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If I could design you own barn... What would you put in it?

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  • If I could design you own barn... What would you put in it?

    If you were building your own barn, what would you put in for convenience and safety? Lets go down to the nitty gritty. I want to know what people want in barns they board at, and things they would change in their own barn.

    I am also having issues with the flooring....

    I do plan on breeding in the future, so the softer the floors the better, and I do plan on taking on a few boarders, so I want good quality flooring for them.

    I had originally decided on regular stall mats, but when looking into cost for purchase and disposal of the amount of bedding I would need it became quiet expensive, and inconvenient.

    Someone recommended this comfort stall flooring. I looked into it, and it sounded great! Cushy for the horses, and less bedding required, since it is just for cleanliness. So I went to look at some at a distributer, and I really like it. I want to go with it, but figured I would ask to see if anyone uses it and how they like it.

    Look forward to hearing what you all have to say!!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." *Thomas Edison
    A champion is a dreamer that refused to give up!!

  • #2
    All stalls would be built of oak and have the angle iron installed.

    GFCI outlets at every stall for a heated bucket, or a fancy heated automatic waterer.

    Built in barn safe fans.

    Windows and outside doors to every stall.

    Heated tack/feed rooms. In the floor would be my choice.

    Hot water and a large sink.

    Well thought out lockers/equipment storage


    • #3
      overhang! Our barn has none and it makes days like this really special
      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


      • #4
        Basic design attached

        Each Stall would have

        --Whole-Stall Mats
        --GFCI outlets outside
        --Auto Waterers
        --Slow-feed hay feeders
        Attached Files
        Last edited by ChocoMare; Dec. 18, 2009, 03:05 PM.
        <>< 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.


        • #5
          I agree with an overhang! We have one and it is not only wonderful on nasty days but great in the summer for shade! Today it is raining buckets and I put hay underneath it and leave them out. I love it!

          Another thing about my property that I love is that we have a separate barn for hay/feed/trailer storage. I never have to worry about anyone breaking into the feed room. However, I wish we had a space down at the barn for a few days worth of hay/shavings storage like in Chocomares plans.

          I will have to disagree about Stall Skins. I wanted them badly but I am thankful I went with regular mats. My friend has Stall Skins in all of her stalls and has had a lot of problems. One of her horses pawed a hole in them while he was on stall rest and some of the stalls have had it come off the wall in areas so shavings get underneath it. I am not sure if she did not install them correctly but they did not work for her.
          Last edited by spotnnotfarm; Dec. 18, 2009, 03:06 PM. Reason: spelling


          • #6
            Oooh, didn't know that about the Skins. NEVERMIND...I'll stick with mats!
            <>< 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.


            • #7
              I was surprised too! When we were adding mats we considered them but thankfully I asked her first. She would not have them again. I would love to know if this is the norm.


              • #8
                I've heard bad things about stall skins as well. I have heard great things about comfort stall and the like though. I WILL have those in my barn one day though. I have heard that it's necessary to have them over concrete though just so you know.

                I had to build a "budget barn" but there are certain things that I would not change and would have in any barn-
                overhangs over the dutch doors so I can keep them locked out but still protected from rain. I actually have a gfi outlet on each side under the overhang to keep the heated trough/muck bucket so I don't have to use an extension cord.

                outside doors on every stall. I will sleep so much easier at night knowing all I have to do is throw a door open in the case of a fire and they'd have more of a chance of surviving. Plus, in the cases that my COPD horse has to stay in there is TONS of cross ventilation and he's still standing with his head out the door.

                Separate hay storage in a different barn

                outlets for every stall so there are no extension cords for any buckets. (like another poster mentioned though- preferably heated automatic waterers).

                We're on such a budget that it's hard to imagine having everything I want, but those would be top on my list. Oh yeah... also throw in a security system and fire alarm/sprinkler system for good measure.


                • #9
                  I have a bank barn that has a one story drop behind it on to concrete. I just throw the manure out the back of the barn and hubby comes along with the tractor bucket and scoops it up every so often. It's the most awesome thing ever.

                  I also have outlets in my ceilings and can plug in extra flourescent shop lights if I need more light somewhere. I just tack them up by the chains.

                  Ground Fault outlets outside each stall is a must. I need heated buckets where I live, so they are awesome. I drilled a hole in each stall front and run the plug through to the outside.

                  I have regular stall mats over concrete and they don't move around and seem to have enough cusion for most horses.

                  I also love that my pasture is attached to my barn. I just open the door and let everyone out and in. Makes life quick and simple.


                  • #10
                    Oh, this is something I have been dreaming about!

                    I would have at least 12 x 14 stalls with the comfort stall mats.

                    Heated aisle floors.

                    GFI outlets at each stall for heated buckets. Water that won't freeze to each stall.

                    Wash stall with hot/cold water.

                    Well insulated tack room with an industrial size washer/dryer.

                    Well insulated feed room with big sink and hot/cold water, full size refrigerator/freezer.

                    Each stall having dutch doors to the outside and runs off of each stall. At least an 8' overhang. Drop down grill in the front of the stalls so horses can have their heads out to the aisle.

                    I would love an Equisizer in a covered building with all weather footing.
                    Kanoe Godby
                    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                    • #11
                      I have soft stalls and I love them - we have two heavy pawers - they paw at meal times and they are 1/2 drafts and they have not gone through it.

                      I love them and would never have stalls without them or have my horses boarded in facilities that didn't have them in the stalls - we have had them since 2005.


                      • Original Poster

                        Wow!! I was totally on the right track! Thank you everyone!! My father is an electrician, so the outlets were beyond a given. I wanted an overhang, but as pretty much everyone can agree... there is a financial limit. Lol!!

                        I have arranged my tack/feed/storage all on the one side of the aisle, so the opposite side is all stalls. The full stall side I had planned on putting dutch doors to the outside for each stall, and thats the side I want my overhang on, but Im afraid the barn will look all sorts of wonky if I dont have it on both sides. Your thoughts?

                        Also, IF I do the over hang, what kind of base/floor would you suggest. I wanted concrete... but have you seen the cost of concrete!? So then, we were talking about a compact stone, but stone... and horse-shoes dont get along. Any suggestions would be totally appreciated.

                        What are your opinions on the European stall fronts? Do you feel they are safe? I LOVE the look, but the important thing is if they are safe. They are also super open which increases ventilation.

                        Thank you everyone for the input!!! The best way to have good ideas is to have ideas!!
                        "Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." *Thomas Edison
                        A champion is a dreamer that refused to give up!!


                        • #13
                          I love the european stall fronts. I've not heard anyone complain about safety- the only thing is that if you have horses in the aisle the other ones can reach their heads out. I have half walls though so obviously it doesn't bother me that much.

                          About the overhang... I'm sure they vary greatly but it was more economical to add an overhang than build a freestanding shelter. We just have two 8 ft. ones (24' long each) and it was about $1800-ish I want to say. I don't think it would look funny on one side at all. I've seen it that way before. I have mine going the opposite direction than they usually do (most you see follow the roofline and mine are different-cant explain, look at pics in blog if you want ) its all about functionality!


                          • #14
                            One thing that I absolutely loved at one barn I rode/drove for was the feed room. He had old avocado green chest freezers as the feed bins. Not only did they lend a great retro vibe to the room, they also kept ALL critters out. Above the freezers was a rack system of sorts which allowed the feed scoops to be turned upside down without having to tilt them so the scoop side is against the wall and the handle side facing out. If/when I build a barn, I'm definitely holding out for some dead retro freezers.
                            "Beware the hobby that eats."
                            Benjamin Franklin


                            • #15
                              I did design my barn, and there's not a lot about it I would change. Morton built it 14 years ago, and it still looks new. There are 24 12x12 stalls made of 2" tongue and groove white pine, with mesh sliding doors, and bars between the stalls so we can look down the whole row and see who's in, out or laying down. All stalls are matted, and there is a kickboard across the door front to keep shavings in. Each stall also has a blanket holder,an overhead fan and most have a window, and a wooden box that holds turnout boots and lead ropes.

                              Tack room with plenty of room for trunks, saddle and bridle racks
                              Laundry room with washer dryer and tons of storage for blankets
                              Lounge with full kitchen, full bath with shower, and viewing area to indoor
                              Grooming stalls, with overhead, as well as low lights that the vet and farrier love. And a vacuum
                              Wash stall with overhead heater, and 4" lip that keeps the water in, and an oversize drain in a back corner
                              Feed room
                              Separate hay and shavings barn
                              6 horse Euro-cizer and 6 two acre grass paddocks, as well as 3 smaller ones. We turn out either singly or 2 at a time for 5 hours
                              The indoor as well as the stables are heated
                              Footing in the indoor is laser leveled twice a year and has sand/permaflex rubber footing
                              A concrete manure pit, and once a month removal by dumpster
                              Fly predators in the summer months!

                              Some things I considered but chose not to do for various reasons:
                              Automatic waterers
                              In floor heat
                              Stall door feeders
                              Drop down stall doors

                              Things I would do differently:
                              Have a dedicated area for the farrier and vet that they could drive right into
                              Put the Exerciser in the main indoor
                              More windows in the indoor

                              It was a fun process to see the barn grow from a few drawings to the finished product, and I'd love to do it again, only this time with 6 stalls max!


                              • #16
                                If I were to build my own barn I would build a really big pole building.
                                At one end I would put in a nice two level living quarters with the upper
                                level having a deck inside overlooking the riding arena the lower
                                level would have a cement patio facing the same way.
                                In front of the living quarters just inside the building would be room enough
                                to park two vehicles.
                                I would have two big slide open doors on each side of areana so truck
                                and trailer can be driven through and trailer could be parked inside
                                in winter time. at the other end of the building I would have a total of six
                                stalls. Four of them for horses, one would be built into a tack room
                                and the other woulld be for feed. I would have a hay loft above
                                with small trap doors that open down to each stall above each hay mainger.
                                and a big double door that slides open at the end. Outside I would have
                                hitch rails strategically placed in diffrent spots outside the building and
                                water hydranats also placed outside. I would have one specific area
                                outside open to the sun for a wash area.


                                • #17
                                  My Father's firm had done a bunch of custom racing barns and they are just amazing! Money is usually not even an issue and besides being very efficient (since they have so many horses to work and care for in the morning) they are really pro-active in horse health.

                                  The trainers were super concerned about ventilation, stall and isle space, natural lighting and other health and safety issues.

                                  This is a barn at Fair Hill Training Center that I adore (5th drawling on the left) and the one below it is where Barbaro was trained.


                                  And my favorite of my Dad's barns is Tapeta Farm.. even though the website gives credit to the Amish builders and not the Architects and Engineers that designed it!

                                  I can't afford any of this stuff... I have a tiny little Amish run in/combo barn.. which I love
                                  http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thank you everyone for your input!! Ive been really working on my plans for a few months now, and am pretty sure I am where I want to be, but there were a few great ideas I had to add!

                                    *Multiple outside tie posts and outside wash area - I actually have tie posts at the barn I board at now, and though I dont use them too much, pretty much everyone else does! So Its something I am going to add.

                                    *I decided it would be MUCH better to have atleast one side with the over hang, so it directs the barn "hub" to a work/business area instead of the stalling area. So Im going to include that.

                                    I want auto waters outside in the pastures. But prefer to have water buckets in each stall. This way I can monitor water intake. I had a mare who was notoriously awful at staying hydrated, so it was something I watched very closely. With that being said though, I definitely plan on water faucets above the buckets in the stalls, so no hoses!

                                    If there is anything else you think of, please post! I cant wait to show you the plans!!!

                                    Thank you again everyone!!
                                    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." *Thomas Edison
                                    A champion is a dreamer that refused to give up!!


                                    • #19
                                      Oh, to have the luxury of designing my own barn! I'd like that more than designing a house.

                                      14 x 14 stalls with an overhang that opened to individual paddocks, all with access to large pasture.
                                      Southern exposure in winter to soak up the sun, east/west ventilation in the stalls to pick up those lovely westerlies in the summer.
                                      A hydrant in the barn with water access at each stall.
                                      A separate barn to hold bulk shavings and 10 tons of hay.
                                      A magical genie to make horse manure disappear on its own.


                                      • #20
                                        One thing I am LOVING at the barn I'm boarding at now is that my horse's stall has a paddock off his stall--you can just open a door and he can come in or out. I would love to have that on every stall in a barn if possible.

                                        Concrete or brick center aisle for ease of cleaning. Stalls...I might actually leave the floors dirt/clay, with mats over that, and use straw to bed.

                                        Well-drained wash rack that does not require the horse step up or down to get in. With hot and cold running water.

                                        Electrical outlets near each stall so I can run plug-in heated buckets like my new barn has. (I would say auto-waterers, but my old horse vastly preferred playing with the paddle on his to his apple toy and when the paddle snaps off stall floods are no fun at all. Especially in winter in Michigan.) Also convenient to cross-ties if I have plug-in clippers or the vet or farrier needs an outlet for some reason.

                                        A heated, finished tack room with a microwave and mini-fridge (useful for food, drinks, and any meds that have to be kept cold), hot and cold running water, a couple benches to sit on for people (and the inevitable barn cats), a phone with a message board with emergency numbers, wall-mounted metal racks for saddles, pegs for bridles, open shelving for tools, supplies, and some big enough to keep blankets. Floor suitable for easy cleaning, even if you clean your tack in there.

                                        A SEPARATE feed room, with plastic lock-tight bins for grain, a scale, and places to store feed pans and buckets. Shelves for keeping supplements, and a table for measuring them out. This should either be RIGHT by the main door or with a separate outside entrance, either of which should be wide enough to admit at least a small wheelbarrow or cart to make it easier to get loads of feed in and out. A laundry-tub style sink for here for cleaning feed pans, buckets, scoops, measuring stuff for sups, etc.

                                        A heated bathroom.
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