Planning, Building, Remodeling a Building a Horse Barn

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Cherry Hill's
Horsekeeping Almanac

Your Horse Barn - DVD
on a Small Acreage
Horse Housing
Your Horse Farm
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
Your Horse Barn DVD
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Horse Housing
Equipping Your Horse Farm
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My Barn

Getting the Rooms Right

  2008 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

Wash Rack

What We Did We put in an 8’ x 12’ wash rack with rough-textured concrete floor that slopes toward a central drain. The walls are 1/16” Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) glued to ” Oriented Strand Board (OSB). A 2 ” diameter pipe rail runs around the wash stall 40” from the floor. There are cross ties at both ends. Other features: a stainless steel vet/utility sink with a sloping 3’ long drain board, plastic-coated wire wall racks, hose storage, and sliding splash panels on the stall side of the wash rack. There is an infrared heater over the wash rack.

Why I’ve found this to be the optimum size to safely bathe or vet a horse. Textured concrete provides better traction than mats when wet. FRP is waterproof, easy to clean, bright, and impact resistant. The pipe rails protect the walls from the horse and the horse from the faucets in case of a bump. I like having a choice of which way to face the horse in the crossties depending on the job – bathing tail or head, repro work, etc. The sink makes a convenient place for the vet to place equipment and wash up. The racks hold shampoos, sponges, cloths, bathing tools etc. The heater allows bathing during cooler temperatures. Splash panels, when raised, keep the stall next door from getting wet.

Tack Room

Your Horse Barn DVDWhat We Did The 12’ x 24’ tack room is insulated, heated, and vented, has hot and cold water, washer and dryer, refrigerator, tack cleaning sink and 8’ sink/tack repair counter, desk and file cabinet, storage cabinets and shelves, blanket rod system, bridle racks and some built-in saddle racks. There are two doors: one 4’ door to the tacking/grooming area and one 3’ door to the porch. Above the tack room is a loft for storage of seasonal or rarely used items, extra buckets etc.

Why To store 4-6 saddles, blankets and sheets for 7 horses, other tack, records, and vet supplies. For convenience and to save wear on the home appliances, I wash and dry horse laundry in the barn. A 4’ wide door allows easy passage while carrying a saddle. Comfortable in summer and winter, it is a handy place to clean and repair tack.

Feed Room

What We Did The feed room is 8’ x 10’ with a smooth concrete floor, a feed board, and work counter. Plastic garbage cans for feed barrels are set on 12” high platforms. It is mouse proof and has a horse-proof lock on the outside of the door.

Why I feed 5 different grain products and 4 supplements to my horses aged 6 months to 26 years. I buy about a month’s supply of each product at a time so need a dry, rodent-proof place to store and measure up the feed. Smooth concrete makes sweeping easy. The platforms save my back when scooping from the very bottom of the barrel. Smooth concrete makes sweeping easy.

Hay Storage

What We Did We allocated a 10’ x 12’ space at the north end of the barn next to the 11’ sliding door for storage of bedding, hay and carts.

Why For convenience, we like to have a certain amount of hay at hand to feed the barn horses. But to minimize fire hazard, we try to store only as much hay as we will feed in a few weeks. Hay from the main hay barn 400 feet away is brought in through the sliding door.

Manure Storage

Horsekeeping On A Small AcreageWhat We Did We built a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ “manure fort” out of railroad ties in the east side of the bank below the front of the barn. Manure can be easily dumped from a cart over the side of the hill into the fort and loaded into a spreader from below.

Why We clean stalls and pens twice daily using a hand cart. The fort acts as a convenient repository for the composting manure until it is time to spread the manure on vacant pastures.

Tool Room

What We Did We located an 8’ x 10’ alcove between the stall area and the feed room. A central vacuum is mounted on the tool room wall and is vented to the outside of the barn through the tool room wall. There is a ladder to the loft over the feed room.

Why This handy location helps us keep tools out of the aisle for safety. Here we store a manure cart and forks, hand tools, farrier’s tools, and fence repair equipment. A place for everything and everything in its place saves time because we don’t have to go hunting for the broom or an extension cord or the hammer. This is their home.

Tie Areas

Horse HousingWhat We Did We put cross ties in the grooming area near the tack room; two crossties in the wash rack; a tie ring in each stall; and a hitch rail and loose stocks on the east side of the barn under the roof overhang.

Why I like to give my horses a variety of tying experiences. The grooming cross ties make tacking up easy. Protected from sun and wind, the loose stocks is a good place to let a young horse stand saddled, let a horse cool out after work or dry after a bath. During photo shoots, I often need places to “store” tacked up horses and the hitch rail and stall tie rings work well.


What We Did We built an 8’ x 16’ porch with slatted redwood floor on the front (east) of the barn under the roof overhang. There is a 16”-high pipe rail along the front of the porch. A blanket rod system is installed under the porch roof.

Why We wanted a place to sit down and take a break and look out over the horses and scenery. But since that never happens, it also makes an ideal place to get out of the hot sun in the summer and work on tack. The blanket rods are conveniently located so items can be carried from the laundry area in the tack room out the tack room door or saddle blankets can be sunned or aired after riding. The rail keeps a loose horse off the porch, is low enough to step over and is just the right height to put your feet up. Cherry Hill    


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