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Help designing runs off of barn stalls

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  • Help designing runs off of barn stalls

    If everything goes well, I will finally be getting my runs off the north side of my barn this summer. I have 3, 12x12's and 1 12x18 stall that do not currently have any doors or runs. We'll need to install doors in each stall, then I want a private runs off of each. How long these runs will be will depend entirely on the material costs, so that's why I'm asking for ideas. I want these runs to replace my sacrifice paddocks because I want that to be grass.

    I have the space to make the runs about 90' long but I don't think I can afford that right noow...unless I went with braided wire (which is how we've fenced the property. With the runs being as small as 12' wide though, would that be too close for confort? I wondered about having 2 horses share and expanding one on the end so they would be 25 feet wide, and the last one would be 18 ft wide. I feel like that would be reasonable for electric but I'm wondering what others think. If I go with solid fencing, like horse panels, it will shrink the runs to 12x16's for now (too expensive to even double that).

    My other question has to do with putting the doors into the walls of the barn. The barn is oak planks, then over that is steel siding. My husband gets really frustrated with this part of the idea. In my mind you cut the space out for the door, frame the door up with some new wood, slap on some hinges and hoos and it's done. Maybe have to remove the steel? and paint the doors? Not sure what to do with the exposed edges of steel that would be left. He says it's not that easy *sigh*Has anyone ever done this?

    I'll try to supply pictures when I get home from work. Your experience and ideas will be most helpful in my planning!
    Last edited by hundredacres; Apr. 25, 2013, 06:47 PM.

  • #2
    I think that 12 wide is a bit narrow for electric, but I've boarded where that was used and there weren't any issues...except when a horse rears up or strikes and gets into the braided rope and pulls it all down and cuts themselves...

    As to the doors, I had a 40 x 60 metal pole barn to begin with--just a shell. I simply cut the 4 foot wide opening out, beginning where one of the main beams in the barn is so it formed one "frame" of the door (actually I think it is a bit bigger than that..I'd have to measure) added a 4 x 4 on the other side, and framed the top with a 2 x 6. I used metal edging to "seal" the raw metal siding. We built doors from 2 x 6 lumber and simply added hinges to the beam side. The top doors are made of marine grade plywood, since I rarely close them, they are pinned back against the barn. I have a 12 x 36 overhang built outside my stalls, too, then a 40 x 60ish paddock for two.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • Original Poster

      Yeah, breaking the braided wire would be an issue - these will be too close to the road for me to be worrying about the electric to be off. So, what about 24 - 36 foot runs. Is that too small?

      Calvin, do you have a picture of your door? If not, no worries, ...I'm just trying to picture how to finish the metal out. I'll do some googling.


      • #4
        I don't think 12 wide is too small but agree that I would use a different fence other than just electric if possible.

        I've also found that if you can make the first 10 ft of fence from the barn side of the paddock higher (if possible 6 ft is ideal), it greatly decreases horses fighting or bothering each other over the fencing.

        The following gives some pictures of my set up to give you some ideas. There are also some pictures on the Far Side Farm website, too.


        We had the builder put on the frames for the dutch doors when our barn shell was built, so I don't have any experience to share regarding that.

        ETA: Personally, I would rather have 3 smaller private runs than a larger shared run with two horses. Individual runs make it easy to handle horses for those not as comfortable around horses and you don't have to worry about separating the horses at feeding time.


        • Original Poster

          mk, I can't wait to go back and read your website. I nosed around for a few minutes and it looks like you have some great tips!

          Great reminder about private runs - you brought up such an important point about feeding and caring for individuals. This is exactly what I am missing now - it will be a huge help to be able to have someone else help me out and having unique instructions on each stall. Thank you so much for that great tip!

          I'm going back to nose around your site some more .


          • #6
            To cut metal siding, use a cutting wheel on a grinder.

            If you have plenty of room outside, make the runs somewhat larger by going past the length of the barn on each side.