Horse Barn Designs: 9 Key Considerations When Designing a Horse Barn

If you are assessing different horse barn designs, you have probably discovered that there are a lot of areas that can be tailored to a person’s unique interests and goals, including the floorplan, layout, and extra features. 

Size is also a considerable factor when browsing different horse barn ideas. There’s no need to waste space on extra stalls that won’t go to use, but nothing’s worse than committing to a small horse barn design that ends up being too small. 

Whether you’re housing two or twenty horses, there are a few key factors that should always influence your rough drafts when making horse barn plans — some of which can influence the overall safety of the animals inside.

Horse Barn Design Considerations

Take a look at these nine considerations to keep in mind when researching horse barn designs:

1. Keep Aisles Wider Than You Think Necessary

Even if you’re confident about how much space is needed to saddle up your horse and walk it out, it’s always best to opt for a slightly larger aisle width. Even with small horse barn designs, experts recommend a 12-foot minimum for the aisle width. This helps the horse barn design look more attractive, and it also allows larger equipment, like tractors, to access the space easily.

2. Include Additional Stalls

Including  additional stalls in your horse barn plans is always a good idea. You never know when a friend may need an extra pen to keep their horse for a few days. Plus, having extra stalls to accommodate the horses — even in small horse barn plans — can be helpful when it’s time to clean, muck, and repair the ‘everyday’ stalls.

3. Intentional Tack Room Placement

Every good horse barn design has a tack room included, but great horse barn designs have a tack room that’s well positioned within the overall floorplan. A tack room should be clearly separated from the rest of the barn to help manage dirt and dust, but it shouldn’t be too far away from the horses. After all, this is where you’ll keep all of your blankets, bridles, brushes, and saddles.

4. Natural Lighting

Taking advantage of natural light can be a game-changer for lowering energy expenses. Even small structures can rack up impressive energy bills when natural lighting isn’t incorporated into the design.

5. Comprehensive Ventilation

Sufficient ventilation is absolutely essential for any facility that houses animals, since stale air can become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other pollutants that compromise air quality. Instead of opting for a single ventilation strategy, incorporate a comprehensive method in horse barn plans by including mechanical ventilation (ceiling fans and movable units) on top of natural ventilation from architectural features (vented soffits and eaves, and cupolas, doors, and windows).

6. Wash Bay + Drainage

Wash bays should be carefully situated within the floorplan of the barn design so that water runoff is manageable. In addition to isolating this area from electricity, keep the wash bay separate from food and riding equipment, and be sure to include a well-designed drainage system that can function without causing pooling or clogging.

7. Separate Hay Storage

Hay acts as a natural insulator, and its flammability can put horse barns at risk of going up in flames. The larger the haystack, the warmer it gets, and moisture buildup can accelerate the chemical reactions needed for a haystack to become combustible. There’s no reason to roll the dice on this one — always plan on stashing your hay in a separate location.

8. Steel Siding

Reducing the risk of fire can also be achieved by designing horse barns that are constructed with fire-resistant materials. On the exterior, steel siding is a great alternative to natural wood, since steel delivers a superior level of durability and strength, without the flammability of wood, to provide extra safety.

The good news is that there’s no need to compromise on aesthetics when it comes to installing steel siding. There are many horse barn designs that use steel siding that is designed to look like wood. This allows ranchers to get that classic barn-style exterior while having the added peace of mind from being built with the more durable siding material.

9. Consider a Small Living Space

It can be worthwhile to plan ahead for extra luxuries in any horse barn plans. Adding a restroom, laundry room, or even a small lounge with basic kitchen appliances can be a great way to encourage longer days spent with the horses. Some people like to include complete living quarters within their horse barn plans to make the space more accommodating. 

This can be particularly useful for situations that call for a person to stay close to their animals for extended periods of time, like when nursing a sick horse or attending a mare giving birth to a foal. Having a comfortable space nearby makes it easy to sneak in a short nap without leaving the animals for too long.

Get Started Building Your Horse Barn

All of these aspects are important to consider when looking at different horse barn ideas. Be sure to assess the goals of your project to create the horse barn design that fits your project. Contact the siding experts at Trulog today to get started on your horse barn project.

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