Buying Ladies¢â‚¬â„¢ Building Horse Barns Western Boots ......
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Building Horse Barns
Tips on Barn Styles, Barn Layouts and Practical Horse Barn Features
Tips on choosing the perfect pair based on comfort,
safety and style
Buying Ladies’ Western Boots
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A Note From The Editor
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Amy Herdy, Managing Editor MyHorse Daily
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T he style of your barn is an expression of your personality and horse- keeping philosophy. It is defined primarily by the shape of the
building and by the materials you choose for the visible parts, such as siding and roofing. City ordi- nances or homeowner covenants might dictate materials and style, making your choices considerably quicker. Climate will influence function and shape.
Unfortunately, like other prod- ucts of human design, some barns look great but do not work. Don’t sacrifice your horses’ comfort, health and safety for making a fashion statement. Take the axi- om “form follows function” (by American architect Louis Henri Sullivan) to heart, and consider the purpose of the barn as the starting point in your design.
Floor Plan The floor plan of a barn affects style by determining the overall shape of the build- ing. Most barns are rectangular and single story, but L- or U-shaped layouts, some with a second floor, are not uncommon and may suit your purpose better.
Common Barn Layouts Run-In Shed—Though not a barn per se, the ubiquitous run-in shed, or loafing shed, is the simplest shelter to build, having three sides and either a single-slope roof (shed
Adapted from Horse Housing: How to Plan, Build and Remodel Barns and Sheds (Trafalgar Square Books) by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill
Planning a new stable or barn?
Here are some important points to consider regarding
design, materials and features.
roof) or an offset gable roof. The open side allows a horse to enter and leave the shed at will. It is often one room for a single horse, but it can be made as long as desired and divided into many com- partments to separate horses.
Shed Row—Put a front wall on a run-in shed and you have a shed row barn with stalls open on one side. A gable roof of- ten replaces a shed roof in order to gain
Though your barn is an expression of your personality, city ordinances or homeowner cov- enants might dictate materials and style.
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Tips for Better Barn Function Adapted from an article by Sally Silverman
Whether you’re building or redoing a small private setup or a large professional training operation, the fol- lowing tips will help you create a better dynamic. Building Placement Situating a barn well affects working conditions in that building. The experts advise avoiding low-lying areas or those at the bottom of a hill, for example, be- cause runoff from rain and snow will be a problem. Build downwind of any resi- dential buildings to minimize the flies and odors. Orient the barn so it takes ad- vantage of winter sun, avoids the hottest summer sun and catches summer winds for ventilation. The location of roads should also be considered, and give ex- tra thought to those parts of the barn in which you spend most of your time. Convenience and Storage Well-planned storage can save time and supplies while preventing clutter, which is a fire hazard. If you must keep feed, hay and bedding in the barn, locating them in the middle, especially in a large barn, means less travel distance. By creating a storage area that opens both to the outside of the barn for stocking and to the inside for removing, there will be a constant rotation of hay. While it’s quite convenient to store hay in a loft and drop it into the aisle, it is not only a fire hazard but adds to the barn’s dust and allergen levels. And if machinery is kept contiguous to the barn, it should be separated by a fire-rated wall. Ventilation Experts agree that ventilation is probably the single most im- portant consideration, since horses in a barn can’t respond to their natural instincts to get warm, cool off or seek fresh air. Wind moves most of the air in a stable, so every barn needs a minimum of two sets of openings throughout the horse-occu- pied area to allow air to enter and exit. For example, there can be openings or vents along the eaves (where the walls meet the roof) and along the ridgeline (highest part of the roof). During cold weather, the warmer, stale air inside rises and es- capes through the upper openings. Other ideas: Dutch doors or windows on the outside wall or fans in the cupola(s) on the ridgeline of the building. Stalls The most common stall is 12 feet square; super-sizing that
space makes for increased maintenance, a need for more bedding and a bigger area to clean. Partitions between stalls should be at least 8 feet high to prevent a horse from getting a hoof over them, but they don’t necessarily have to be solid from top to bottom. Spaces of an inch or so between wooden boards will enhance ventilation, as will a barred or mesh portion on the top. This configu- ration also has the benefit of allowing horses, which are herd animals, to see their companions—and provides easy observation of the horses by their hu- mans. For the same reason, doors that are open on top or an open door with a stall guard or safety gate will increase visibility, light and ventilation. Bars, however, must not be more than 2 to 3 inches apart, and openings in heavy
gauge wire mesh should not be more than 2 inches across to prevent a hoof from getting caught in the mesh.
Doors should be wide enough for a wheelbarrow to pass in and out (at least 4 feet), and sliding doors are preferable to swinging doors for both safety and space reasons. Also con- sider rounding all edges in the stall, installing a casting rail, providing easy access to feed buckets from outside the stall, and installing frostproofed automatic waterers with hydrants between every couple of stalls.
In the feed room, metal-lined bins will keep feed safe from rodents, and if you must have a wash stall, include a drain with a removable strainer and position the hose overhead, fas- tened with an apparatus specifically designed for that purpose. Also think about a recessed area for a muck bucket and a way out of the back in case a horse gets difficult. The same goes for a grooming stall; recessed areas keep necessary tools handy while keeping the environment safe. Waste Management When cleaning stalls, the person pushing a wheelbarrow full of manure will appreciate a straight shot to the manure pile. In larger facilities, aisles should be large enough for a pickup truck or tractor to pass through when delivering grain or hay or clearing manure. Some experts advocate a short-term pile near the barn and, if you don’t have manure removed, a lon- ger-term pile farther away. Taking advantage of elevation with a ramp from which manure can be dumped makes it easier,
Light and ventilation are important con- siderations in any equine building.
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an overhang for more protection from sun and rain. The shed row is popular in warm climates where it’s not critical to have inside aisles in which to work. It is not practical for areas with snow, where more protection is needed.
Back-to-Back or Racetrack—Attach two shed row barns back to back for a racetrack barn. Since the stalls share a common back wall, a racetrack barn is an economical way to house a large number of horses. Like the shed row, it is not practical for snowy areas.
Center Aisle—Two facing rows of stalls with an aisle between is the most common enclosed barn configuration. It offers complete protection from weather so horses can be fed, groomed and tacked without having to leave the barn.
Trainer—This is like two center-aisle barns side by side and covered by a gable roof. There is a double row of stalls down the center of the barn (like a racetrack barn), an aisle on each side, and then another row of stalls along each outer wall. Often an indoor arena is attached to the end of the trainer barn.
Breezeway—Any barn with a large door at each end of the aisle, which can be opened to allow a breeze to
blow through the barn. Raised Center Aisle (RCA)—This term
refers to the roof style, monitor, rather than the floor plan. It is a center aisle barn that has a raised roof over the aisle.
Clerestories, short walls with win- dows between the roof levels, let light into the center aisle. In hot climates, the clerestories are left open for ventilation.
Mare Motel—A series of pens, usu- ally of steel pipe panels,