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How important is stall size?

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  • How important is stall size?

    I am currently shopping for a new boarding barn. I haven't had to look for a barn in 3 years and I'm quickly remembering why I hate doing it.

    Anyway. My horse is in a large stall at her present barn--approximately 14'x14', maybe a little bit smaller. The BO insisted she live in the big stall due to her kicking at feeding time, so I pay extra for the luxury suite. It's nice, sure, but she doesn't NEED a stall that big. I believe the stall she was in prior was about 11'x11'.

    Most barns I have looked at so far have 10'x10' stalls. These looks verrry small to me. My mare is a little over 16.2h and has a long body & long neck to boot. I am worried that a 10'x10' will be too small for her.

    Additionally, the barn she lives at now turns out in ALL weather except ice. Every barn I've looked at turns out weather permitting--meaning she will be spending more time in her stall than she's used to. I'm sure she'll adjust to that, but will it be a more difficult adjustment in a smaller stall?

    In boarding situations, you usually have to prioritize--what's a necessity, and what's not. Is a larger stall size something I should make a priority, or is it something I should compromise on?

  • #2
    I would say that 10X10 is too small. My guy is 16hh, and his stall is 10X12. It is borderline too small for him, and I would like at least a 12X12, but the cost of the panels and room in the barn dictated just how big we could go.

    We also have 2 10X10 stalls, the one mare is 14.1, and the gelding is only about 14hh. They are borderline in those stalls, in my opinion.

    I'd be wanting something at LEAST 10X12, if it were me.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      I have known many a horse that have lived happily in a 10x10 stall. Is larger better? Sure. I would guess if he is getting all day turn out that a 10x10 will not be an issue.

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't have any choice at the barn I lease, it was set up for ponies, so the stalls are 10x10. But the farm had everything else I needed..so the first thing I did was to add 50 foot runs off of each stall, there is no door so if the horses are in, they can go out to the run whenever they want. My horses are turned out either all night in the summer or all day the rest of the year. My 16.2 hand TB mare stays in her stall and uses the run to lay down at night; my 17.1 hand draftx stays in his stall except to poop, the rest are in and out but probably more in. When they are in during the day, they are eating and dozing with the fan blowing on them!
        Lori T
        www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
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        • #5
          Originally posted by LuvMyTB View Post
          I am currently shopping for a new boarding barn. I haven't had to look for a barn in 3 years and I'm quickly remembering why I hate doing it.

          Anyway. My horse is in a large stall at her present barn--approximately 14'x14', maybe a little bit smaller. The BO insisted she live in the big stall due to her kicking at feeding time, so I pay extra for the luxury suite. It's nice, sure, but she doesn't NEED a stall that big. I believe the stall she was in prior was about 11'x11'.

          Most barns I have looked at so far have 10'x10' stalls. These looks verrry small to me. My mare is a little over 16.2h and has a long body & long neck to boot. I am worried that a 10'x10' will be too small for her.

          Additionally, the barn she lives at now turns out in ALL weather except ice. Every barn I've looked at turns out weather permitting--meaning she will be spending more time in her stall than she's used to. I'm sure she'll adjust to that, but will it be a more difficult adjustment in a smaller stall?

          In boarding situations, you usually have to prioritize--what's a necessity, and what's not. Is a larger stall size something I should make a priority, or is it something I should compromise on?
          thats to small and stall size is important

          Comment


          • #6
            Very important...
            My 17hh guy is in large breeding stall, 16X16, and that was great luck because the barn he is in breeds Clydes. I would assume its a pain to clean, and they prefer straw to shavings.
            The other guy is in 12X12 and seems to be happy there, but he is 16hh and very compact
            I also think what is very important is windows and making sure stalls are see-through. We have window to the street which is opened during day and closed off for night, and instead of walls there are bars between stalls, so horses could still talk to each other.

            Comment


            • #7
              The bigger the better.
              The more windows the better.
              If an attached paddock, even better.
              Callie was 16 hands and Cloudy is 16.2 and the more room the better. If a horse can get up and move around and not stand (or sleep) in manure, great.

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              • #8
                10x10 seems kind of small for a 16.2 h horse. Does she like to lie down a lot? Roll in her stall?

                I too am leery when a barn bases its turnout on "Weather permitting". I've usually found that means they are in all winter, in all spring....
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                • #9
                  I generally agree with "bigger is better", BUT my horse currently lives at a barn where all the stalls are 10x10. They have horses up to 17 and 18 hands, including a draft horse and a warmblood. Every horse on the farm is happy, healthy, and has a great attitude. They go out about 8 hours a day in any weather except extreme ice.

                  As for "weather permitting", just ask a lot of questions about what that means. Sometimes it's the scary "in all winter, out all summer" situation, but sometimes it's just a shorthand way to say "we are reasonable about turnout unless it's icy." If in doubt, ask one of the boarders for the real skinny on turnout/weather.

                  I'd say the stall size should be a *consideration*, but I wouldn't disqualify a barn just for that. The truth is that for a horse, 12x12 and 16x16 or even 20x20 is still pretty freaking small.
                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                  • #10
                    I've seen some big horses live in small stalls plenty of times but one thing to keep in mind is that the smaller the stall size, the greater the chance is of your horse becoming cast. My main barn is a modified pole barn. It was here when we moved here and we had no choice about the width of the stalls which are 10' wide. We did extend them outward so they are 10 X 17 but we have 16+ hand horses and have noticed in the 14 years we've been here that horses tend to get cast a little more often (our prior barn had 14 X 14 stalls and we never had a horse cast at all there). Our other barn, which is used as a retiree or broodmare barn, has 14 X 16 stalls and we've not had any horses cast in those stalls at all. Also, I think a larger stall just makes it a little bit more comfortable for a horse who stays in more than just a few hours a day.
                    Susan N.

                    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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                    • #11
                      Horses are adaptable, sure...but my 16.2 hand filly sprawls out to sleep and I couldn't happily stuff her into a 10X10 box to do so. JMO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll vote for the "too small". We have 14'x14' stalls, and have never had one get cast.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I once moved into a fabulous barn with amazing turnouts and an incredible ring and beautiful trails, etc. Only drawback was that as newest boarder, I got the "worst" stall - a 10X12 stall. My horse is 16.2 hands. I agonized over whether it would be too small for him at night when he'd come in, then rationalized he'd be spending days out in a huge paddock (with three-sided, bedded shelter, so horses were turned out 365 days a year). The stall did have a big window that overlooked the ring. I scraped off paint that had been on it, and opened it so he could look out. He survived, I loved the barn, and within six months he had moved up to a 16X16 stall. I'm so glad I chose to move there.

                          I think that's the minimum size I'd accept. I used to hate the 10X10 portable stalls at shows, although the horses did fine for the few days they would be in them.
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                          • #14
                            My long 16hh TB (82" blankets) would be delighted to have your 10X10 stall. The barn were I board has replaced the aging stall fronts with new. Only problem is new fronts had to be placed back further....so now our stalls are more like 11X9. Oh and once I got the bright idea to level my stall floor with limestone, now the ceiling is way to low for my liking. But I have noticed NO difference in my horse from either change (except for a few more poops in the water bucket) Just goes to show they don't notice a couple feet here or there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've got 12 x 12 stalls (although my horses are rarely in them) and those seem just about ideal. If I didn't have to clean them, of course, I'd love 14 x 14, why not?

                              I think lighting is more important than size--my young horse spent last winter at the trainer's in a 10 x 12 stall with only one "view"--out the front--and she hated it. This winter she was in a 12 x 12 stall with wide open views in all directions and was SO much happier. I've seen her just as happy in 10 x 10 stalls "with a view" so I think for this particular horse the light and the sensation of being able to see all around her is more important than size. I hate dark, closed, crampy-feeling stalls.
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                              • #16
                                I think its all what they are used to, or get used to. When I first got my gelding as a yearling he was in a 9x10 stall and got cast at least once. When I moved to where we have been since then(5+years) I chose the barn (there are 6 barns on the property) with the huge stalls. Its about 16x14 or so. He uses every bit of it. The bathroom is in the back, water/feeder in the front, hay is served on the side up front and the middle is for sleeping. I love my neat horse! And that I don't have to clean his huge stall!!

                                Having said all of that I would not hesitate to go with the smaller stall if everything else was what I wanted/needed.

                                Angela

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Some horses will not lie down and rest as much if they are in a stall that feels too small for them. So, it's an individual thing.

                                  A 10'x10' sounds like it *could* be too small for a 16.2hh horse.
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                                  • #18
                                    I wouldn't be comfortable with a 16.2 horse in a 10x10 stable.
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                                    • #19
                                      I wouldn't like that size of horse in a 10x10 if he was inside more hours than he was outside. Other way around, I might be okay with it if there was a lot of ventilation. Would be even better if there was a way for them to hang out their heads.

                                      Many of you are equating a larger stall with harder to clean. I'd say the opposite. With the large stall, they tend to potty in one area and then not step in it and churn it up into the mix. So while the stall is larger, it is easier to clean in the long run. Yes, you need more shavings initially to fill the bigger stall, but less get picked out.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Depends... my 16.3hh gelding is a 10x10 stall, and my 15.3hh gelding is a 12x10 stall. The bigger stall is nice, but the guy in the smaller stall does fine--he's able to roll in it and lay down to sleep and all that.
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