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Custom Eventing Barn?

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  • Custom Eventing Barn?

    Ok so my husband and I purchased 27 acres of land about two years ago. We built our house when we bought it on about 1 acre. Anyway, we are building our dream eventing barn!! Ooh I get exited just typing it! I have the basis of what I want to build so here's the list;
    - 25 European style stalls
    - 4 grooming stalls
    - 2 indoor/ 1 outdoor hot and cold wash stall
    - swing out feeders in every stall
    - fans in every stall
    - feed room
    - tack room with cubbies
    - automatic watering system
    - lounge with kitchen area
    - horse treadmill or exercise walker
    - cross country course with water element
    - indoor arena
    - large outdoor arena with hunt jumps
    - pastures and paddocks
    - round pen for lounging
    Anything that you think I should add to the list?

  • #2
    You didn't mention if the indoor and stable are connected/attached, size of stalls, aisles, where to store hay, etc.

    If it was me, I would also have runs out of all/most/some stalls.
    If you are concerned with how horses may socialize over fences in the runs, make them as safe and closed in as you want, pipe panels or wire fences.
    There are also some new kinds of wire panel fences for those kinds of pens.

    How excited you must be, that is wonderful!


    • #3
      Large enough stalls for bigger horses. Exterior access for all stalls, preferably to fenced paddocks. Overhangs to keep the snow, rain and summer sun from coming in when those exterior doors are open. Really nice, nonslip, footing for the barn aisle. Automatic waterers in each stall and pasture.

      Think carefully about why you want a barn and make sure your design fits well into your plan. If you plan to breed, don't forget some stalls with removable partitions for foaling. If you plan to run camps for kids, have extra bathrooms and a place for parents to sit. Think about smoke detectors and possibly security cameras.


      • #4
        I vote no runs. All they are good for is getting dirty and muddy and staying that way.

        Also, I have experience with auto waterers, if I were you I wouldn't waste the money. Buckets are much easier to keep clean, they don't leak or break, and you can monitor the horse's drinking.

        Congrats on making your dream come true and please keep us updated through pictures!

        "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester


        • #5
          Originally posted by Angelico View Post
          I vote no runs. All they are good for is getting dirty and muddy and staying that way.

          Also, I have experience with auto waterers, if I were you I wouldn't waste the money. Buckets are much easier to keep clean, they don't leak or break, and you can monitor the horse's drinking.

          Congrats on making your dream come true and please keep us updated through pictures!
          Runs make stall cleaning infinitely easier, as many horses prefer to use one spot outside for bathroom.

          If you have a dirty horse problem, you could use sheets or blanket right before a competition, or just clean the horse a bit more.

          We use big water tanks outside between runs, don't keep horses shut in their stalls, no worry about watering inside but rarely.

          I don't remember cleaning waterers every day being any more if not less work than cleaning and filling buckets or automatic waterers breaking?
          I guess it depends which kind of automatic waterer you buy.
          I remember breaking ice in water buckets in NJ most of the winter by putting them in front of a big blowing heater in the aisle end to get the ice to turn loose.


          • #6
            I concur with those suggesting outside runs. My website shows my set up to give you some ideas....


            You can save money and time by having outside runs. You can turn out in the runs even if the fields are muddy. If you can also afford to put overhangs outside the stalls, it will keep the barn much cooler and less exposed to the elements. It is much easier to clean outside runs than stalls that horses have been in for extended hours.

            If you do put in outside runs, I would recommend 6-7 foot high fencing to discourage too much rough housing or fighting between neighboring horses.


            • #7
              I love my auto waterers but you do have to keep on top of them.

              Hay/bedding storage- if you're getting bulk loads, plan the layout so the lorry can easily get to the storage area, especially if you have harsh winters.

              Smoke detectors/a sprinkler system might be expensive but IMO it's totally worth it.

              Fly misters might be an idea, too.

              I'd plan to put a big sink or two in your tack room. Much easier than trying to carry buckets. I'd also have a drying room where wet rugs, coats and the like can be hung to dry. Having a washer and tumble dryer is really nice too- buy the big industrial ones.

              Will you be letting people park their trailers on site? If so, a large area of hardstanding will reduce mud and is easier to park on.

              What security systems are you putting in place?

              Some more thoughts-

              What are you planning to do with your manure? How are you setting your feed room up?
              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


              • #8
                I third the outside runs with an overhang off the stalls...even 12 x 36 offers a horse a much bigger space to "live" in, especially when your paddocks and pastures are unusable due to cold or wet. Stall cleaning is a snap, picking the paddocks daily and beginning by putting in geo cloth and gravel for the runs and maintaining them will be an attraction to most boarders. My horse poops outside if given a stall with a run...in one spot. He pees in the center of his stall, so the barn help loves him.

                I detest auto water systems. I've boarded at several barns over the last 2o years and they never function well, and during cold weather, you'll have to have buckets anyway. When they break, they create water hazards in your stalls (and they usually get broken by a horse or weather in the middle of the night). You can't tell how much/well a horse is drinking, either. Buckets take a bit more time each day, but are well worth it.
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                  I concur with those suggesting outside runs. My website shows my set up to give you some ideas....

                  Wow, that's a great website - lots of good ideas!


                  • #10
                    Thanks ellebeaux!!

                    BTW, OP-your place sounds awesome!!!

                    I'm guessing you will be adding boarders. Be sure to ask for and call the references!! If you've never had boarders before, it is a bit of a painful learning process that you go through at first. COTH is a great place for advice.

                    Good luck-what an exciting adventure!!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                      Thanks ellebeaux!!

                      BTW, OP-your place sounds awesome!!!

                      I'm guessing you will be adding boarders. Be sure to ask for and call the references!! If you've never had boarders before, it is a bit of a painful learning process that you go through at first. COTH is a great place for advice.

                      Good luck-what an exciting adventure!!
                      I think if you search the forum you will find pretty much all possible eventualities and probables to cover in your boarding contract!

                      yes: DO GET IT IN WRITING!


                      • #12
                        I have 40 foot runs off of my stalls, and I love them. I can have my non-horsey neighbor cover for me in a pinch, and without touching the horses she can turn them out or bring them in simply by opening or closing the gates from the runs to the pasture. And the nicest part? My horses only poop in their runs, not in their stalls. Heaven.

                        I also have overhangs and they keep the rain and snow out, plus provide great shade. Love them.

                        I'm also an auto waterer fan. I have the Nelsons and haven't had any issues with them, at all. But my horses also have a big stock tank in the pasture, so water is always plentiful.

                        Good luck with your new place. It's a lot of work but it's so much fun, too.


                        • #13
                          I concur with no auto waterers and yes to runs! Also a large laundry area with room to dry stuff would be amazing.

                          Where are you?? Can I come board there!?!?
                          Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

                          Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010


                          • #14
                            Ditto on the slop sinks. They're invaluable!

                            Invest in one or two of the Rubbermaid Big Wheel Tough Carts. They haul anything/everything, turn on a dime and are super heavy-duty.

                            You mentioned grooming stalls: Absolutely, but you can do just 2 full size ones and then 4 straight stall ones for just the basics. The 2 full size ones should be for when the vet/farrier comes and the straight stalls for the everyday tacking/grooming/piddling with your horse stuff.

                            The best straight stalls I saw were slightly graded to the back wall with a drain system. Sooooo nice to just be able to hose it off and have it run into the drain & out!
                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                            • #15
                              I too like runs. My current boarding barn has great ones. Four board vinyl fencing, with a hot cord along the top and bottom rails (keep horses off the fence).

                              My mare uses her stall for eating and sleeping, poops in one corner of the run, pees in the other. I literally do not need to clean her stall any more (just quickly pick the one corner of the run), just add bedding as it breaks down. I do add gravel to the pee spot, but otherwise the run is well graded (away from the stall) and stays mud free year round.
                              APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by hannahwdel2101 View Post
                                Anything that you think I should add to the list?
                                A winning lottery ticket?

                                Nothing to add other than congratulations on building your dream barn


                                • #17
                                  If you have more than 20 horses and you life in a warm climate then get more than three wash stalls. Honestly, its a pain waiting for a wash stall when you get back from a conditioning ride and there are three horses getting baths before an event.

                                  Personally I prefer auto waters. much easier to deal with and easier to keep clean. I have worked in numerous barns and nothing worse than water buckets. Such a waste of water abcs a pain to scrub fifty buckets. Plus horses that dunk hay on my experience won't do it in auto waters.

                                  For me run outs are a waste of space and get nasty with rains even with good drainage. Horses play over the fence which could be dangerous. I would leave then out.
                                  I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                                  • #18
                                    It’s been eluded to but not blatantly stated or defined. Not just a drying room, but a BLANKET room.

                                    Blankets and sheets for horses 25 horses is ALOT. And they so quickly take up space in tack lockers and trucks. My last barn had a dedicated blanket room. There was a name plate for the horse and 4 hooks underneath. The hooks were about 7-8 feet off the ground. Long enough so that a size 84 warmblood blanket could hang and not drag on the floor, but still low enough to reach with a step stool.

                                    If you had more than 4 blanket or sheets they had to go home with you and couldn't be stored at the barn. There was a bathroom vent in that room to keep the warm, moist air out.

                                    There was one spot for SUPER wet blankets that had actual blanket racks, the square ones from Dover Saddlery: http://www.doversaddlery.com/swingin...srcf55ew1mhp45

                                    So when you hang the blanket the neck keeps its shape and dries faster.

                                    We were also a pickup/drop-off location for the local Horse Blanket laundry/repair service, so there was a huge plastic bulk grain bin, where you put your horse laundry bags in.

                                    Getting horse blankets out of the tack room and out of the aisles, really helped out a lot.

                                    It helped the barn staff keep which horse and which blankets and when all straight.
                                    It kept the laundry service out of the tack room, (and actually allowed them to secure the tack room with a coded deadbolt).
                                    It prolonged the life of the blankets, by not being drug around or laying stuffed somewhere, or getting excessively dirty by hanging in a high traffic area.
                                    And it made the aisles look cleaner and more professional by reducing the clutter.

                                    And for what it’s worth, I am a huge proponent of stalls with attached run ins. If you do the drainage and fencing right the first time you will save costs in the long run merely in either your own time or the time you're paying staff to turn horses out.

                                    25 horses X the actual time (to halter a horse and move it to a non-connected turnout, and walk back to the barn to get the next horse) X twice a day (to be turned out and brought back in.) and if you're paying someone X hourly cost.

                                    25 horses X estimate 5 minutes per horse X 2 times a day = a little over 4 hours. X let’s say you're paying minimum wage at $7.25.

                                    That’s $30.21 a day and almost HALF of a full time 8 hour shift, JUST to move horses in and out. Again that’s just one day. Over a month that’s $906.3 in wages or 120 Work Hours.

                                    And that’s just to move the horses, that’s not included the extra cleaning or bedding you will go through, b/c if given the option, horses will usually go to the bathroom outside, and horses stalled extensively use more bedding.

                                    For a 25 stall barn, stalls WITHOUT attached runs/turnouts ... the math doesn't work for me.

                                    Also for me at least the grain room and the hay area have to be complete separate. The grain room has to be locked to protect from vermin, and can be close to supplements that need to be climate controlled or even refrigerated. Hay needs to be someplace where big trucks and little cats can enter and depart easily.

                                    You also didn't mention how you are storing bedding and tools/equipment.

                                    If you do bulk bedding it will need its own building where a dump truck can back up to. if you do bags, you need plenty of room to store those as well. If you use bagged pellets it will need to be covered and secure from weather.

                                    After 1 or two horses, more horses means more and heavier equipment. The aisles need to be extra wide to drive a pick up truck or compact tractor through easily. Plus you’ll need some place to store tractor attachments, like harrows, arena drags, brush hogs, and tank sprayers.

                                    And last item, 25 stalls is a TON of manure and that much manure needs a plan. If you are going to compost it and want to put something like an O2 system in that’s going to need a convenient but tucked away location, if you're going to truck it away they you’ll need a spot and maybe a ramp for the truck or container.

                                    And I'm sure it’s implied but also trailer parking with easy turn around or in/out access is never undervalued.


                                    • #19
                                      Yep, you forgot my apartment!!!
                                      Last edited by wildlifer; Jun. 3, 2013, 10:05 PM. Reason: I did not type that smiley. :(
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo


                                      • #20
                                        I think you need more wash stalls myself. My first trainer had a 30 stall barn, and 4 hot/cold washracks, and 2 grooming racks (no hose). It was barely enough, especially on the day before shows.

                                        I am not a fan of run outs. But it's a personal thing I guess....

                                        I hate those swing out feeders!! They rust and you can't pull them out and clean them. If you're feeding a wet feed like beet pulp, they're a nightmare...

                                        Just my $0.02. Enjoy! Pictures are a must!