You’ve long dreamed of having a barn of your very own, and that day is drawing nearer.
But before you build, it’s important to be thorough in your planning. After all, once the barn is built, changes might be difficult (and not to mention, expensive) to make.
Though everyone’s idea of a “dream barn” may be different, here are a few considerations to keep in mind during your planning process.
1.) Build on higher ground. This may seem like a no brainer, but it could mean the difference between a constantly muddy or flood-prone barn and one which stays high and dry. If your ground is completely level, add a little more height to your building pad.
2.) Think long-term. You may have two horses right now, but how many do you see yourself having five or ten years down the road? Even if you end up with a bigger barn than you need, you can always use the extra space for storage.
3.) Don’t skimp on stall size and flooring! If you’re looking for ways to trim costs, I wouldn’t recommend doing it in the stall department. Standard horse stalls are 12 x 12, but if your horses will be spending a good amount of time inside, going with a larger stall might be wise. Stall flooring is also extremely important as you will want something comfortable, durable, and easy to maintain. A mat system is often the best way to go.
4.) Plan for good ventilation. This is perhaps one of the most critical considerations when planning your barn since we want to maximize air flow to keep horses cool in hot weather and also avoid respiratory problems caused by breathing in dust or ammonia from urine. Natural ventilation can be achieved by building your barn’s largest openings (whether that be a center aisle door, stall openings, or large windows) toward the prevailing wind direction. In warm climates, installing barn fans is also a great way to keep air flowing throughout the barn.
5.) Incorporate both natural and artificial light. Adding windows, doors, and even translucent panels to allow in sunlight is cost-efficient and also the safest and healthiest way to light your barn. However, you will want artificial lighting as well. Plan to install light fixtures in key areas, such as barn aisles, over stalls, and in feed and storage rooms. Due to their durability and cost-effectiveness, LED lights are a popular choice.
Of course, there are many more aspects to consider, but the above tips will go a long way in helping you create a barn both you and your horses will love!
Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much. Follow Casie at www.casiebazay.com.
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