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Horseshoe shaped barns?

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  • Horseshoe shaped barns?

    Does anyone have any experience with horseshoe shaped shedrow type barns? I have been toying around with this sort of design and would love to hear the good/ bad/ ugly. Bonus points for pictures

    Central Virginia location.
    "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams

  • #2
    I love horseshoe shaped barns in a situation where the horses get turned out in pastures all day or all night depending on season.

    We didn't even consider it here (in AZ, where there is no natural grass) because we wanted turnouts to be off the stalls so they could go in and out whenever they wanted. Having a center aisle barn allowed us to have larger runs off the ends and worked out better.

    For somewhere that horses get turnout, it can really help protect from the elements while still allowing the stalls to be "open" - it can also be more cost effective. I think the choice in layout can often depend on the land you're using as well. We looked at a place which had a horse shoe shaped barn with a hot walker in the middle and arena behind one side. I love courtyards, to that's another plus of it to me.
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


    • #3
      We had one as a race horse training barn and it was a waste of space in the middle.
      It was also a fire trap, the only entrance was on one end and the back stalls had dutch doors to runs, but the ones on the sides didn't.

      The idea of a barn is to give protection to what is in there and shedrow barns defeat that purpose, as wind, rain, snow, any and all gets in there.
      We had to add canvas curtains on the inside to keep rain and snow off the aisle and stalls, the stalls on the end tended to get rain and snow worst of all.

      We wish we had added a roof over the middle and make it a real barn:
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I have one and love it. I just built it. I don't do run outs. I ended up with the shape because I wanted no interior stalls without windows/dutch tops. If you want to PM me your email I will send you some photos.

        I had to do some planning to deal with the water that comes off the roof and into the court yard. I have a drain in the middle, with a 4% grade and gutters. There are 6 horse exits from the barn and an attached indoor. Its light and airy and the horses all love their stalls. Even those that are typically leave me in the field types.


        • #5
          I think that the equestrian center at Pebble Beach has one... although come to think of it, it might just be square with a court yard in the middle and an exit in the middle of each side...


          • #6
            Originally posted by DancingPretense View Post
            I have one and love it. I just built it. I don't do run outs. I ended up with the shape because I wanted no interior stalls without windows/dutch tops. If you want to PM me your email I will send you some photos.

            I had to do some planning to deal with the water that comes off the roof and into the court yard. I have a drain in the middle, with a 4% grade and gutters. There are 6 horse exits from the barn and an attached indoor. Its light and airy and the horses all love their stalls. Even those that are typically leave me in the field types.
            Yes, ours had a big drain with a manhole cover on one end, to carry away the water that fell in the middle.

            Everyone loved our barn, it just is not practical to work out of, like a whole roofed enclosure is.
            The idea of a barn is to be out of the weather, not be still in it inside the barn.

            You can make any kind of barn you want work for you, it is YOUR barn and most we do is about trade-offs.

            That kind of barn around a courtyard is common in Europe and it is visually attractive.


            • #7
              My aisles are enclosed, its very “European” style. I have a friend with an L shaped shedrow, it seems to work but is not fun for the vet etc when weather is anything other than perfect.


              • #8
                I dislike having stalls facing an arena. It would be neat if it was grass or even gravel in the middle, but not an arena. The dust is horrible for the horses in stalls situated around the arena and could lead to respiratory issues. It's one of those things that seem like a good idea until it's put into use.
                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                St. Padre Pio


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you all.

                  I have worked in both enclosed and open barns, and really have no preference in that regard. I like the idea of well-ventilated and aesthetically pleasing the most.
                  Drainage, we have discussed at length. The area itself has ground sloping away from it and we have a plan in the works for roof runoff.
                  The courtyard, I want to serve as an all purpose grassy enclosure (hand walking, brief turnout, etc.)

                  My plan will have it situated as 2 L-shaped wings with a kind of covered walk or breezeway joining the two. This could be open for ventilation, or close some doors to block wind, as needed.
                  "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


                  • #10
                    Anky has a fancy barn, but more of a rotunda...pics on the web.

                    It's a common figuration in UK, but more of a barn on three sides and a courtyard in the middle.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      Glenoaks Stables (in Portola Valley CA) has a court yard barn (that I always admired).

                      you can see it on this google view:

                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                      • #12
                        The folks we bought this property from built the barn/horse in a large, squared C. It is symmetrical so the horse is rather small, but sufficient for the 2 of us. 2 stalls on the opposing end of the C with 6 stall, a tack room and wash stall on the long side. Pluses - Multiple exits and compact.
                        Minuses - the cupolas are decorative only, would be nice as with the barn design it is difficult to find a way to vent. C is open to the north, great most of the time, except during winter when the Canadian clippers come down, nothing to stop the wind. Two years ago I put up tarps when we had unusually long term cold weather. Same is true of rain, wind snow, etc when the wind is from the the north. Normally everything is wonderful, it just the weather extremes really impact on us.

                        So it depends on the normal weather patterns in your location.
                        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                        Courtesy my cousin Tim


                        • #13
                          I loooove a shedrow and I also really like courtyards. However, I think that your enjoyment is definitely climate dependent.

                          Here, open and airy is better, to let any breeze blow away whatever fraction of flies it can and keep mold down. My horses live in a pasture with a one-walled (NW side for shade and windbreak) structure, they have no need for a stall. But when they do have to be confined, I like to put them in one of our open shedrows. They really need to have an overhang though, so you still have a protected aisle to work in that is wide enough to keep the rain off and provide shade.
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