all that will change your plans, so make them very flexible and the barn multi-purpose.

      Spend as long as you can drawing different choices, because once you build, you will be stuck with what you have and some of it you will wish you had thought of before building.

      Making plans is great fun, enjoy it.


      • Original Poster

        i live in western pensylvania and i was thinking of getting a hayloft becaus my riding instructor has one and i dont think she has ever had a fire
        Das Glueck der Erde lieged auf dem ruecken der Pferde-German Saying



        • #5
          Originally posted by A Kind of Magic View Post
          i live in western pensylvania and i was thinking of getting a hayloft becaus my riding instructor has one and i dont think she has ever had a fire
          It only takes 1 bad bale and the right conditions to start a fire.

          A loft is handy in the Northeast because of the nasty winter weather- besides not having to leave the barn for hay, it has an insulating effect. That said, a hay loft is a fire hazard risk I wouldn't want to take, and tend to be rather expensive to build (rafters are more expensive labor-wise than trusses. I have a separate hay barn, with a hay storage area in my horse barn (6'x8') that'll hold about 40 bales- enough for at least a couple weeks with 7 in the barn.

          Apple Valley has some cute barns to look at as a starting point. Something like this maybe?


          • Original Poster

            that is a cut barn i like it! but what does it mean when it says something about $85 a barn like that cant only cost $85?
            Das Glueck der Erde lieged auf dem ruecken der Pferde-German Saying



            • #7
              Originally posted by A Kind of Magic View Post
              that is a cut barn i like it! but what does it mean when it says something about $85 a barn like that cant only cost $85?
              That's just for the blueprints, silly!


              • #8
                They mean $85 for a set of blueprints - your own contractor will build it for you!


                • Original Poster

                  oh im not that smart i was wondering!
                  Das Glueck der Erde lieged auf dem ruecken der Pferde-German Saying



                  • #10
                    I also wouldn't store a large amount of bulk shavings/sawdust in the barn becuase of the risk of fire.

                    The type of barn you choose depends on the area you live in. Go look at other barns in your area and ask the owners what they like and don't like about the barns.


                    • #11
                      For the OP, yes, you could easily get that configuration from an Amish modular barn. I have no idea where you are located, but I used Groffdale barns in PA. They build a lovely barn.

                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                      Most people today, depending on where they live, basically can save much labor, that means have more time for the horses, by having stalls with connected runs, so horses don't stand in a stall so much and make stall cleaning a big chore you can't miss.

                      A loft for hay is a very bad idea, insurance will be higher if you can even get any, as today no one puts larger amounts of hay in the same building with the horses.

                      The danger of a fire is much greater, the horses will get more hay dust and molds from the air circulating around the hay and the horse part of the barn, just not a good idea at all, better leave as much open space above the stalls as you can.

                      Two points, you will still spend time cleaning, but probably won't use as much bedding.

                      I disagree on the hay loft being a bad idea. First off, they are pretty standard in my area, and it is a great labor saver, I don't have time to move 2-3 bales of hay at a time to the barn, from a separate structure. And, I have no issues on getting insurance. In my area, lightning strikes caused most of the recent barn fires.

                      I have no problem with hay dust and mold, now if only I could get bedding to be dust free, I'd be a happy camper. Besides, many people end up with a hay stall IN the barn, not another building.

                      With a hay loft, you don't want to buy uncured hay.

                      I do sweep and clean my loft a few times a year and I buy hay that is not moldy.


                      • #12

                        FWIW, I have 13 horses and transport hay from my hay barn in the back of my golf cart.

                        Vets and farriers have said they love working in my barn in the summer because it is very cool and breezy
                        I wasn't always a Smurf
                        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                        • #13
                          I always said I would never have one, but bought a facility with a hay loft and love it. But the animals live outside except for their meals, so in reality it is a glorified hay barn with tack room, tractor storage, aisle and place to feed horses downstairs.

                          If for your personal animals I would build lovely run-ins and paddocks and a smaller barn. Think about ways to streamline the work. There is so much work to be done on a farm -- anywhere you can shave off chores, do. My barn has 6 beautiful stalls for my 4 horses, but the contractor is here putting up a large run-in today so they can stay OUT in the winter. I have 2 jobs to pay for the farm and a family, I can't spend hours every day cleaning poop. Plus, it is nice to ride every now and then.


                          • #14
                            If you are brand new to horses you should start off at a boarding barn

                            (1) To see if you like it
                            (2) To have someone to help you with your horse/teach you.
                            "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                            Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                            Need You Now Equine


                            • #15
                              Visit barns in your area and see what works & looks good for your farm.

                              Ask questions - I know I never mind explaining to people why I did things the way I did.

                              I don't have a loft because I hate the idea of going up & down stairs toting 50# bales.
                              I've seen lofts that allow you to dump hay directly into stalls from a catwalk, but I don't like the haydust & fines that inevitably drift down into the stalls.

                              Like others have said, design for your convenience.
                              For me that means a sacrifice paddock that surrounds the barn so horses have free acess from stalls all day, every day.
                              The paddock opens to pastures on both sides and any one area can be closed off with a single gate.

                              And if you ever plan to be away - vacation or emergency - make it easy for non-horsepeople to feed/water for you.
                              My horses know to come in for feeding & each goes to their own stall.
                              But if yours aren't so accomodating consider stalls with attached runs so horses can be left out of the barn but fed from outside the stalls.

                              I can fill the 50gal trough in the sacrifice area and buckets in stalls from a hydrant located inside the barn.
                              In winter I use a heated tape to keep the pump working and fill with buckets instead of draining a hose every time I use it.

                              That's all I can think of for now.
                              Have fun - this is the best part of building your own barn: the planning
                              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                              • #16
                                I used Groffdale Barns in Strausburg, PA and am very happy! You are welcome to visit!!

                                Visit as many barns as you can and write all of your ideas down...

                                I would be happy to share what I learned also

                                Good Luck Sounds Fun!!
                                Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakend. ~Anatole France~


                                • #17
                                  Barn Pros is fabulous! It's who I will use when I build a barn. Many people in my area (washington) have had nothing but great things to say. Their products are available nationwide and even internationally. They are lovely wooden barns that come in kits, many to choose from. Check out thier website www.barnpros.com


                                  • #18
                                    In PA, I would want an aisle barn, not a shedrow. And a separate hay/shavings building.

                                    Have boarded, owned in metal, insulated and not, concrete and wood, I'd take concrete block anyday.

                                    But, if you're new to horses, take it very slow. Board first, you have a lot of learning to do.

                                    OP, you sound very young...get some experience first.
                                    Last edited by LauraKY; Aug. 11, 2011, 07:27 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      If you are on a budget, and most of us are, go with a “prefab” pole barn. There are numerous companies through out the country that offer lots of different styles and sizes. All can be viewed on the internet and can be delivered regardless of where you are located. They can be engineered to meet building codes in your area, wind loads, snow loads, etc. You can choose siding, windows, doors, roofing based on your budget. And they are easily upgraded when money is available. The manufactures usually have a relationship with local builders they can recommend. These builders/contractors most likely have put them up before so they know how to build it fast and efficiently. Having a relationship with the manufacture means if they do something wrong they will fix it otherwise they will loose their relationship. In high wind areas metal roofing tends to have less problems and it will last a long time. But can be quite noisy in heavy rain and if you have hail to deal with it can dent and become unsightly. Everything is based on budget and compromises are not a sin. Build the basic structure so that upgrades can easily be made in the future. Center isle is the standard in most areas. But if you are in an area where you do not have to deal with extreme weather straight side by side stalls with an over hang shedrow can be the best bang for the buck. 12X12 stalls are standard size. If using center isle design a 12 foot isle will work don’t go smaller unless you have to. Head rood is another consideration. Going taller adds a bit more to the cost especially if you want a loft which I will get to latter. 8 foot works just fine for the horse but most humans feel this is to low. Contrary to popular believe most horses will not knock themselves out if they rear up. They may clunk themselves the first time but are well aware of their head room the second time. There are exceptions. Pole barns are built with an “open” floor design. Stalls can be as fancy as your budget dictates. You can order full stalls that have fronts, doors, sides, grills, etc. Or you can go utilitarian and have half doors with inexpensive grill upper and partitions made on site out of “Home Depot” 2X pine. I would advise going with full 4 quarter (terms your builder will know) tung and grove for the stall walls. All the way around. Don’t be talked into leaving the back open because it is sided. A horse can easily kick it out. One of the main things to keep in mind when fitting out the interior is eliminating as much, as your budget dictates, future damage the horses can do to the stalls and themselves. The other being workability. Siting the barn is very important. Wind direction usually changes with the seasons. In the hot months you want the winds to blow through the barn and in the winter hopefully it will blow against the the walls. Take into consideration the effects of “passive solar”. Preparing the “foot print” where the structure will be built over is the most important aspect and can be very expensive depending on the grade (flat ground, sloping, etc.) of the ground it is being built upon. Again all based on budget. The barn itself can be upgrade at a reasonable cost but changing the the “flooring” can be very expensive once it is built. There are many different opinions on what stall floors should be made of. Again budget rules. Cheapest what ever is there after the site has be leveled. Next up after grading is just adding several inches of “stone dust”. Every area has a different name for the stuff that is made locally. Next and IMO the best bang for the buck is to have it designed to drain. Again depending on your area and how rain water drains into the “natural” ground the base is built upon. Using several layers of different type stone topped with compacted stone dust. Yes horses will dig up stone dust stalls but it is any easy fix. The stalls drain well so urine does not puddle too much and it gives horses an excellent “purchase” when getting up. There is nothing wrong with the center isle being the same though it takes a bit more work to keep looking nice. I would go with asphalt it does not that add that much to the budget but make sure it is several inches think on a well compacted base. To add this after the barn is built is much more costly if done right. Having access to a covenant water source is paramount. The size of the your barn as outline and based on center isle with 12X12 stalls and 12 foot center isle will be 48’ long by 36’ wide. A very standard size. A no freeze hydrant in the middle means you only need 25 feet of hose work the whole barn. I would go with 2 hydrants on either side. But each must have a separate water supply line, this does not add much cost and if one line should leak and need to be cut off until fixed you’re not hauling buckets. And 2 people can water off with out getting in the way of each other. The cost of a wash stall will be dictated by your local building codes if code is required for barns in your area. The main expenses will be the drain and running no freeze water lines. Assuming you deal with winter conditions. If code is not required or will allow the best bang for the buck is just dig a hole large enough to put in a vertical section of say 3-4 foot wide 4 foot deep culvert pipe with a grill cover strong enough for horses to stand on and let the water naturally drain into the ground. Dig down deeper then the depth of the pipe and fill with stone for peculation. If code requires a proper septic leach field your are talking $$$$. There are ways to get around this. If you need hot water and you have to deal with winter conditions the heat source will have to be insulated. I would go with a “point of use” instant of hot water heater. Electric or gas depending on budget. You will only be heating water when you need it. The electric units are small and can be installed in a small well insulated enclosure. Lighting should be well thought out but can be expensive. This can always be upgraded as money allows. Power outlets at each stall so fans can easily and safely be plugged in. Light switches at each stall is great but adds $$. A switch for each side will do and one for the isle. Make sure to install switches that will control from both ends of the barn. Take into consideration where you will be storing muck and access to having it hauled away. Code may dictate this also. Now, there is controversy about storing hay and straw in a loft. We always have and always will. Hay fires do happened. People read about one and think that is the norm but in actuality it is the exception. Especially for those that don’t grow and bale their own hay. Which the vast majority of horse owners don’t. They get it from either a hay farmer or a reseller. Both of which have to store it in large quantity and are more concerned about spontaneous combustion then anybody. If you buy hay out of the field, well that is another thing. But most don’t. One “hot” bale even 2 or 3 are not going to start a fire I promise you. I could go into detail but I have already been long winded. We bale and store many thousands of bales for our own use. I use a hay probe to check moisture levels when being baled and check temperature after it has been “put” up. And then periodically for a few weeks after for peace of mind. Our bank barn was built in the early 1700’s and is very large by design to store a LOT of hay and straw and obviously has never burnt down. Poorly installed wiring or use of heat tape has burned down FAR more barns then anything else. That includes smokers which I am one. Dust and mold is NOT an issue. As pointed out in another post incorporating loft space will cost a bit more but IMO it is worth the extra expense.
                                      So, there you have it from soup to nuts.


                                      • #20
                                        We had one fire in the hay loft.
                                        There was a small leak in the roof, dripped a bit of water in the hay stacked there, the hay got hot inside, started smoldering and we caught it before the whole hay loft went up in flames and the whole barn below with 30 horses.

                                        Sure, you can get by, but why build something that is less than ideal, for what we know today?

                                        If you store hay in a loft other than a bank barn, you will also need an elevator to get that hay up there.

                                        If whoever has to feed can't get to the loft easily every day, if it is injured or older, who will get the hay down?

                                        If you have an old barn with a hay loft and want to take chances ... but building new, why start with unsafe, less than ideal conditions?