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How many stalls? Let's be realistic!

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  • How many stalls? Let's be realistic!

    So I'm still trying to work on my barn sketch so I can submit it for a quote from the builder. I *thought* I wanted a 4 stall center aisle barn - 2 stalls on each side. It's just me who is the horsey person.... I'll probably have one gelding in retirement by that point and one riding horse of some sort. Hubby has expressed interest in having a horse (or maybe I'll find a 2nd riding horse that he can ALSO ride ) The idea of the 4th stall was more of a "just in case" stall that I could use for storage or in case I wanted to offer a boarding spot to a friend. Is this a waste??

    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 would also save money on the size of the barn overall. Realistically I can't AFFORD 4 horses without switching to a diet of Ramen noodles!! So is having the empty stalls just begging for trouble?? LOL
    "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!

  • #2
    -sigh-

    All I'll say is that I started with a three stall, center aisle barn, with tack room.

    And this weekend, I'll be ripping out and relocating the tack room so that I can open up the fourth stall, for the new horse.

    It wasn't even technically a stall and there was still a huge vacuum affect!


    To be fair, two of the stalls are filled with boarders, so I'm not THAT bad!

    Comment


    • #3
      If you build it, they will come....
      My Equestrian Art Photography page

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm afraid....I started with two horses-started running a 23 stall boarding barn.....went up to 5 horses at one point, am now "down" to 4.......we still have empty stalls and I still cruise horse ads LOL.... Might as well make yours a 4 staller ;-)
        Kerri

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by draftdriver View Post
          If you build it, they will come....


          Go on and build that stall, girl!

          I never thought we'd end up with horse #2 until he got off the trailer at the barn last fall.

          They need friends, right?

          Signed,

          the enabler
          Alis volat propriis.

          Comment


          • #6
            You can always use the fourth stall for storage of hay, shavings, pallet of grain....
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              LOL I should've known horse people were the wrong people ask a question like this. Enablers, all of you! But I like the way you think....

              Husband thinks I'm crazy for building more barn than I "need" and isn't going to go for spending mega-$$$ on MY barn when HIS workbuilding also needs to be funded. haha! But my train of thought is that I'd rather have too much barn than build something less than what I need and regret it.
              "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!

              Comment


              • #8
                It's not a matter or how many horses you can afford - half joking, but half serious

                4 stalls - just stalls, CA - is 36' across, 24' long. Roughly. It's just not THAT much more to go 36'x36'. That gives you 6 "stalls". 1 of those can be your feed/tack room. 1 can be the wash stall, or hay storage, whatever.

                That leaves you with space for 4 actual stalls. If you're building a pole barn (cheaper than anything else, pretty much) then you can leave the finishing of anything until you save up more $$ if the up front cost of doing everything at once isn't feasible.

                Empty stall space will inevitably be used as storage - there's NEVER enough storage in our little homesteads LOL

                I have the above setup - 36x36 - started with 2 horses, down to 1, then 2, then 3, and now a 4th has appeared However, my property can't realistically handle more than 4 without a lot more work on my part, work I'm really not willing to do, and even though we can afford more horses, the work involved will absolutely prevent that.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your other option is to build what you NEED right now, but absolutely lay things out such that you can add to the length of it down the road if you NEED to.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                    You can always use the fourth stall for storage of hay, shavings, pallet of grain....
                    Thank you SmartAlex! This was my argument to my husband about why build a 4th stall that I'm not going to put a horse in Because you've got to store that stuff SOMEWHERE right!? And while I intend to store most of my hay in a separate building, it would be nice to have 6-8 bales stored in close proximity to the stalls.
                    "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!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      JB- You're absolutely right that I could expand length-wise if I found I needed the extra room. That may be the way to go in order to keep the peace in my household for now.


                      Is a 12x12 space big enough for a feed and tack room combo for a 3 horse barn? I'd want room for a sink and small fridge... by the time I add tack, cabinets for first aid/horse health odds and ends, blanket storage, etc, am I going to curse the fact that I have a combined feed and tack room in that space? I don't have a lot of TACK per se but I have a lot of STUFF
                      "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!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Could you combine your barn with his shop?
                        I think that is what JSwan did.

                        This way, you both may end with more space than you expected at a bit less cost than two structures.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          12 by 12 can be big enough for feed and tack room, especially if you don't feed that many varieties of feed. My feed is stored in my tackroom and it is very convenient...I have one of those big plastic bins to keep it neat-looking.

                          Remind DH that purchasing things like pelleted bedding is cheaper by the pallet -- the extra space could SAVE money!

                          I have 6 stalls and use 2 for storage....one for 15ish bales of hay at a time, extra nibblenets, bedding, etc., and the other for wheelbarrow, rakes, shovels, extra buckets, and the myriad of barn tools one needs for various jobs. I like it as it keeps them out of the aisle/looks better. I don't have a grooming stall -- I crosstie in the aisle. Grooming stalls are very useful in a big busy barn...not as much in a private place as there is no "traffic" in the aisle but yourself.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One other factor to add to your deliberations: how much time will you have every day to care for the horses?

                            When I was planning my farm, I did a time study (I did this at the boarding facility I was at) -- how long to muck each stall? how long to dish out hay and grain? how long to turn out / bring in? how long to sweep / clean the barn (daily or weekly, your choice)?

                            When I looked at the amount of time required to do all these things, the answer that worked for me was '3' ... I had the needed time each day to properly care for 3 horses (and still work, ride, maintain the rest of my life). Adding a 4th horse was going to stress me in terms of getting it all done. With that answer in hand, I built a 3 stall barn. We have since expanded the hay storage and added a tractor shed, but I still have only 3 stalls (and only 2 horses at the moment .... though I can feel the vacuum pull of that empty stall )

                            *star*
                            "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                            - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
                              JB- You're absolutely right that I could expand length-wise if I found I needed the extra room. That may be the way to go in order to keep the peace in my household for now.


                              Is a 12x12 space big enough for a feed and tack room combo for a 3 horse barn? I'd want room for a sink and small fridge... by the time I add tack, cabinets for first aid/horse health odds and ends, blanket storage, etc, am I going to curse the fact that I have a combined feed and tack room in that space? I don't have a lot of TACK per se but I have a lot of STUFF
                              Mine is 12x12. I have tack for 3 horses in there. The 4th is almost 11 months old, so he only has a halter All my feed (3 trash cans, not all 3 are always in use) and supplements are in there. I got kitchen cabinets from my Dad's kitchen re-do, including wall and base cabinets, so a LOT of storage. I have a plastic upright 2-door storage unit as well which holds mostly just medical type stuff. I also put up shelves above one set of base cabinets and above the trash cans. lots of storage.

                              If my blankets were folded AND put into containers, they would fit nicely in there too.

                              Finding room for the saddle and bridle for the wee one won't be a problem.

                              I even have a dorm-sized fridge in there.

                              Sink? I COULD have made room for one if I'd wanted, most likely. But it would be tight. there have been a few times I wish I had one, but then again, I don't even have water IN the barn still, just a hose from the house. Very doable, I only curse that a few times a year LOL
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
                                Husband thinks I'm crazy for building more barn than I "need" and isn't going to go for spending mega-$$$ on MY barn when HIS workbuilding also needs to be funded. haha! But my train of thought is that I'd rather have too much barn than build something less than what I need and regret it.
                                I'm in the same situation. We've been talking about a barn while his dream garage still needs wiring and interior walls.

                                But, my husband's only requirement is that I design the barn with the thought in mind that if I should give up on horses it will still have the access, floor surfaces, drains etc to make a useful storage building with the stalls removed.
                                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I asked him last night about the possiblity of combining the barn and workshop to save money but he said no. (Hey I tried to offer up cost savings!!) In all honesty, I'm not sure I'd want to do that anyways with the gasoline and such being stored over there for lawnmowers/tractors and all the power tools that he has collected. My horses would be super desensitized to the sound of sawing lumber but I would get tired of hearing it!!

                                  My grooming stall would actually be more of a wash rack. I don't mind cross-tying in the center aisle since it's just me there but I would LOVE to have an indoor wash rack that has hot water access. I thought about it again last night as I was outdoors in the dark in the cold, damp, 39 degree wind hosing poultice mud off my horse's leg and turning my hands into ice cubes trying to get the poultice clay off ME haha!!
                                  "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!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    All the reasons above to do 4 stalls, plus RESALE VALUE.....
                                    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You know, just because you have a barn that will have space for 4 stalls doesn't mean you actually have to build 4 stalls right off the bat...

                                      36X36 gives you three stalls on one side, space for a 12x12 tack room, a 12x12 wash/grooming stall and still leaves you with 12x12 "storage" - just don't have that "bay" floored with concrete (if you're going to do that). If you do a pole barn, you can always add an extra pole or two if you do decide to convert that space into a stall, but in the meantime, it would be a great storage space.

                                      My barn is 36X40 - southern 16' is my run-in (it's huge, and I could easily turn that space into one or two more stalls) and I have (at the moment) one big 12x24 stall on the east wall. West wall has a small tack/feed room (8x12) and a 16' hay storage area. I only have one horse now, but if need be, I can divide the big stall with channels and some tongue in groove. Depending on what horse #2 needs/is like, I may not even do that - since the run-in is always accessible, and I generally keep my old guy out 24/7.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Isn't barn building FUN!? I went thru this last year, this past summer my wonderful boyfriend built me a 24' x 36' barn with a hayloft that has a 4' knee wall.

                                        Three 12x12 "stalls" down the left side, 12' aisle down the right (I wanted a center aisle like you, with 2 "stalls" on each side, but didn't NEED that much space for two horses, and it was going to be more expensive). I have about $13,000 into my barn with everything from teh concrete to the tin, but that doesn't include labor because well, he's getting paid from other means

                                        Anywho...I have two horses, a bunch of STUFF, and my first 12x12 stall is really my tack/grain room. To be honest, it still has a lot of room for more stuff. I have three shelving units (bookcases really, from the restore!) and a small chest freezer that holds my grain. Keeps the mice out, and the square design takes up less space on the floor than a bunch of round trash cans. One shelving unit sits next to this and that is where I have drawers for my supplements, buckets, spoons, medications, etc.

                                        I have a 3-tier saddle rack to save floor space there, and one wall is covered in hooks for bridles, Pessoa system, extra halters, anything I can hang. I have two tack trunks in there, and a stand for my blankets. Still have a totally open floor in the middle.

                                        Originally when I was designing mine like you describe with 4 stalls, I would have two for horses, one for grain/shavings/wheelbarrow/shovels, etc, and one for tack. I'm glad I didn't spend the money on all that space, because it would've been overkill.

                                        If you have the money, go for it, if not, you can stay smaller and add on later if you want more horses.
                                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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