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How many stalls? Let's be realistic!

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  • #21
    I would go along with others and say that you will fill how ever many stalls you have. My question would be, how much poop do you want to pick up every day?

    I have only two stalls and wish I had three for another horse but am very happy to only be cleaning up after two horses. That's about 24 poops per day by the way


    • #22
      I would make 4 stalls, a tack/feed room, and a washrack. Then I would build the tack/feed room ceiling solid enough to put your winter blankets up there. Make two of the stalls with a removable wall. You never know when you might need to stall rest a horse.

      Where are you going to put your wheelbarrow and manure forks? Your hay that you bring in to feed from your seperate building?


      • #23
        Do the 4 stalls.

        We have a two-stall "barn" in our garage--two 12 x 12s--and are now trying to figure out how to stuff in two more stalls on the other side and still have space for tack/feed. If you overbuild a little, you'll just have extra storage space, but if you underbuild, you're pretty much stuck with what you have. I know you said you plan to keep hay in a separate building, but you will DEFINITELY want space inside the barn to store a week's worth of hay.


        • #24
          Oh DEFINITELY make adjoining stalls such that partitions can be removed. The cost is negligible in the scheme of the whole barn - 2 metal U channels, tongue and groove board, wall stabilizer. Screw everything in, and removing it is easy.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #25
            I technically have four stalls, a tack room, and a storage bay that's 12x12 where I stage hay and shavings bales. I only have two horses at home, and to keep the temptation away I had the stall front removed from the third stall and stored, so I won't fill it! I have an empty stall, but a third horse is at the trainer's and his stall is here waiting for him.

            I agree with those that said you'll fill it if you build it, unless you have great will power. I know I don't, so that works for me. If I ever move I'll have the stall front re-installed.


            • #26
              I have no advice, just want to say that my barn is big enough for 10 stalls. When I moved in, there were three stalls. I only had one horse.

              Of course, one horse needs a buddy and mine came super-sized. So I took out a wall and went down to two stalls, one regular and one double for the elephant.

              Then there was this horse down the way, badly in need of being rescued. And even though I did not have an "empty stall," I did have the space. So we built another stall. And then they were three.

              Rescue horse had one great year before crossing the bridge. And they were two. And the empty stall (plus the hole in our hearts) had a gravitational pull. So we bought an OTTB. And they were three again.

              While riding OTTB, DH takes up lessons, too. Along comes the cutest, sweetest most bomb-proof gelding you ever laid eyes on. And then they were four ... so we had to build another stall and decided to make a double as well.

              Now have four horses and four stalls. One of the doubles could easily be made a single ... just in case the granddaughter needs a pony. The elephant could not survive in a single.

              I suppose my point is that my 10-stall barn now actually has six stalls.

              And I started out with one horse.

              Good luck with that!


              • #27
                4 is a nice number of horses to have, because you can always take two off the property and still have two for company.

                But, you will never be sad to have covered storage. There's never enough.
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                • #28
                  I'd go with double-sized stalls that would be luxury suites for those you have, but with metal channels to divide them in half to make room for visitors or those who may come.
                  They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                  Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                  • #29
                    I would consider building the largest shell you can build and not build the stalls permanent, tied into the basic framing.
                    Then put in there portable stalls, that you can rearrange as you want and your needs change.
                    Maybe those on the South wall with doors to runs or overhangs outside, eventually.

                    We have changed ours around several times already.


                    • #30
                      I have a four stall center aisle barn.

                      Really, anything less seems impractical. I would not give up the center aisle for anything.. I can back the truck into the barn and unload things, it is so wide. I can even store bagged shavings in the aisle and still back down it. In a pinch I can back the truck in, full of hay or feed, and unload it later and no worries about weather.
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                      • #31
                        We built a new barn a few years ago. Storage wasnt a huge dilema because we have plenty in the "big" barn. We built 4 12x 12 stalls, with a wash stall on one end, and a feed/tack room across from it. Just remember that if you are including hot water there will need to be room for a hot water heater.

                        So the short answer is yes, you need the extra stalls for storage!


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks to everyone! This has been a huge help and I think I'm going to stick with the 4 stalls with the plan that 1 will be a storage area. I'll have the builder price that and see what our ballpark price is and then go from there.
                          "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                          Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


                          • #33
                            Number of stalls ideally should match the number of horses your acerage can support. That would make for optimal resale value. You don't have to finish all the stalls at once if you don't need that many, but at least have the structure done. On my farm, we have about 20 acres available to the horses. The barn can be seven stalls and a feed/tack room, but we only have four stalls and the feed room built. The remaining three stall spaces are used for storage right now.
                            It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                            www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                            • Original Poster

                              Current property in question (we haven't decided for sure we're going there!) has 14 acres in pasture so plenty for 4 horses. The fall back property is family land so we can basically fence in as much of it as we want for pasture - so no issues there either.
                              "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                              Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


                              • #35
                                If I just went with 3 stalls, I could do all 3 on one side of the center aisle and still have plenty of room for a feed/tack room and wash/grooming stall on the other side.
                                This is how my barn is configured. My tack room, hay storage, and a general storage area take up the other side of the center aisle. What started out as a wash rack became the hay storage--it's just easier to tie the horses to my trailer parked next to the barn and wash them there, and I never wash them in the winter so there's no point in a wash rack for me.

                                Anyhow, all 3 of my stalls open up to my sacrifice paddock, and they never stay in their stalls anyway, so the "number of stalls" is really sort of moot. In fact, I turned two of my stalls into one big foaling stall when I had 2 mares here to foal 3 years ago, and I've never put the divider back in! The horses share this big stall and the one little one (when they even bother coming inside) and seem to enjoy the space. I know this arrangement is not for everyone, but it sure is nice for my herd, which varies from 2-4 horses at any given time.

                                The moral of the story: you can always squeeze in one more horse than you have stalls to keep them in. Build the barn like you'd build a house: to accomodate the 95%, not the 5%. What that means is that the house should be comfortable for every day, not built to suit the occasional times when you'll have visitors or want to host a party. So the barn should be built to suit the number of horses you think you can comfortably manage MOST of the time. One fewer or one more can always be made to work for the short term.
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #36
                                  I would go as big as you can afford... You'll always find things to do with your empty space!

                                  I've got a 6 stall center aisle barn with loft - 30' x 36'. We finished out one of those as a fully enclosed tack room, so I really have 5 potential stalls. Right now I have two horses (plus a stall of homeless chickens while their coop is built ) so I use the two empty stalls for feed and shavings. Our barn is positioned perpendicular to the driveway and one of THE BEST decisions we made was to put a big sliding door on the center stall that faces the driveway. In the past I have stored my tractor in there during the winter and now I use it for shavings. It's awesome, I can back my truck right into it to unload the shavings so I don't have to haul wheelbarrows in and I don't drop a bunch in the driveway. When I do stalls I just walk across the aisle for clean shavings instead of having to go out in the rain to a shavings bin... Or spend a ton on bagged shavings.

                                  I'm always pining for more stalls but realistically unless I clear more land for another pasture, our property should probably only have three or four horses on it. I'm DEFINITELY glad we went with the 6 stall rather than the 4 we were considering. It has allowed for much more flexibility for us. It really hasn't affected the number of horses we have but it has allowed me to set things up so that I can buy things in bulk to save money and it streamlines barn chores, saving me a lot of time.


                                  • #37
                                    If you gotta sleep in the barn due to a mysterious colic, you gotta sleep somewhere... aka the fourth stall...


                                    • #38
                                      I agree with the suggestion to build what you can comfortably afford, but leave room to add on if necessary.

                                      Stalls seems to be one of those "n + 1" things, where you'll ALWAYS end up with one more horse than the number of stalls...


                                      • #39
                                        We were planning on a 36x36 to have 3 stalls that opened onto the pasture with movable middle dividers - so it could be a run in with 3 entry/exit points, OR we could shut the center dividers and it be 3 stalls.

                                        Center aisle and then on the other side a 12x12 "workshop" for DH, a 12x12 hay/feedroom and a 12x12 utility/4th stall space.

                                        Just got the quote $55k!!!!

                                        Rapidly changing what we "need".


                                        • #40
                                          Kate, what sort of structure for that much? My pole barn, same dimensions, didn't cost half that! Ok, maybe half
                                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET