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attached paddocks

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  • attached paddocks

    What size are people's attached paddocks? Do you find a problem with maintenance on the side of the barn where the horses can get to it?

    I'm wrestling with the idea of attaching paddocks to the barn. First, there's the maintenance worry -- that horses will kick or otherwise damage the barn! Second, how does one make a decent size paddock for each stall when stalls are 10-12' wide, lined up one after another? Or do you just skip or double up in some places? I've never been at a barn that had attached paddocks, but the idea of not having to worry about turnout/bring in on occasion, plus the ease of turnout itself is making it attractive... provided I can solve the previously mentioned questions.
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

  • #2
    I have an eight stall barn with two attached paddocks only on the two end stalls. I don't have a problem with horses kicking the barn except for when we close them outside to clean their stalls (so they don't come in and micromanage the cleaning process) one of them will bang on the door with his foot. Aside from that, I don't have problems with that. What I DO have problems with is the run off from the roof creating a very slick, muddy patch just outside the door that tends to get very deep if not maintained. We have a hard layer of clay down with soft sand on top to ensure that it drains. We also have run off chanels so that the water doesn't pool in the wetter areas. Pea Gravel would also work for this. As would gutters but ya know.
    Iron Star Equestrian

    Heels Down, Eyes Up, Plan Ahead


    • #3
      What size are people's attached paddocks?
      80 x 120' for 2 - 3 horses

      Do you find a problem with maintenance on the side of the barn where the horses can get to it?
      Yes -- I had to put up a strand of electric fence 3 feet away from the barn to keep them from chewing on the wood siding.


      • #4
        I am pondering the same issue. Except I know if I built attached paddocks, they will only be MAX 12' x 28' and would only be used while the horses are in at night. I am building larger paddocks with loafing sheds for day turn out.
        I will have a gutter, so runoff won't be an issue. Just wondering if it is going to be worth the extra expense when it will only be for when they are in the barn at night. Would certainly make cleaning stalls easier.


        • #5
          I only have two stalls in my barn, so was able to make my attached paddocks expand on both sides beyond just the stall width, so one is 30'x30' and the other is about 30' by 50'. Beyond that, they open onto the larger grass turnouts so I can leave the whole thing open if I want and they can come and go. The barn has taken a bit of a beating on that side from one particular chewer, but we covered all edges that we could with plastic corner pieces from farmtek so it is mostly unchewed now days. If you have a metal barn, pay attention to that lower edge of the metal siding -- I have a friend who found one of her young horse's legs lacerated by that -- kicking or just rubbing on the barn and that edge is sharp. My barn is wood, so I don't have that issue.

          I've boarded where they've done 12'x18' paddocks off each stall (so all had access), or had double paddocks (20'x40') that were shared by two stalls -- one horse is locked in while the other has access, switched every other day. Both worked well enough as the horses also got turned out in larger paddocks/pastures during the day unless the weather was bad. The one barn was wood -- had same issues I did with chewing -- and the other was an MD barn, which was in fabulous shape as those are practically indestructible!


          • #6
            I have 2 stalls that open out onto a 12 x 36 foot overhang and a paddock. I have it as one large paddock shared by both horses now, but I've also had it divided into a 12 x 48 foot run and a 24 x 48 foot run.

            I have a metal barn, so I've been careful with edges like horsepoor mentioned, but haven't really had issues, even with weanlings/yearlings in residence. My older horses like to rub there butts on the barn wall on occasion, but no biggie there.

            I love my paddock--it is gravel/screenings so no mud, opens up to the bigger grass pasture behind the barn, allows for segregation of individuals and is changeable, as I have corral panels I can configure divider fences out of, within the larger, permanently fenced sacrifice paddock that exists. You won't be sorry you created them, believe me!
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              I have four stalls (only two with horses right now) that are 10' wide. Each stall opens into a private paddock.

              The two end paddocks come out from the barn 20' (by 10' wide) and then have a square that is about 20' x 30'. The two middle stalls have a straight run that is 10' x 40'.

              The metal on the bottom of the barn was removed and replaced with 3/4" ply wood so kicking the barn does not really damage the barn or the horses.

              All the paddocks are connected in various ways to the front sacrifice area and the back pasture.

              Under the over hang and for an additional 12' past it we scraped up the native soil (clay) and put in drainage with gravel over it. Even during the wet times the footing there is good. In the areas that we did not do this it gets pretty yucky.

              The pasture and sacrifice areas are electric fencing. The paddocks are no climb with a board along the top.

              I love it. It allows me to let them have 24/7 in and out but when they are required to be separate they can be easily.

              View from inside a stall looking out:

              Looking from the other way:

              Last edited by trubandloki; Dec. 9, 2009, 04:55 PM.


              • #8
                Love outdoor paddocks. I have relieved myself of barn fire anxiety. Mine are 12' x 36' with an attached breezeway that sends them out to a 48' x 60' gravel play area (maybe a real arena someday). Due to the excessive rain in the PNW, the paddocks have grid and gravel. Definitely gutters (4" K line), or the entryways would be a mess. *Tip* - put a kick bar in front of the stall to knock out the shavings / gravel to keep the materials separated.


                • #9
                  So I have a brand new barn where I opened three stalls off one side to a paddock/pasture. Right now they open up to about 1.5 acre pasture. Some day when I have more animals I may section it off to be two paddocks where I can divide it if necessary.

                  As far as damage etc, I've been lucky. I've got one horse and one mini donkey who go in and out as they please. They treat it as a run in shelter (only eating and napping in the stall and pooping out side... Thank GAWD). Our barn is built out of concrete block so no issues there. Their dutch doors are a steel frame with wood inserts and they haven't messed with those either. The big thing I did was put screenings (very fine gravel) under the over hang and going out in the pasture from the barn (about 15+ feet outside of the overhang). We have had non stop rain here since I moved in and this has helped them from tearing up the footing. I do have a big drag matt that I pull behind my tractor which I take in there when the ground is still soft but not mushy. This knocks out some of the deep hoof marks around high traffic areas.

                  This set up has been a life saver with the bad weather we have had. I don't worry about them and they can come and go as they please. When it is nice and dryer (which has been rare) I put them in the 5 acre pasture out front and then bring them in at night - again they can come and go to their smaller pasture.

                  If you are trying to do one little run per stall I have a couple of suggestions that I have learned from my experience and from my trainer's place. She has 12x 20? runs outside of the stalls. All straight back and very high fencing between runs (keeps the reindeer games at bay). She also has a large gate at the end of each run (I believe it is a 12' wide gate) so that they can drive the mule in and do work in the runs or clean the runs and stalls by accessing it from the back. If your stalls are not wide and want to still do runs out the back have you thought about a "keyhole" set up? meaning one run will be wider at the back of the barn and narrow at the other end and vis versus to the next run. I love throwing the hay outside the stall (in the run or paddock) as it will not get pooped on or grounded into the bedding. My horse now will not touch it unless it is outside. (he has me so well trained).

                  I hope this helps! let me know if you have any questions as I understood what I was saying but then again I always think I make perfect sense.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by QHBuddy View Post
                    Love outdoor paddocks. I have relieved myself of barn fire anxiety.
                    Not to burst your bubble, but I've heard of horses standing beside the barn and burning with it... that being said, I still think attached paddocks are excellent, and if I ever get barn built of my own, each stall will have at tleast the option of a small paddock.
                    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                    • #11
                      Yes. However, I have a much better shot at getting them to move further out into a paddock - than if I had to go into a burning barn and release the doors, go into a smoke filled stall and lead each one out. Everyone has nightmares. That one is mine.

                      That - and leaving the house without pants. Whew. Shakes me up every time.


                      • #12
                        I have attached paddocks and I love them!! Just added overhangs to both sides of the barn and I am truly in heaven!

                        Wish I could post pics but I'm technologically challenged. Mine look a bit like Trubandloki's but my fencing is nowhere near as nice and straight!!(of course it's split rail and I put it in all by myself, so that might explain something!)

                        My paddocks are maybe 20-30 ft wide and 40 ft long. Each stall leads to an individual paddock and each paddock leads to an individual pasture. Basically I did it that way when I was working full time so the horses can go into their stalls in bad weather and no one would ever be left outside. Then I found out that giving them 24/7 stall access means they'll walk in their stalls to relieve themselves and then walk back out. That's when I put up the overhangs so I could lock them out part of the time and they'd still be protected from the elements. Since I feed hay in small net haybags, I hang them under the overhangs so the horses can eat their hay outside and sleep or rest inside their stalls at night. It keeps both the stalls and the horses cleaner. I absolutely love this arrangement-not only is it easier for me, but also if anyone has to take care of the horses in my absence.


                        • #13
                          Where I board the stalls have 14x36 attached paddocks. Being in a boarding situation it is great, I never have to worry about my horse being stuck inside, even when the weather is too bad for her to be turned out. The horses are also able to mingle and groom each other during the day, keep them from getting bored to death, and they can sun themselves, which my mare loves to do.

                          They put rock down every winter, but I also put down 2 large rubber mats right outside the door so she does not wear down a hole right outside the door, it keeps it dry so she can walk outside without stepping into a lake.
                          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                          • #14
                            QHBuddy, love your paddocks. That is exactly what I want to do for my horses. Right now, both of them share the same paddock and have access to both stalls. They do ok with this, but I'd like each of them to have some separate time. Thanks for posting the pic!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by QHBuddy View Post
                              *Tip* - put a kick bar in front of the stall to knock out the shavings / gravel to keep the materials separated.
                              QHBuddy: I'm curious - What do you mean by a "kick bar"?


                              • #16
                                Mine are 12 x 32. My barn is a metal prefab barn so no problem with the horses damaging the outside of the barn. Oned thing you need to deal with is that some horses will close their doors and lock themself out of the stall... so have a way to hook the doors open.


                                • #17
                                  My 3 stalls all open into an approximately half-acre dirt paddock, with a 10' x 36' overhang/porch area just outside the stalls where they can hang out if it's raining. Everyone shares, not a problem--the shelter area is open all around so there are no doorways for a bossy one to hover in and intimidate the others.

                                  I worried about them kicking or damaging the barn, too, but 3+ years later, not a bit of a ding anywhere. The steel is reinforced with an extra layer of wood (basically pieces of dimensional lumber to fill in the space) between the stalls and the outer "skin" so if someone kicked the steel wall, they won't put a foot through unless they're kicking hard enough to go through steel AND 3.5" of solid wood. I have mares, though--they're easier on buildings, IME.

                                  Mine have the good grace to use one VERY convenient corner of this paddock for 90% of their pooping, and it's close to the gate so very easy to keep it picked up. I do like to keep it picked up every day, and it only takes 10 minutes because they're so good about making a mess in just the one spot, mostly.

                                  I've been places where there are small paddocks attached to stalls, but I agree that when you try to make anything really useful for turnout from a bunch of stalls lined up together, you wind up with a maze of fencing and not much room in the end. For a horse on stall rest or just for fresh air, I wouldn't mind a little, narrow run off a stall, but if a horse is going to spend any actual meaningful time outside, I want it to be able to W-T-C, roll, and wander around where it wants without spinning in circles.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    I have a 4-stall RCA barn - two stalls are on one side and one stall and a feedroom are on the other side. On the single stall side the horse has a large turnout area (I would guess 60' wide x 80' long?). On the side with two stalls, each stall has a paddock the width of the stall and 60' long. The paddocks are electric tape so sometimes we have to fix it if the horses are being fresh and trying to fight over the fenceline. On the 2-stall side of the barn the paddock areas open up to a small pasture area so when the weather is good they have access to it all. When the weather is bad they can still go out in their paddocks, but they rarely do. So far (after 5 years and knock wood) they haven't done damage to the outside of the barn.
                                    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                                    • #19
                                      Our kick bar is a 4"x4" that we bolted onto the bottom of the door frame that goes out towards the paddock. When the horses walk in or out - their hooves tap it just enough to knock out some of the gravel so they don't track it into the stalls (in theory). It does a better job keeping the hay from going out into the gravel. From the mini donkey to our recently passed away 30 y.o OTTB - never had a problem tripping.


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks for the explanation, QHBuddy. I'm thinking that might work well for us -- we have the matted overhang as a buffer between stall and paddock, but if we did the kick bar, it would help keep the bedding from getting dragged out onto the mats in the overhang.