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designed, functional horse facilities, are safe, sanitary, and convenient.
They provide the means to feed and water horses and as well areas for horses to
rest, exercise, and take shelter. Facilities should be durable and designed
knowing that horses are large, strong, and sometimes unpredictable animals.
Everyday activities should flow with efficiency. Buildings should be placed
so as to save labor and time. Water must be located within easy access to
the places it is needed. Horses should be able to get protection from sun,
wind, wet, cold, and insects.
sacrificing quality, consider new alternative materials and products. When
planning, be generous with the finished dimensions of buildings and access lanes.
A workable layout often takes more space in reality than it looks like it will
"on paper". In a similar manner, plan for more storage space (hay,
bedding, equipment) than you think you will need. Also, keep some degree
of adaptability in mind as you plan, leaving room for expansion on to your buildings.
Horse facilities consist of a combination
of some or all of the following components.
* Runs, pens, paddocks, pastures
* Storage for feed, bedding,
machinery, tack, and other
* Training areas: round pen, arena, track, walker, treadmill,
areas: grooming area, wash rack, shoeing and veterinary area, breeding shed,
laboratory, office, tack room
* Driveways, walkways, parking areas
Shelter belts, wind breaks, wildlife areas
and other utilities
* A House for the Horse's Caretakers
your major buildings, plan for maximum sun in the winter and maximum shade
and breeze in the summer. Check with the local weather authority to find
out what the prevailing winds are during the various seasons. Go to the
site itself during each season, especially in winter, to determine which way the
buildings should face. In the United States, prevailing winds usually come
from the north or northwest, so most farm buildings face the south or southeast.
Other buildings, trees, rocks, and
slopes can have an effect on your proposed building site. They can obstruct
the light, change the flow of air, causing draft or vacuums, and contribute excess
run-off to the new building site.
Locate your buildings on dry ground, preferably high ground with a berm built
up around the walls if necessary. Try to find as flat an area as possible
so that you will have to pay less for excavation or fill dirt. Ideally there
should be a two to six percent slope away from the building in all directions
for surface drainage. The building floor should be eight to twelve inches
above the outside ground level. If the building is located on a slope, a
diversion ditch can be dug around the back side.
Ensure that there will be good subsurface drainage, especially for stall areas
and runs, by having the subsoil evaluated. If necessary, have the site excavated.
Refill the hole with large rocks, small rocks, road base or limestone and then
let the site settle for several months before beginning construction.
Be sure that all key buildings have all-weather access for the delivery of building
materials and eventually for hay, grain, bedding, etc. Plan for ample space
to turn large trucks and/or trailers around. Assure that routine chores
are possible without a great hardship during all seasons.
Locate key buildings close enough to the house for security and convenience yet
far enough down wind so that flies and odor do not invade the residence.
Formulate your fire plan as you plan your facilities.
Make the appearance as nice as possible without sacrificing the functional aspects
of your layout. Remember, plan for safety, sanitation, and convenience.
Planning Horse Facilities
2: Barn Construction
3: Fencing and Turnout Areas
4: Training Facilties