What does your dream horse farm look like? Maybe it have an indoor riding arena, a luxurious barn that rivals some houses, and ample pastures for turnout. Still, many horse owners make the best of what they have due to limiting factors, but it never hurts to dream!

In last week’s poll, we asked our readers what element of their horse property they would design or redesign if given the opportunity. More than 1,000 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 1,036 poll respondents, 307 (30%) said they would design or redesign their horse barn, while 211 (20%) said an arena would be at the top of their list. Another 199 individuals (19%) said they would work on their pastures and fields, while 128 (12%) respondents indicated that they would redesign storage buildings. Some 48 readers (5%) said they would design or redesign something not mentioned in the poll, and 143 people (14%) said that they do not own a horse property.

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Additionally, more than 150 people commented on what elements they would design or redesign on their horse property:  

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Many people said they would work on an arena or riding area:

  • “I would love to have the money for an indoor arena, but any arena would be good.”
  • “I’d like a place to ride under cover.”
  • “I would love to have an enclosed riding area for those days when I don’t feel like going down the road.”
  • “I would love a covered arena to get out of the Texas heat.”
  • “I would add proper footing material to the dirt that currently forms my arena base.”
  • “I would love to design my own indoor arena.”
  • “I would make my arena bigger and more level and get better footing.”
  • “I need a level enclosed training area. Everything is on a hill.”
  • “I wish I could have a giant outdoor or indoor arena to work my horses in!”
  • “I love my barn, but if I could I’d have a covered arena!”
  • “To be able to afford a well-built arena with excellent footage would be my first goal.”

Several respondents had ideas for barn and stall redesign:

  • “I’d like stalls with Dutch doors on the back into a small turnout area.”
  • “The breezeway in the barn is too narrow to allow truck access. I need two more feet in width.”
  • “My very old stable needs more room and stalls.”
  • “My barn would be large enough to include storage of hay, equipment, and tack so everything is covered.”
  • “I would redesign stalls so each one has two entrances.”
  • “My barn is close to 80 years old and needs many repairs.”
  • “I would want to improve the horse barn, making it easier to clean the webs from the ceiling.”
  • “I’d like to have a nice barn to keep my seniors out of the elements when it’s hot, cold, or rainy.”
  • “I would like a protected area for grooming and saddling.”
  • “I would love a barn that opened into paddocks and then to fields.”
  • “The stalls are too small for foaling.”
  • “I’d like better ventilation and windows, windows, windows.”
  • “I have an old tin barn that we built and is in bad condition now. I would replace with a new stud barn.”
  • “I would make the tack room much larger and redesign the wash rack to be separate from grooming area.”
  • “I’d have bigger stalls and more natural illumination.”
  • “My barn is very small. It does not allow me to take in an adequate number of horses to support business.”
  • “I don’t own my own horse property, but my first redesign would be my barn.”

Some said they would work on water and/or drainage issues:

  • “If I were to do it all over, I would address drainage properly and add more fencing for grazing.”
  • “I’d add drainage pipes.”
  • “I need good drainage for a sacrifice lot to reduce mud! Next would be new barn roof.”
  • “We continually redesign to improve drainage and stop erosion.”
  • “I would work on mud management!”
  • “I have very poor-draining soil.”

Others had ideas for redesigning their horses’ pasture and turnout areas:

  • “We have way too many lush pastures for easy keeper Icelandics!”
  • “My horses are out in the field all year-round. I must increase the alfalfa pastures and hay.”
  • “The fencing is old and the pastures are full of weeds.”
  • “I’d add pasture or larger turnout. I wish we had some!”
  • “Better pasture means less short-term work, includes fencing and a spring ‘sacrifice’ area.”
  • “I’d improve fencing. We have three-board oak fence, but if I had an unlimited budget I’d love to use composite materials.”
  • “I would kill all the weeds and seed for good pasture.”
  • “My pastures are neglected and low on grass. I would use a Paddock Paradise system!”
  • “I want to fence in a second pasture, but need to pay off the first fence first!”
  • “I’d like more fencing for turnouts.”
  • “I am establishing a year-round pasture for rotational grazing.”
  • “I would enlarge my pasture area for grazing. Fresh grass is better than hay!”
  • “I would add more cross-fencing for pasture management.”

A few people commented that they need more storage areas:

  • "I need more covered storage.”
  • “I need space enough to put my hay with air circulating around it and storage away from the barn.”
  • “I’d build a bigger tack and storage area, and would build a hay/storage barn too.”
  • “Hay storage is a big deal for me.”
  • “We’d add a small hay barn, trailer storage, and a separate equipment shed.”
  • “I have limited hay storage and what I have is not as dry as it should be.”
  • “I’d like more inside storage and a bigger hay barn.”
  • “I would build storage buildings for my husbands stuff so it is not in my barn.”

Others said they need to upgrade or install new equipment:  

  • “I’d add running water for automatic waterers and daily stall washing.”
  • “I’d love to have automatic waterers installed in pastures.”
  • “I want an automatic water system”
  • “I’d install mirrors, fans, and lights.”
  • “I’d love a round pen.”
  • “I would add a gigantic manure composter.”

And several readers left general comments:  

  • “All our facilities could use a makeover, but all is safe and dry.”
  • “I like it just the way we designed it!”
  • “I thank my barn manager the first of every month for doing such a good job.”
  • “We calculated too little space overall for this area.”
  • “So many farms are designed by someone that has never run one. I’d like to start from scratch.”
  • “Everything! My acreage is still undeveloped.”
  • “I don’t own horse property, but where I board, I’d like to add shelters in the horses’ paddocks.”
  • “My barn was not built for horses, but for storage. The whole property layout needs a redo.”
  • “I would change the entire layout.”

You can find more information on building a horse property from the ground up, mistakes to avoid when building an outdoor arena, horse health aspects to consider when renovating your barn, and smart horse keeping tips on TheHorse.com!  

This week, we want to know: Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls!  

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.