Building Efficient Horse Barns
By Pat Murphy
Future champions deserve royal treatment. Someone who helps you in your work needs must be treated the same as well. So why put your horses in barns that are not liveable? But before moving them from their makeshift barns to the most expensive and priciest horse barns you could find, there’s a lot of things to consider. Well-structured, well-constructed horse barns are well-ventilated, light, roomy, comfortable to work and stay in. Top horseman and horse barn builder Champ Hough even suggests that horse barns should be as homey to your horses as your house feels like home to you. He shares several tips from over thirty horse barn building experience.
Hough suggests that before deciding on your plan, an appropriate site must be first decided. By appropriate, it means a site that would give your horse barns the much-needed air circulation and proper drainage. This would prevent epidemics within your barn. A good site would also provide your barn easy access to utilities, your driveway, or the road. Hough recommends orienting barns with these in mind. For aesthetic purposes, keep useful but unsightly features like the manure bin or can far from roads and your house but near your barn. Delivery docks and ramps should also be situated in the same manner. He also reminds builders not to mix delivery and horse traffic for less inconvenience. In doing barn layouts, Hough shares his trick. He suggests minimizing steps or the distance between barn workstations literally. This means that water stations, feeding stations, and grooming stations must be within reach or near each other. He also recommends, confining or isolating potentially messy areas like stalls and bathing areas to reduce dirt in the general barn. Clustering stalls is a good option.
Horse barns are usually built with 12 ft aisles but Hough insist that it is better if you give your barn aisles another couple of feet. This will enable machinery to enter the barn, and will give horses and caretakers ample room to maneuver inside. A wider doorway will also let in more light and improve air circulation. Installing screens on windows and sliding doors will reduce fly population while installing exhaust fans would let hot air out to be replaced by cooler air. Hough suggest the use of pavers and asphalt on horse barn floors for better drainage. Plus, these materials are easier on your horses’ legs.In time, you’ll get the benefit of having less vet bills, less upkeep and maintenance costs, and an increase in property value. With proper horse barns, your horses will be healthier, breed better, and have champion quality offsprings.
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