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Your Horse Farm
Getting the Spaces Right
© 2008 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information
What We Did We built four 10 x 12 stalls, two on each side of the aisle. Solid swinging dividers between each pair of stalls can be opened to create double stalls. The walls are 2 x 8 rough cut pine with grills on the aisle walls of 7/8 solid rod. All wood edges are covered with 14 gauge 2 x 2 metal angle edging. There are sliding doors to the aisle and Dutch doors to the turnout pens; the two west stalls have windows with solid wood coverings that open out. One stall has an infrared heater. We use hanging buckets for water and corner mounted floor tubs for hay. A portion of the grill in the corner opens toward the aisle for placing feed into the feeders.
Why We like the ambience of wood stalls. Although a 10 x 12 stall might be too small for continuous use, this size works well for us because we only use stalls for overnight stabling during inclement weather or daytime stabling during hot weather. We use the double stalls for foaling or lay up. Solid dividers keep horses from playing or fighting between stalls. Sliding doors conserve aisle space. The bottom Dutch door opens independently to allow a person (for feeding) or foal (for creeping) through but not an adult horse. The grills and Dutch doors allow horses to see out. The metal edging prevents wood chewing. The two windows provide added ventilation and they open out to prevent horses from messing with them. The heater comes in handy at foaling time and to finish drying a recently bathed horse. Low mounted feeders are better for a horses respiratory health (keeps dust and flake out of eyes and nostrils) and is better for neck muscles than overhead feeders.
What We Did There are 4 turnout pens with roof extensions off the east and south. The roofed area in each pen is rubber matted. The rest of the pen area is topped with 3/8 gravel. Railroad ties divide matted sections from gravel sections.
Why Horses can be let in and out without leading. We feed under the overhangs where any dropped hay or grain will land on the rubber mats, making a safer eating situation. The roof extensions deposit rain and snow away from the barn, creating a dry, sheltered area for feeding and resting.
What We Did We tamped and leveled the native decomposed granite soil in the stall and pen feeding areas and installed solid, interlocking rubber mats.
Why Rubber mats are soft, quiet, low maintenance, eliminate holes in the stall floor, and minimize the amount of bedding used. I prefer solid interlocking mats over drainage-style flooring because I can regularly remove urine soaked bedding from solid mats; drainage flooring allows urine to seep into the soil under the stall, creating odors. Interlocking mats, properly installed, eliminate cracks and bulges between mats. For more information, see Barn Aisle Flooring Options July 2000 Western Horseman magazine.
Aisle Width and Flooring
What We Did The central aisle is 11 wide. The concrete floor is rough textured; the grooming area is covered with rubber mats. Looking at the grooming area from the rear, the feed room is on the right and the tack room and recessed shelves are on the left. An overhead vacuum hose is attached to the vented central vacuum in the tool room.
Why The aisle is wide enough for our pickup or tractor to deliver grain or hay. It provides ample room to safely maneuver and work on horses yet is narrow enough to keep a horse from turning around in the cross ties. Concrete aisles are low maintenance and minimize dust and the texture provides traction. Rubber mats in the grooming area add cushion for horse and groom and are easier to sweep than the textured concrete. Recessed shelves keep grooming equipment at hand yet safely out of the way. The vented vacuum reduces airborne debris.
What We Did We installed halogen lights in the main barn areas: three 300 watt lights in the aisle, one 150 watt light over each stall, four 150 watt lights in the grooming area (one at each corner), four 150 watt lights in the wash rack (one at each corner); and 7 on the outside the barn (three 300 watt lights and four 150 watt lights). One exterior light is controlled by a remote switch from the house. We used incandescent light bulb fixtures in the feed room and tack room.
Why When extra illumination is needed, halogen lights are brighter, more efficient, and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs and arent affected by cold like fluorescents are. Lights on the 4 corners of the wash rack and grooming area provide more even illumination and less shadows than would a single overhead fixture. We chose incandescent fixtures for the tack room because of the attractive fixtures and because lower ceilings makes bulbs easy to replace. Switches are located where horse cant reach them. The remote switch at the house makes night treks to the barn safe without a flashlight. For more information, see Barn Lighting September 1999 issue of Western Horseman magazine.
What We Did We installed a water heater and pressure tank in a cabinet between the tack room and the wash rack to provide hot and cold water to the vet/utility sink, the wash rack and the tack room. There is one cold water hydrant inside the barn and one outside to fill buckets and tubs in the stalls and pens with a hose.
Why We wanted hot water in the tack room for the washing machine and tack cleaning sink; hot water for bathing in the wash rack, and hot water for the vet/utility sink. We prefer to know how much our horses are drinking so opted not to install automatic waterers.
© 2008 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information